#1
Sue from Mama Bear has indicated she will be shutting down her business the end of this year due to falling sales. This is a prime example
Of a saturated market where it can't sustain all these makers and vendors. This one closing shop is too bad because she was one of the pioneers of shaving soap before the huge bubble in this market place took place where today there are 50 times more soap makers than there were 7 years ago.

If you've been in his game a while you no doubt had mama bear in your den many years ago because frankly their weren't a lot of folks making shave soap. If you are feeling nostalgic order some today while she still has your desired scent in stock and before the doors shutter. Personally I want to thank Sue and my heart goes out to her she was a pioneer in the shave soap market and I'm saddened sales have fallen to the point she can no longer continue.
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#2
(This post was last modified: 06-01-2017, 03:46 PM by OldGuy.)
I’ve been around this game for quite some time. I too can remember when there were just a few soap makers. Like a lot of us I have had many of Mama Bears soaps over the years. She is one of the icons in the history of the wet shaving resurgence; everyone has heard of Mama Bear. It is sad she is closing but I hope she enjoys her newly found free time. I know progress is good….but sometimes it stinks.

Thanks for everything Mama Bear
OG


"Do not regret growing older, its a privilege denied to many."
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#3

Member
Ferndale, MI
I have not tried any of Mama Bear's soaps. Isn't it what they call glycerin "melt and pour"? If the performance is good, I wouldn't be opposed to giving it a shot. Can anyone comment on that? On a side note, has anyone seen on the website how they list how many units they have in stock? For example, the Aromatic Pipe Tobacco soap says 98899! I can't help but wonder if that's a typo but a lot of the soaps have a similar number in stock. She must be sitting on a metric crap ton of soap! It's sad to hear they're closing, but with everyone in the wetshaving world jumping on the latest greatest offering on a monthly basis, it must be hard to keep up.
- Jeff
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#4

Super Moderator
San Diego, Cal., USA
I tried Mama Bear, back in the day, along with The Shave Den offerings and was not impressed with either.  I had a mild reaction to Mama Bear, though nothing serious, and The Shave Den's offering and customer service remain, to this day, the worst I have ever had from an artisan soap maker.  

The Mama Bear reaction was probably just me and I had no problem with lathering the soap.  Sue had a tremendous following so, again, I say, it was me and not Sue or her soap.  As for The Shave Den products/customer service, all I will say is that I was hugely disappointed and have never had a desire to go back to them.  In fact, I do not even know if they are still being made.  It was because of The Shave Den experience that I stayed away from artisan soaps for a long time.  Thank goodness for our current artisans who not only have amazing products but offer customer service that sets a wonderfully high bar.

To Sue, I wish all the best to a true trailblazer. Happy2
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#5

Super Moderator
Thats too bad but its how the market works. It seems that it isn't good enough to put a decent product on the market and wait for the buyers to show up. You have to innovate and improve even incrementally and market like mad. At some point we'll reach the limits of human ability to discern the improvements, maybe we already have and then the only thing that will differentiate the soaps will be the service and the marketing. I think Mama Bear only ever sold her soaps on her own web sites as I had never seen them on any other vendor site. Now thats a choice every artisan has to make whether they want to share the wealth or keep it all. You definitely will get more exposure on Maggards than on your own folksy website and it can sometimes be a hassle to order from these websites. For example, I've long been intrigued by the Route 66 brand but it can only be found on his own site. I recently decided to order some but he has no international shipping capability on his website. I had to go back and forth with the artisan a few times which due to slow responses on both of our parts took a couple of weeks. He sent me a paypal invoice and away we went - I'm in Canada so this takes a while. About 3 weeks later I get a package with $12 duty owed to add to the already pricey soap (exchange and shipping) So at the end of the day I popped the lids and sniffed the soaps and all I can say is meh.... nothing special about the scent of these soaps, basically off the shelf fragrance blends. The whole experience was inconvenient, expensive and disappointing. Now this isn't always the case as lots of artisans do provide great products, value and service but when you can go to a vendor that carries a large selection of your favourite artisans, excellent service and free/discounted shipping why wouldn't you? To be fair, I do try to buy directly from my favourite artisans in order to keep the maximum money in their hands but thats not always the best option or even possible sometimes. In any case, farewell Mama Bear
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#6

Administrator
Philadelphia, PA
I've never used to her soaps but I've known about her store for a long time now. I wish her the best with her future endeavors!
Tu ne cede malis, sed contra audentior ito.
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#7

Veni, vidi, vici
New Vegas
I have had 3-4 Mama Bear soaps. None remained in my den. I am sorry that she must close up shop, but cream rises to the top.
~~~~
Primo
Shaving for 46+ years; enjoying my shaves since 2014
Ah, che bel vivere, che bel piacere per un barbiere di qualità...
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#8

Restitutor Orbis
It's sad, I haven't tried any of her soaps, I'll make a mental note to try one, one of these days.
#9
(This post was last modified: 06-03-2017, 05:03 AM by ymmv.)
i've used her soaps and still have 2; they lather easily, but as noted above, she hasn't kept pace with other soap makers. her formula hasn't changed, no added goodies for slicker shave and after shave feel appeal. for example, honeybee soaps, has shea butter added.
i've also tried shave den, the products are less than mediocre with good scents, the shaving cream is good for superlathering though, if you're looking to add a particular scent.
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#10
Perhaps the point of the post has been missed, by today's soap standards her offerings miss the boat by a large margin.... seven years ago she was one of the only places to get shave soap.... and she was on A lot of forums before this one existed../.. to that end I wish her well.
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