Interview: Edwin Jagger

Edwin Jagger Razor

Time and time again, customers who own an Edwin Jagger razor have told us how they love their razor’s perfect balance of beauty and function (a superior, close shave without razor burn).

At the helm of this commitment to inspired design is Neil Jagger, founder and owner of Edwin Jagger. Jagger founded the company in 1988 after being unsatisfied as a consumer. Despite buying what were supposed to be high-quality Italian razors, he just wasn’t getting the shave he wanted. So he started creating his own in his house cellar, and his business grew from there.

Edwin Jagger is now carried internationally, and its Sheffield craftsmanship is legendary. Each product is handmade by artisans who are meticulously apprentice-trained, so what you get is an ergonomic collector’s piece. And while the company is now a legitimate global brand, Jagger still designs each brush, razor, and stand himself. His passion for crafting beautiful wet shaving essentials runs deep and imbues every product.

We recently had the pleasure of talking to Jagger about the nature of Sheffield craftsmanship, what influences him when he designs a piece, and the familial origin of the company’s name.

Enjoy!

Tell us how Edwin Jagger began.

Edwin Jagger Limited was founded in October 1988, after I made my first handmade razor with a solid handle and a simple fixed head razor blade attachment designed to accept the Gillette GII blade. Having purchased an Italian-designed razor in the summer of 1988 and quickly finding it wasn’t as robust as I expected, I decided to design my own razor and manufacture it myself.

My first prototypes were soon spotted and I had orders pretty much before I had set up a company. I started working in the cellar of my house, moving to a tiny workshop and then an office area of around 700 sq ft a year later.

After a few years I moved to larger premises, where the company grew until such time I was confident enough to approach the bank to raise sufficient funds to purchase my first dedicated factory site in 1997, consisting of 7,000 sq ft of production workshops and warehousing space.

How did you come up with the name of your company?

I decided to name the company after my English grandfather, whom I never met. My middle names, Ernst and then Edwin (names of my German and English grandfathers, respectively) are on my passport.

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Edwin Brush and Razor

What does Sheffield craftsmanship entail?

Just as with all cities whose reputation is steeped in the traditions of hand manufacturing, Sheffield represents some of the finest hand skilled manufacturing techniques still employed today. Sheffield craftsmen are often apprentice trained, requiring many years of precise, detailed, flawless standards of workmanship and finishing sometimes overlooked in other trades.

Edwin Jagger hand-manufactured shaving accessories entail levels of skilled hand production and attention to detail that ensures our products are recognized as some of the finest available.

We hear you design each piece in the Edwin Jagger line yourself. What inspires you when you’re creating a new product?

Yes, I am involved in the design of every Edwin Jagger product. I am very much aware of the finest things in life, such as beautiful cars, boats, pens, watches, and lifestyle accessories designed by some of the most world-renowned designers. They have undoubtedly influenced me during many years of designing exactly what I would like to own and use myself every day.

What are some of your business accomplishments?

Firstly, setting up my own company to design and manufacture products I would like to own and then successfully selling them to the finest retailers in London. That was a huge step for me. Finding my products are also popular with wet shavers around the world was also a surprise as well as an accomplishment. Buying the buildings within which I grew my own factory reputation and product ranges, now found in more than 45 countries, is one of many accomplishments that can only be achieved from working with a wonderful management, administration and production team, all appointed by myself.

Edwin

What do you believe makes a quality product?

Attention to the finest details coupled with careful consideration of the line and form as well as balance.

What is one Edwin Jagger product every man should own and why?

I think an Edwin Jagger DE Safety Razor (even if not used every day) is a great product to own. The quality of finish (craftsmanship), weight, balance, and ‘line and form’ make it a joy to use and a pleasing sight when left out on display in the bathroom. I have quite a few in my bathroom, all representing a wonderful combination of functionality with fine design. And they don’t require incredibly expensive blades.

What advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs?

When you think you have a great idea, do loads of extra research before you ‘jump in’ and get started. And just as important watch the numbers carefully (do the math). Understanding how cost and the resulting selling price can dramatically influence opportunities for sales is so important.

Edwin Jagger Flat Lay

What can we expect from Edwin Jagger in the near future?

More of the same in many ways. A steady stream of new products each year, new hardware items (razors and brushes) as well as software (shaving creams and soaps, etc.). We are also looking at new ways of promoting Edwin Jagger using the latest social media platforms and blogs.

Quick Question + Answer

Right Now, I’m obsessed with:

Detail, detail, and then even more attention to detail.

I’d love to visit:

The Great Barrier Reef as well all the tallest buildings in the world.

Rule I live by:

Always maintain honorable integrity.

Learn more about Edwin Jagger on their website. Follow Edwin Jagger on Instagram and Facebook.

Shop Edwin Jagger products at RoyalShave.

Father’s Day Giveaway 2016 – We’re Loving Your Entries!

We hope you had a wonderful Father’s Day and spent some quality time with pops! To cap off this yearly tradition of pampering dad for all the hard work he does, we’re awarding three prizes in our Father’s Day Giveaway – a wet shaving set (worth over $250!), a $50 RoyalShave Gift Card, and a $25 RoyalShave gift card. Today is the last day to enter, so don’t delay!

Simply share with us one of the many photos you took this Father’s Day – or a throwback photo you hold dear.

You can enter on Facebook, Instagram, or both, with each photo counting as one entry. See the full giveaway details here.

This is always one of our favorite giveaways every year, so we wanted to share a couple photos below. Whether they’re funny or touching, they show just how important dads are in our lives. As poet Pam Brown once said, “Dads are most ordinary men / Turned by love / Into heroes, adventurers, / Storytellers, / And singers of song.”

Mare.reis

(Via Instagram user @Mare.Reis )

Caption: My dad singing “I loved Her First” on my wedding day. Truly a moment we will remember forever.

rmv5000

(Via Instagram user @rmv5000)

Caption: My dad drove all the way to see my son compete in Special Olympics this weekend for state competition. He is always there for my special needs son and for the last decade has helped take my son to his many therapy appointments throughout the state.

mrbatman111

(Via Instagram user @mrbatman111)

One of my fave photos with my dad!

Denise TRAN cASTILLO

(Via Facebook user Denise Tran Castillo)

Caption: A glimpse back a few months ago of this candid shot of our, then, family of 4, walking towards our baby reveal photo shoot. The image captures a proud father, a humble husband and a blessed man.

DGmomx

(Via Instagram user @dgmomx)

Caption: Grandpop meeting my little man for the first time.

mfilzen7

(Via Instagram user @mfilzen7)

Caption: My dad does not dance…but he chose to dance with me on my wedding day!

b_to_the_w

(Via Instagram user @b_to_the_w)

 Caption: This photo is meaningful to me because it is the day my dad graduated from the police academy.

jbswanson911

(Via Instagram user @jbswanson911)

I lost my Dad almost 25 years ago, so when I got married I sort of “adopted” my father-in-law as my Dad because we connected. This night he asked me to dance with him at a family wedding and I felt like I was floating across the floor with my father once again! When the dance was done, he leaned over and said, “Take care of my boy for me!” And he gave me a little hug….I felt so accepted into my new family by an awesome gentleman I get to call “Dad!”

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The Grooming Artist News Roundup: Father’s Day 2016

News-Roundup-Fathers-Day-2016

Welcome to a special edition of the Grooming Artist Roundup! Today we’re celebrating fathers by giving you all the tips and ideas you need to plan a memorable Father’s Day! From simple yet hearty recipes to inexpensive crafts that little ones would delight to make, we’ve covered all the bases.

For those of you planning a trip out to dad’s favorite restaurant, we’ve even included some tips for dad on how to not only dress for the occasion, but make a grand entrance.

We hope all of you have an amazing Father’s Day!

If you’re still stumped for gifts, GQ is here to help! Check out their list of the 7 best shaving products for dad. (GQ)

Sometimes, simplicity evokes the greatest happiness. In honor of Father’s Day, chef Michael White, head chef at some of New York’s finest restaurants, has created a crowd-pleasing recipe for juicy rib eye steak served with oven-roasted potatoes. FYI: This recipe produces more than enough servings, in case pops goes back for seconds. (Today)

Unplug and spend some quality time with dad by doing one of these fun activities. (BHG)

Planning a trip to a fancy restaurant for Father’s Day? Then have dad read up on how to select the perfect dress socks to match his suit, and how to look distinguished in an ascot tie. (Gentleman’s Gazette)

Great Father’s Day presents don’t have to involve money. Look through this inspirational gallery of simple crafts and round up the little ones to present the ultimate heartfelt gift to dad. (Parents)

…But in case dad is looking for a shiny new toy, enter the RoyalShave Father’s Day Giveaway for an impressive array of wet shaving essentials. (Grooming Artist)

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How to Get Lather from Geo F. Trumper Hard Shaving Soap

Geo-F-Trumper-Bowl

One question we’ve been getting frequently from customers involves one very specific, popular soap: Geo F. Trumper Hard Shaving Soap. It’s a gorgeous, beautifully scented soap from one of England’s oldest barbers and perfumers. However, the puck is known for being stubborn and generally hard to maneuver if you haven’t had experience with it before.

Thankfully, we’re here to help! With the right method, tools, and patience, you can most certainly achieve a thick, luscious lather with this soap – many men already have! We’ve spent time testing and getting feedback from customers who have successfully lathered with Geo F. Trumper, and the resulting method is below.

We’ve also included a primer on why the type of water you’re using makes a BIG difference, and tips for modifying the technique to suit your needs.

We hope you find this helpful, and we welcome any further suggestions not mentioned here!

Here is a well-tested method we’ve gotten from customers:

Soak the puck in water (preferably hot) for at least 10 minutes prior to shaving. Then, dump the excess water from the puck and begin loading in your shaving bowl. From there, it may take anywhere from 40 – 60 seconds to a couple of minutes to create enough lather. Keep in mind that how successful you are at creating lather also depends on the type of shaving brush you’re using and whether you’re working with hard water or soft water (more on that below).

During this lathering process, add small amounts of water as needed. How much water you need to add will vary on a case-by-case basis. We suggest adding small drops of water until you reach a satisfying amount of lather.

Things to remember

  • The Geo F. Trumper Soap is a hard soap that can be stubborn, so be persistent and patient when loading. Don’t worry if you feel like you’re lathering for quite a while – this soap can take the beating.
  • If the methods mentioned above are still not working for you, dip the brush in hot water and run it in a circulation motion over the soap.
  • Apply pressure to the soap when building lather, but not too much pressure. Doing so can pack the soap into your brush too densely, preventing it from getting on your face.
  • Try the above method with a wet brush and then a dry brush to see which works better for you.

A quick lesson on hard water vs. soft water

Hard water is water with high mineral content. When you’re trying to lather a shaving soap using hard water, you’ll notice it’s hard to produce lather. That’s due to the minerals in the water reacting with the soap. You’ll really only see these detrimental hard water effects when you’re working with a soap, however, since shaving creams already contain water and thus lather much more easily.

The ideal water for lathering is distilled water, which is soft water not keeping minerals in solution. You need far less soft water to achieve substantial lather.

To learn more about the type of water you’re using and how it’s affecting your shave, check out our post on Hard Water and Insufficient Lather.

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