It has been a long time since I wrote a blog article not associated with a video. I thought it was about time to vent my spleen and write one. I'll have to admit that over the past few months I have been on a vigorous acquisition binge. I've purchased soaps, after shaves, razors, bottles and just about anything that crosses my path. I fully realize the reason why. It's a way of fighting depression and the stresses of forging a new life as a single parent again. So what's your excuse?
Traditional wet shaving enthusiasts are inveterate "triers" and "enablers". If a new product or piece of equipment appears on the scene we all want it and many of us get it, if not sooner then later. The acquisition disorders are alive and well these days. Yet I've noticed something and although, on a personal level, it is disturbing, on a wider community level it is something quite good (with caution). The simple fact that for me personally this is unsettling is that there are more and more traditional shaving products and goods exploding onto the scene just about every day. What is disturbing is that I don't have the funds, room, or desire to get them all. A couple years back this problem wasn't as much a problem. In the past there were a few select product producers and most of us could in time acquire a sampling of just about everything available in regards to traditional wet shaving products. Not so anymore.
Vintage razors were much more plentiful at affordable prices on ebay and etsy. Artisan soap and other shaving products were on the scene but there was a handful of them and they had not mastered the secrets of making top shelf quality shaving products. Today there are so many small shop artisan shaving product producers I can't keep track of them all anymore. There are popular and rising star producers that I simply have not even explored or even sampled their products. There's not enough time in the day, room on the shelf, or money in the bank to truly say you have sampled the majority of the products in the marketplace today. I know a few pitiful souls who seem to be trying to get them all, but I'm sorry to say, they will fail miserably.
So, in the past the problem faced by traditional wet shavers was supply...not enough of it with limited variety. The problem facing the traditional wet shaver today is still supply...so much of it there is no way to buy, sample or stock it all in our shave dens. Now I much prefer this later problem versus the former one. I would always choose to have a wide range of options. Yet, how to decide what products or producers to "taste their wares"?
The traditional wet shaving community, regardless of what some would like to think, is still a very small world. Even though we have far more choices now than before, we have a duty to the welfare of our sanity and the economic well-being of our families to only purchase those products we really want and will use in a reasonable period of time....and how long is reasonable....let's just say conservatively most of us could shave out of the supply in our dens without buying another thing for easily 5 years...so reasonable would be no more than a 10 year supply ;) (You all know the shaveapocalypse is way overdue and will be upon us when you least expect it).
Our reality is that we can't buy everything and we must make wise choices in our purchases. Having said that and noting that the traditional wet shaving world is a relatively small community, the same factors come into play as if you lived in a small town and had to purchase all your daily supplies from the shops in your community. Now all the factors come into play. There are some shops you will frequent because they offer exceptional value. There are shops you patronize because the proprietor is a good friend and you want to support them (even if their products are not as good as the other guy). There are possibly a shop or two that you will never visit because you have a personality issue with the proprietor. There are a few shops that you just have to patronize because they are the only source of an essential item that meets a crucial daily need. Then there are the upscale specialty shops where you don't frequent often but on special occasions you do for that special birthday, anniversary or Christmas or Hanukkah present (if not for someone else, to treat yourself).
So many factors are involved over and above the simple quality of the products in question. Of course we always will repeat buy those items that we have chosen as "must have" in our shave dens and we usually have select merchants we frequent when we must return to the well for more essential "waters".
When a new product pops up, there is a whole series of things each of us experiences. We ask ourselves if that is something we would want. We evaluate if it will meet our needs or if it scratches that nagging itch. Of course we must always consult the pocket book. Is it a good value...can we afford it now or must it wait, and waiting is often a very good choice because in time we may discover it wasn't what we wanted or needed after all. Far too often we "feed the pig" and pull the trigger prematurely. Sometimes another "better fit" product emerges soon which results in buyer's remorse and creates that itch to purchase something else. The cycle is vicious and endless.
What was once a lean, mean group of shaving machines when product selection was thin has become a fat, lazy, over-indulged bunch of "shaved pigs" gorging ourselves at the trough. I'm talking to myself as much as I'm talking to everyone else. In my personal life I have resolved to get leaner and in better physical shape. I need to do the same thing with my shave den and my purchasing habits. My challenge is that to a certain extent I must seek out the new and unique products to feed my YouTube channel video production and blog reviews and articles. Yet, I realize I too must be wiser and slower in my purchasing selections. Buying products and trying them is part of the hobby we have chosen to pursue and enjoy, nevertheless that doesn't give us the right or permission to be fast and loose in that regard.
So, in conclusion, what I'm saying is to make wise choices in your purchasing and I urge you to show restraint from jumping on the band wagon when a new products arrives. Given time the best products will rise to the top and there will be plenty of time to get them for your den. Patience and moderation...moderation and patience. That is the key to a long healthy happy life in the shave den.
Good Shaves, Be Happy, Be Safe