Sun, 27 January 2019
The days when men shaved with safety razors – where the user inserts a single double-edge blade into a shaving implement – are long gone, made obsolete by cartridge blades and electronic razors.
Or are they?
Since 2012, Douglas Smythe, founder of Phoenix Shaving, has seen demand for his safety razors, blades, and other related grooming products for men boom. Douglas attributes the success of his business to three main factors: 1.) safety razors provide a more comfortable shave, despite all the hype around 3-blade and 5-blade cartridges. 2.) The replaceable blades cost only a fraction of cartridges. 3.) Men fondly remember their fathers or grandfather’s using a safety razor.
As Douglas tells host and reputation coach Dean Rotbart, he is using 21st Century marketing – including a YouTube breakfast-hour show called I’d Lather Be Shaving – and an annual confab of hobbyists and other shaving enthusiasts, to drive sales and an expanding line of related products.
Believe it or Not: Rotbart brand razors, blades, and accessories were the best-selling shaving products in Germany in the early part of the 20th Century. In fact, in about 1927, Gillette bought out Rotbart and for many years thereafter used Rotbart’s designs and patents.
Photo: Douglas Smythe, Phoenix Shaving