Interview: Captain Fawcett

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Known as “The Gentleman’s Stiffener” Captain Fawcett is the home to a range of Gentlemen’s grooming products. The products range from Beard oil, mustache wax, shaving soap, shaving brushes, safety razors and so on. This all started back in 1997 when an old trunk was purchased from a house clearance and taken home. Discovering that this belonged to Captain Peabody Fawcett R.N Ret’d, the Edwardian Explorer it was forced open and among the contents inside were oils and ointments and an old journal containing detailed lists of exotic ingredients. Taking on the responsibility of carrying out the legendary “keep a stiffer upper lip regardless” the formulae have been faithfully followed and are now available to Gentleman all over the world.

We have a privilege to interview the man behind the discovery of Captain Fawcett’s. Read more to see what he has to say.

 Where are you located?

The dear Captain is based in Norfolk & Good Blighty.

When did you start this business?

Circa 1905

When did you realize you wanted to be a barber?

I am not currently a barber but a purveyor of First Class Gentlemen’s Grooming Requisites.

Describe a few steps you took to pursuit this.

As an Edwardian explorer of some repute I believe it is imperative to present stiff upper lip regardless of whatever the day may present.

How would you deal with a customer who didn’t know what they wanted?

Refer them to their commanding officer.

What are some of your accomplishments?

AS a manufacturer of the world’s best moustache wax I am proud to have aided in the ennobling of many an upper lip.

Who are some of your favorite barbers?

Sweeny Todd

What do you believe makes a quality hairstyle, cut and groom?

Whatever your chosen image, be it a Scumbag, Young Fogey, Rockabilly or Lounge Lizard be sure to cut a dash.

Where do you get your inspiration?

Plant hunters and Explorers of yesteryear.

What advice do you have for aspiring Mustache growers?

Let it grow, Let it grow, Let it grow!

Where can readers find out more about you and your work?

Captain Fawcett is hugely popular on; (these will all be Links)

Facebook

Instagram

Twitter

Pinterest

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Buy here: http://bit.ly/1y4XV4W

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What is Straight Razor Shaving?

A straight razor is a razor with a long blade set in a handle and in traditional and current western versions the blade has the ability to fold into the handle. The straight razor is sometimes called an open razor or cut-throat razor.

During prehistoric times there is documented evidence that men used clam shells, stone or flint knives, and even sharpened blocks of iron to shave and cut their hair with. By the Bronze Age many cultures had developed razors designed specifically for shaving and by the 5th century B.C. razors were in common use throughout the world. These early razors were often constructed by the local blacksmith and the quality of the metal and edge could be extremely variable based on an individual’s given skill. It was not until the late 18th century that the first modern straight razors were introduced in Sheffield, England. In 174o Benjamin Huntsman developed the first hard grade steel suitable for use in the manufacture of blades and while this process was initially rejected b the English it was, albeit reluctantly, adopted by the French. Once the success of the French straight razor manufactures was readily apparent the English and eventually the rest of the western world adopted this process resulting the legendary “Sheffield Silver Steel.”

The straight razor was until the early 20th century the most common form of shaving and due to the skill and costs associated with using and owning them, shaving was usually done by a professional barber. It was not uncommon for men from all levels of society to visit the local barber on a weekly basis for a shave and hair cut. The introduction and mass production of an affordable safety razor, most notably by Gillette, in the early 20th century quickly changed this and by the 1950’s the straight razor shave was a dying art.

In recent years the straight razor has made a significant comeback as the desire for a more personal and ritualized grooming experience has manifested itself in modern society. Today many barbers proudly offer a straight razor shave and this trend shows no real signs of stopping. The retail consumer has also embraced the straight razor as they have become more affordable in comparison to the mass produced alternatives, particularly over a period of several years of ownership.

The straight razor is a time-honed tool, designed to give you an extremely close and accurate shave. There are many straight razors available on the market to choose from based on the steel used, functionality, scale materials, and brand. We will be talking about this more in the weeks to come. If you want to learn the different ways to hold a straight razor go here.

 

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V’s Barbershop

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We were lucky enough to get an interview with the master behind V’s Barbershop, Jim CEO and Founder, V’s Barbershop shared with us his experience owning a barbershop.

1. Where are you located?

We were founded and still headquartered in Phoenix, AZ.  We currently have 20 V’s opened in 9 states.

2. When did you start this business?

1999

3. When did you realize you wanted to be a barber?

I am not a barber.  However, I realized in 1998 that I could not find an authentic, upscale barbershop anywhere in the United States, so I started V’s.

4. Describe a few steps you took to become a barber.

We get asked all the time on the best way to become a barber.  We suggest that they research barber schools in their area and make sure that the school they choose has a good reputation and is well thought of by the state Barber Board for graduating well trained barbers.  We also suggest that if they do not like to communicate with others then not to bother with barber school.  Lastly, we have found that those with artistic ability make the best barbers, so we always ask if they can draw and if they can, we encourage them to look into barbering as a profession.

5. How would you deal with a customer who didn’t know what they wanted? 

We train our barbers at V’s to make sure that they and the patron fully understand the cut before they begin.  Since we are not a “quick cut” or “chop shop”, we always take as much time as is needed to fully understand the patron’s wishes.

6. Are woman allowed in your barbershop? 

Yes, and we have many come in with their sons and wait while his hair is cut.  Kids are a big part of any successful barbershop and we do our best to make sure that not only do we give our kids our best effort, but also try to make sure that his mom enjoys he wait as well.

7. What are some of your accomplishments as a Barber? 

We have won literally hundreds of awards through the years.  I am most proud of being named “Best Barbershop” by Phoenix Magazine 10 times.  This is “the” list to be named to in Phoenix and we have fortunate to have been named so many times.

8. Who are some of your favorite barbers? 

We have well over 100 barbers throughout all of our shops and many are my favorites.  We employ some of the best barbers in the United States and I am proud that any of them can cut my hair.  We also perform over 20,000 shaves a year at V’s and with kind of volume and experience, I would put the V’s barbers up against anyone in the world at straight-edge shaving.

9. What do you believe makes a quality hairstyle, cut and groom? 

Attention to detail and the ability to execute the patron’s desire.  In the end, all barbers are the same – the ones that care the most, make the most.

10. What makes your barbershop different to others? 

V’s started the resurgence of the authentic barbershop in 1999.  Almost all of the shops that have popped up since have been influenced by our attention to detail, execution and success.  Throughout our existence, we have been well served by never straying from the authenticity of our shops, services or mission.

11. Where do you get your inspiration? 

Going to the barbershop with my dad when I was a kid and then bringing my son to the barbershop when he was young.

12. What advice do you have for aspiring barbers? 

Learn that cleanliness, sanitary practice, quality services and saying thank you are key to success.  Also, the successful barber realizes that the other barbers in the shop have rent to pay and mouths to feed, so encouraging their success will lead to a better functioning shop and more money for all.

13. Explain what a barbershop means to you. 

It is a community place for guys where a little show is put on every day and the experience stays with you after you leave the shop.

14. Where can readers find out more about you and your work?  

www.vbarbershop.com  

Facebook

Google V’s Barbershop.

V’s Barbershop Locations

44 43 15 The-Works-(2)

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A fine hairdo makes a fine BYRD

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Okay, let’s get this straight… so there really is a Pomade out there that caters to the surfing lifestyle. Why a pomade if you are going to be going into the ocean anyway? Whats the point..? Read more from this interview we had with owner Chase of BYRD Hairdo products.

1. Where are you located?

We originated in Newport Beach but are now based out of Culver City, CA

2. When did you start this business?

November 2012

3. When did you realize that this is what you wanted to pursue?

Being from Newport, the hub of surf culture, I grew up surfing as an amateur and now professionally with Quicksilver. You could presume that a surfer starting a men’s hair care line with nothing to do in the cosmetics industry is obscure. Having your own look and style and paying attention to your appearance were traits bred in me. In the early stages of high school my friend introduced me to Murray’s and I was hooked on pomades ever since. I feel like things just fell into place after that. Between my surfing career and business, I keep myself busy. It’s a pretty rad thing when work doesn’t really feel like work.

4. Describe a few steps you took to make this happen.

There was never a pomade I loved that catered to my everyday surfing lifestyle being in & out of the ocean. Murray’s take weeks to wash out and all others would sting my eyes and fluff my hair. I wanted a great all around pomade that I could throw in, go surf and come out with the same salty slick. I started making home batches of pomade with melted down beeswax and essential oils in crock pot. After all those failed, I researched a team of chemists to work with on the first Byrd pomade samples. After some months of testing, the idea realized and BYRD Hairdo Products was born.

5. How would you deal with a customer who didn’t know what they wanted?

The Byrd customer is confident in their style but if they were having trouble deciding on a product, we’d point them in the right direction.

6. What are some of your accomplishments as a business?

The Byrd flock has come a long way in a year and 5 months. The latest project in the works is our addition to the pomade collection. Our Matte and Light pomades are soon to launch this summer and we are fired up about them.

7. What do you believe makes a quality product?

You can spend months perfecting details and packaging which are a huge part of positioning your product but when it comes from you, that’s what makes it special.

8. Where do you get your inspiration from?

Surf culture, fashion, traveling around the globe.

9. What advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs?

Attitude is everything. There’s a quote from Benjamin Franklin I read whenever I’m in a rut. “I didn’t fail the test. I just found 100 ways to do it wrong. “ Maybe attempt #101 will succeed.

10. So you have a Barbershop, eh?

Yes, we have a barbershop here at our office in Culver City but its only operational during the Slick Saturday events we have.

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11. What is Slick Saturday? 

Byrds presents Slick Saturdays once a month at our creative space/ office/ barbershop/ home in Culver City. We provide fine cocktails and fresh cuts to all our friends and fans of Byrd.

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This is an old posting. Check Facebook for a new posting soon.

12. Where can readers find out more about you and your work? 

Website: byrdhair.com

Instagram: @byrdhair

Facebook: facebook.com/ByrdHair

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Byrd Products:

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Shop at http://www.pomades.com

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LOOK SLICK BY BYRD from Jon Hechtkopf on Vimeo.

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