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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Shop Edwin Jagger products at RoyalShave.