The Manual is simple – Showing men how to live a life that is more engaged. Whether it be fashion, food, drink, travel, grooming or culture, we are here to provide insight into it all. We also offer a forum for you to have an open dialogue and pose questions to our writers and to each other. We don’t boss you around, we are simply here to bring some authenticity and understanding to all that enriches our lives on a daily basis.
Cator Sparks is Editor in Chief of TheManual.com. Previously Cator was covering menswear, grooming, lifestyle and design for The New York Times, Details, Vanity Fair.com, Style.com and The Huffington Post to name a few. Mr. Sparks splits his time between his apartment in Harlem and his home in downtown Charleston where he escapes with his Scottish Terrier for Southern sojourns and excellent cuisine. Recently Cator was commissioned a Colonel of Kentucky by Governor Steven L. Beshear and has requested all friends and family to call him ‘Colonel Cator’ from now on.
Amanda Gabriele is a contributor for TheManual.com. She is the former Managing Editor of FashionIndie.com where she spent four years covering fashion, beauty and dogmatic red carpet commentary. She can’t live without the three Bs – bourbon, barbecue and beards – and loves to cook in platforms. Amanda resides in Fort Greene, Brooklyn with her collection of vintage furs, but you can find her 24/7 @CrystlMeatballs.
Brad Ball grew up in the restaurant industry, so needless to say the culinary industry is in his blood. He spent his formative years working in various capacities for his family’s prominent Charleston, SC restaurant, Poogan’s Porch. A graduate of the French Culinary Institute in New York City, Ball has worked his way through internships at some of the hottest kitchens in Manhattan, including Jean-Georges and Momofuku. But it was as a sommelier at Aquavit, under the supervision of the renowned Olivier Zardoni, where he began his love affair with wine. Upon his return to Charleston, Ball opened Social Restaurant + Wine Bar in February 2007 and has drawn local and national attention for its impressive wine cellar (which tops 4,000 bottles) and creative wine-inspired menu.
In 2012, along with his partners, Ball launched Wine Awesomeness, a curated wine e-commerce site on a mission to change how millennials engage and interact with wine. Ball also became the youngest Advanced Sommelier in the state of South Carolina and one of less than 400 worldwide.
London-based style and culture writer Jodie Kharas contributes regular fashion features to the online platforms of POP and Dossier Journal, and has worked on print titles including Because, Glass and Velour. Her creative expertise stretches to trend forecasting and global research, creating tailored product updates, city guides and exhibition reviews in her role as Assistant Editor of Arts & Travel for market-leading fashion information service WGSN.
Lindsay McCormack is a contributing writer to TheManual.com. Previously, Lindsay studied book and magazine publishing at the Columbia University Publishing Course. She has worked as an Editorial Assistant at Teen Voices Magazine, and was a contributing writer for Notes From the Edge, a student-run magazine at Harvard University. Lindsay currently lives in Boston, Massachusetts, where she can be found writing, gallivanting, and trying to master a handstand.
Marla Hardee Milling is a full-time freelance writer living in a place often called the Paris of the South, Sante Fe of the East and Beer City U.S.A., but she just calls Asheville, N.C. home. She is a former news producer at WLOS-TV in Asheville and former Director of Communications at Mars Hill College in Mars Hill, N.C. More than 600 of her articles and essays have appeared in such publications as Luxury Living, American Style, NICHE, Charleston, Denver, WNC, Blue Ridge Country, Health, Redbook, Parenting, Pregnancy and many others. Follow her on Twitter @marlamilling
Matt Bell is a writer and would refer to his beat as “lifestyle”—men’s grooming, travel and style. He’s been on it since 2004 when he got his start editing at Genre Magazine, spent four years on the style PR side at MAO PR and one writing the popular Where Eagles Have Been travel blog about going his version of neo-primitive in Peru (hilarity, spirituality and bad skin ensued). Most recently he’s writing for Esquire.com and Essential Homme Magazine where he keeps an eye the latest guy appropriate face/body beauty and health treatments, going to far off places to find adventure or going through all clothing to do it all in. When he’s not at that, he’s usually reading fiction, National Geographic or thinking about the next plate of ceviche. @mrmattbell
Matt Domino is a writer living in Brooklyn. His fiction has appeared in Slice and The Montreal Review, while his non-fiction has been featured on SLAM Online, The Nervous Breakdown, Cool Hunting, Bleacher Report and The Montreal Review. Matt also runs his own general interest blog called Puddles of Myself. He is a basketball aficionado and will never turn down a beer or a conversation about Gram Parsons or James Joyce.
NOELIA DE LA CRUZ
Noelia de la Cruz is a contributing writer for The Manual. She was born and raised in Queens before she left to study journalism at Syracuse University. Noelia has written about a little bit of everything: upon her return to the city she worked at Money, New York magazine, and Business Insider. Now, in addition to writing about men\’s lifestyle, she also works as a web editorial assistant for Parents.com. She still lives in Queens and in her free time loves reading, writing, movies, shows, food, and exploring all the city has to offer. Find her on Twitter @noeliasophia.
Stefan Doyno is a native New Yorker who grew up on the Upper East Side before moving to Westchester. He is a graduate of the University at Buffalo and is currently studying Broadcast Journalism at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He was a news producer and producer at his undergrad television station and has interned at ABC Eyewitness News in New York City, WKBW, and MTV where he wrote for the Newsroom Blog and Movies Blog. Stefan had a business column with AOL Patch and enjoys fine restaurants, 90\’s music and dry-humor. You can follow him on Twitter @thewritestefan
Tom Handley’s industry credits read like an issue of GQ or Vogue with key positions at companies ranging from Polo/Ralph Lauren, Badgley Mischka, Heidi Weisel and Adrienne Landau, where he was Executive Vice President, and currently sits on the advisory boards for a few key menswear brands.
In his current capacity as Professor of Marketing and Public Relations at Parsons The New School for Design, Tom is thrice nominated for the Distinguished Faculty of the Year.
Tom pairs his academic tenure, his 20+ years in the fashion industry with his focus for developing and mentoring the next generation of the fashion marketers and publicists. He consults with three New York based Public Relations firms, having developed their critical Summer Intern Programs.
An early adopter to social media, Tom consults for artists, interior designers, digital media companies and women’s and menswear designers. Nothing makes @PRProfessor more elated, than to empower.