#1
(This post was last modified: 03-27-2018, 03:16 AM by steeleshaves.)
There has been a lot of discussion here over the last few years about what the market will sustain and whether supply is over exceeding demand and vice versa. I’m no expert on this matter so at 5:25 in the video I think it’s worth a look from someone who knows the market and makes his living off this hobby/market. I’ve been all in regarding wet shaving for about five years now, found this forum 3.5 years ago give or take. I’ve sampled a plethora of products and I think any new wet shaver should do the same in order to find what they like and what works for them. What about after that?

With all the offerings out there today in software in particular, if you have been wet shaving for long enough to sample numerous soaps, splashes, balms, etc..... there is no unicorn coming. Minus scents, performance is likely negligible in your shave after you have tried 50 different soap makers. As a community, I think we would be better off to all support those Artesians we like and dump our dollars there rather than this idea we need to try every new soap maker or splash maker that comes to market. Any soap maker on his/her own has Likely a dozen or so soaps and splashes with different scent profiles. Multiply that times three makers, you’ve got nearly 40 soaps scents, balms, and splashes to choose from.

Three years in with just these makers I haven’t even finished Strilings line let alone Barrister and Mann and Chiseled Face. For me, these three makers over the last few years have risen to the top in their soap and splash offerings. It might take me 10 years to get through all their offerings collectively, but all of them make numerous scents I love, some I don’t but I could shave until death if these were the only three makers of software on the planet. A good way to ensure they stay in business is to realize, between the three of them, no new maker is going to make a better splash or a better soap. Spreading money between 15 different makers a year is a good way to ensure 13 don’t exist in two years. The scent profiles by maker is vast, always changing. The only way you can guarantee your favorite software makers stay in business is to realize there is no unicorn... and solidify your dollars with them.

https://youtu.be/lIESE4bs0Qs

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#2

Member
Idaho Falls, Idaho
ive already consolidated my dollars as I too have been concerned about what Will stated in this interview.

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#3
(This post was last modified: 03-27-2018, 03:57 AM by EFDan.)
(03-27-2018, 03:13 AM)steeleshaves Wrote: There has been a lot of discussion here over the last few years about what the market will sustain and whether supply is over exceeding demand and vice versa.  I’m no expert on this matter so at 5:25 in the video I think it’s worth a look from someone who knows the market and makes his living off this hobby/market.  I’ve been all in regarding wet shaving for about five years now, found this forum 3.5 years ago give or take.  I’ve sampled a plethora of products and I think any new wet shaver should do the same in order to find what they like and what works for them.  What about after that?

With all the offerings out there today in software in particular, if you have been wet shaving for long enough to sample numerous soaps, splashes, balms, etc..... there is no unicorn coming.  Minus scents, performance is likely negligible in your shave after you have tried 50 different soap makers.  As a community, I think we would be better off to all support those Artesians we like and dump our dollars there rather than this idea we need to try every new soap maker or splash maker that comes to market.  Any soap maker on his/her own has Likely a dozen or so soaps and splashes with different scent profiles.  Multiply that times three makers, you’ve got nearly 40 soaps scents, balms, and splashes to choose from.

Three years in with just these makers I haven’t even finished Strilings line let alone Barrister and Mann and Chiseled Face.  For me, these three makers over the last few years have risen to the top in their soap and splash offerings.  It might take me 10 years to get through all their offerings collectively, but all of them make numerous scents I love, some I don’t but I could shave until death if these were the only three makers of software on the planet.  A good way to ensure they stay in business is to realize, between the three of them, no new maker is going to make a better splash or a better soap.  Spreading money between 15 different makers a year is a good way to ensure 13 don’t exist in two years.  The scent profiles by maker is vast, always changing.  The only way you can guarantee your favorite software makers stay in business is to realize there is no unicorn... and solidify your dollars with them.

https://youtu.be/lIESE4bs0Qs

The End lol, and I agree. There is one thing that he doesn't mention though. Yes, there will be soap makers that always enter the market. They will come and go, BUT, the ones that survive will make other consumable products BESIDES shaving soap. I can only own so much shaving soap. I have enough to last me 20+ years. The places that get repeat business from me are the places where I also buy bath soap, pit stick, and shampoo bars. These artisans have made WAY more $$$ off of me selling other consumable products. If it weren't for these products they might only see me, well, never because I don't need any more shaving soap.

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#4
I don't think there is a need for manufacturers to be worried because the safety razor shaving market is growing in consumers at a steady calm pace. I doubt the whole world will change its ways away from cartridges but there will be a strong build niche of wet shavers over time so that all dedicated companies will still stay in business. As always there are those that call it quits and give up, this has always been the case

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#5

Merchant
Millbrae - CA
(This post was last modified: 03-27-2018, 05:10 AM by GroomingDept.)
I think people spend too much money on shaving soaps. Did you expect an artisan who makes and sells soaps to say that Smile

Most scents will fade from soaps unless the scents are very well done. Unless the soap is Tabac, I have a jar that has been left uncovered for the past 4 years and it still smells the same as a new puck.

My suggestion would be that people buy only what they think is the very best and finish them. I find having a small rotation a joy to use.

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#6
Blagoja Rajevski I’m not disputing your assertion but I think a maker and Aretesian who has been around before the “boom” likely has greater insight into the market than you and I do. When he argues there is more supply than demand I have to believe him. If one does a simple google search of wet shave vendors the list has grown exponentially in the last 16 months, narrow that further to “soap” it’s even more congested......

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#7

Super Moderator
Las Vegas, NV, USA
(This post was last modified: 03-27-2018, 06:40 AM by Matsilainen.)
(03-27-2018, 03:13 AM)steeleshaves Wrote: There has been a lot of discussion here over the last few years about what the market will sustain and whether supply is over exceeding demand and vice versa.  I’m no expert on this matter so at 5:25 in the video I think it’s worth a look from someone who knows the market and makes his living off this hobby/market.

The scent profiles by maker is vast, always changing.  The only way you can guarantee your favorite software makers stay in business is to realize there is no unicorn... and solidify your dollars with them.
(03-27-2018, 04:57 AM)Blagoja Rajevski Wrote: I don't think there is a need for manufacturers to be worried because the safety razor shaving market is growing in consumers at a steady calm pace. I doubt the whole world will change its ways away from cartridges but there will be a strong build niche of wet shavers over time so that all dedicated companies will still stay in business.
In a way, I think both of you are right. But none of us are insiders like Will is.

To me, the fact that so many new artisans can enter the business and stay there for a number of months or even years is a signal that the market has grown. This forum continues to grow at a steady pace, so it seems there is an increasing interest in wet shaving.

As Will implied, though, the “hobbyist artisans” are basically supplementing their incomes through a favorite pastime, and money spent on them is potentially away from those who manufacture these products for a sole living.

Obviously, everyone has to start somewhere, and most of the established manufacturers were also “hobbyist artisans” at some point. Some of them will innovate to the point where they will have something new to offer to the market, or at least have such a solid product line that they can sustain a regular clientele.

Although it’s easy and tempting to “chase after the dragon” (as another recent thread here on DFS discusses), you bring up a very good point, steeleshaves. If anyone has a favorite manufacturer, then it’s a good idea to try to give them some steady support. The economy may be OK for a large number of artisans at the moment, but as we all know, things can change pretty quickly.

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Whenever I go to shave, I assume there’s someone else on the planet shaving, so I say “I’m gonna go shave, too.”
– Mitch Hedberg
#8
I've been thinking the same recently, and the chasing the dragon thread highlighted it for me.
I've found a soap maker that I like and am completely satisfied with, and have even, gasp, finished a tub with another not far from it.

I prefer being 'loyal' to a maker I've found and know works for me, at this scale it does feel a bit like being a patron and I prefer it that way to bouncing from one to the next.

That's not to disparage the other great makers out there, who ideally will each find their own patrons.

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#9
I felt this way at one time that I should do everything I can to support the artisans I really like, but I must say, after trying Grooming Dept and Wholly Kaw along with Declaration Grooming and Oleo Soapworks the past few weeks, I feel like I've been really missing out. I've missed out on their incredible scents as well as their incredible performance. Before I tried Wholly Kaw, GD and Declaration Grooming, I had many Stirling, Soap Commander, Reef Point and Mikes Natural Soaps and was very happy with them. However, I'm THRILLED with the performance of these other artisan soaps more so, and have experienced much better, closer, slicker shaves and will no doubt be purchasing many soaps from these vendors.

I appreciate the sentiment of sticking with a few artisans but I purchased almost every scent Mikes has. Additionally, I purchased about as many Stirling Soaps as I'd like. I feel like Wholly Kaw, Grooming Dept, Declaration and Oleo have refreshed my soap interests. Just my two cents.

I realized something before the last few weeks, that for my own use case, I was wrong about my thinking. I thought too, that these more pricey soaps, or newer vendors had nothing for me and they were a unicorn I was chasing. After trying many of these, I have to admit, I was completely wrong when it comes to my own personal tastes. There are things out there that satisfied me more than what I had. There are scents that I love, soaps that perform way better than what I was using and so forth. Had I only stuck with what I had I wouldn't have found them. Could I have lived my life and shaved just fine? Sure. But looking back I would not have wanted to.

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#10

Merchant
St. Louis, MO
That’s the rub isn’t it?
FOMO


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Shave Sharp, Look Sharp


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