Saturday, November 24, 2018

Do You Make Your Own Shaving Soaps?

A few weeks ago I had a conversation with a well-known artisan who asked me the question do you make your own shaving soaps. To be honest when I first started Wet The Face I used the model of private label. This is designating a product manufactured or packaged for sale under the name of the retailer rather than that of the manufacturer. it’s very common practice but I really wanted to learn how to do things on my own. I had this idea that I would be better respected in the wet shaving community if I was a true artisan making my own products and by doing this bringing full control back to myself.

So, I set out to learn as much as I could over 2015-16 starting with making shaving soap and bath soap then I learned the process of making aftershaves and now I have a new line of aftershave balms which I make everything right here in Huntington N.Y. My teacher in all of this is a well-known artisan (who shall remain nameless) constantly encouraging me. We would talk about the process of making soaps and what makes for a good shaving soap and how to make it stand out from all the others. We would discuss soaping techniques along with whats the best equipment to use. Finally, after one of our many discussions, I was told to just get off my ass and start doing it already and so I did.


Along with making the products I also design the packaging. My design prowess had been nourished by my 40 or so years in I.T. My line of expertise is working with the Apple Macintosh line of computer systems and getting them to fit into the enterprise space. Ninety-eight percent of the time I’m doing this for an advertising agency. I needed to know how all the programs work and over the years I've gotten pretty good at using them. The people I’ve met along the way have also been very helpful in showing me tricks of the trade if you will. One amazing friend which helped me design the first labels for Wet the Face is Tom Arato. Tom & I met in 2006 while working for Natures Bounty one of the largest vitamin companies in the world located here on Long Island. Tom is the company’s photographer & graphic designer. He was the one who designed the first 5  labels and he never asked for anything in return. I will always be thankful for Tom’s help and just this year I brought over a care package filled with my latest shaving products.

Since 2016 I’ve completely taken over all designs. Tom could no longer keep up with my demands he simply had too much on his plate to continue. Since then I created over 10 designs and now have finished the refresh on the original 5 that Tom had created for me. Also, along with the shaving soap labels we had to include the additional Aftershave, Bar Soap, and AfterShave Balm labels as well.

This takes me to the website which was a lot easier to manage then I thought it was going to be. I had two choices Wix or Shopify. My budget for a startup was small so I had to go with what was going to give me the best bang for the buck so I selected Wix. Wix was missing some key features that Shopify already had but after a few years and lots of complaining Wix slowly added them. They still have a long way to go to equal Shopify but when you're on a budget and out of time this was the only way for me to go.

So, The answer is yes! I do make my own shaving products and have been for some time. I used to have a man cave that I was working on getting all the things together making it perfect for watching movies but now it's a soap cave that I do all my creations in. You can have a peak of my soap cave and watch me in the soap making process in this weeks video release on YouTube which you can click on the link below.

In closing, I would just like to wish everyone a very Happy, Healthy, and safe Holiday Season!