#31
I have heard Will (actually read) make this statement before. Maybe it was a transcript of this interview, or maybe it was here on DFS.

I see it as an in kind sort of "humble brag". He is guiding his humble customers to purchase items from him, because its his job to research and develop shave soap and ASL/balms for our community. He is saying not to support the "soap hobbyist" because they are just googling their soap recipes and dont live on the cutting edge of scent and soap base development, like him, and do it for a living to feed their families. So when you dont buy from him, you are hurting the business, and not the hobbyist.

Will is unique in our community. He is really is a cutting edge soap and scent designer. Oh by the way, he is very intellectual in law and holds a J.D. (if memory serves) That said, he can be very persuasive in his arguments to sway your manner of thinking about your purchases. His ability to formulate soaps, and persuade shavers to stay brand loyal is far and above other artisans. Dont take him lightly. Also, dont put your blinders on because some artisans that are diversified in their incomes can be just as smart by not living hand to mouth and can survive on other means if their other business ventures to not stay viable.

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True irony
#32

Veni, vidi, vici
New Vegas
(This post was last modified: 03-28-2018, 12:37 PM by primotenore.)
(03-28-2018, 06:48 AM)olschoolsteel Wrote: I have heard Will (actually read) make this statement before. Maybe it was a transcript of this interview, or maybe it was here on DFS.

I see it as an in kind sort of "humble brag". He is guiding his humble customers to purchase items from him, because its his job to research and develop shave soap and ASL/balms for our community. He is saying not to support the "soap hobbyist" because they are just googling their soap recipes and dont live on the cutting edge of scent and soap base development, like him, and do it for a living to feed their families.  So when you dont buy from him, you are hurting the business, and not the hobbyist.

Will is unique in our community. He is really is a cutting edge soap and scent designer. Oh by the way, he is very intellectual in law and holds a J.D. (if memory serves) That said, he can be very persuasive in his arguments to sway your manner of thinking about your purchases. His ability to formulate soaps, and persuade shavers to stay brand loyal is far and above other artisans. Dont take him  lightly. Also, dont put your blinders on because some artisans that are diversified in their incomes can be just as smart by not living hand to mouth and can survive on other means if their other business ventures to not stay viable.

Very interesting post. Thank you for shedding a different light on this subject. As long as humans have free will, they will decide what they will purchase and, based upon their experience, decide whether to purchase again from the same company. Being "loyal" is a nice ideal. I am loyal to my friends and family, but I have never felt the urge to be loyal to a "brand". I may use it again if it gives me results, but not because of a sense of loyalty. JMO.
BTW OP, this thread is quite good.

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~~~~
Primo
Shaving for 46+ years; enjoying my shaves since 2014
Ah, che bel vivere, che bel piacere per un barbiere di qualità...
#33

Merchant
St. Louis, MO
(This post was last modified: 03-28-2018, 12:54 PM by dominicr.)
You should all just buy Black Tie’s No. 13 soap. It would be best for everyone. Wink


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Shave Sharp, Look Sharp
#34

Super Moderator
(03-28-2018, 12:53 PM)dominicr Wrote: You should all just buy Black Tie’s No. 13 soap. It would be best for everyone. Wink


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I hear and I obey......Smile

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#35
Oversupply due to competition can lead to lower prices. Since I don't really see any soaps on sale or lowering their price I would say they sell pretty well and we still didn't reach that saturation point. Some did go under, but new took their place or they're brought back trough another company. It's possible some artisans will sell their business to another or even be bought by a bigger company if they see it as a good option.

Anyway, I don't think I should support one artisan's business just for the sake of it. It's business, and he has to offer something I want in order for both of us to be happy. It's plain and simple.
Since we're way past just a good performing soap, artisans need to adapt and offer something new, or differentiate themselves in some way be it scent, price, design, base...
Those who offer something than just shaving soap will succeed, those who do not won't. The pressure is on them, which can only be good for us....

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#36

Merchant
Millbrae - CA
(03-28-2018, 06:46 PM)pimple8 Wrote: Oversupply due to competition can lead to lower prices. Since I don't really see any soaps on sale or lowering their price I would say they sell pretty well and we still didn't reach that saturation point. Some did go under, but new took their place or they're brought back trough another company. It's possible some artisans will sell their business to another or even be bought by a bigger company if they see it as a good option.

Anyway, I don't think I should support one artisan's business just for the sake of it. It's business, and he has to offer something I want in order for both of us to be happy. It's plain and simple.
Since we're way past just a good performing soap, artisans need to adapt and offer something new, or differentiate themselves in some way be it scent, price, design, base...
Those who offer something than just shaving soap will succeed, those who do not won't. The pressure is on them, which can only be good for us....

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Well said, thank you. I want to frame your post and hang it on a wall so I can read it everyday Smile

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#37
I support new ventures in general. I don't see why I have to support only a couple. If this was the case, we wouldn't be able to try all these excellent soaps from different makers and those two or three would have taken advantage of this. We would pay different, more expensive prices and they would drive the market with their high shares. Is this what you want?

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#38
(This post was last modified: 03-28-2018, 07:14 PM by Watson.)
(03-28-2018, 06:46 PM)pimple8 Wrote: Oversupply due to competition can lead to lower prices. Since I don't really see any soaps on sale or lowering their price I would say they sell pretty well and we still didn't reach that saturation point. Some did go under, but new took their place or they're brought back trough another company. It's possible some artisans will sell their business to another or even be bought by a bigger company if they see it as a good option.

I think you are less likely to see lower prices from artisans because at the existing margins, volumes, and capital commitments, artisans are more likely to just quit rather than compete. If you are a small, 1-4 person business, it may not even be feasible to operate a business with increased volumes to support the lower margins. And, you likely don't have enough invested in the operation outside of the ingredients to force you to stick it out.

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#39
I also don't think that Will has a problem with that. If I were him or the OP, I wouldn't try to "manipulate" the masses to buy only from him. He's probably the most known artisan the last years and makes some serious money from what he does. He's good at that and deserves it. I recall reading an article about him on Forbes. There was an article too about Douglas/ Erik/ whatever. There are guys who need our support more than these two/ three.
#40

Super Moderator
When I say that I want to support those artisans / soap makers whose products I like I don't mean that I view them as a charity deserving of my money. They still have to offer the product at the quality and value point that I consider it a product I want to buy. They have to run their businesses in a business like manner and remain solvent and hopefully profitable. I have no problem buying product from people like Will at Barrister and Mann - if he's doing OK money wise thats good on him. He deserves every cent and he earned every scent (see how I did that?) He built B&M out of his creativity, imagination and hard work. People like what he's doing and want to buy his products. That sounds like the American dream to me. Have an idea, work hard to build a dream into a business. Make people happy while making money and creating jobs for other people. Marry your high school sweetheart and become President. Its all possible man with an idea and hard work. I'm prepared to reward that with my business.

To those artisans who are struggling or have had to close their doors - ask yourself what you're doing wrong because poor sales aren't your customers' fault they're your fault. It might be the product, it might be the business plan or the business model you're using isn't working. There's people out there buying soap every day and if they're not buying your soap you've got to look at what you're doing and figure out how to change that.

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