Interview: Captain Fawcett

captain-fawcett

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

captainfawcettmustachewax

 

Buy here: http://bit.ly/1y4XV4W

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Why use badger hair as a shaving brush material?

badgerhair

 

The reason to use a badger hair shaving brush is that it offers the ideal balance between water retention, softness and durability when compared to the other options, something that is not found in other materials. Badger hairs are hollow, which is why they hold more water than boar or synthetic hairs. The hair quality of a badger brush is superior because of the inherent characteristic of the hair. The badger hair comes in 4 grades that are based on where on the badger’s body the hair is taken from. The main difference between them is the softness of the hair and the amount of hair available on a given badger.

The badger hair absorbs lots of water and this is beneficial to a good shave because water creates a foamy lather and the lather is essential for a good shave. The badger hair used exfoliates the skin well. The natural hair of a badger hair shaving brush stays firm and warm when shaving. A normal brush does not. e.g. When placing the badger brush into a warm bowl of water it stays firm, the hairs don’t go limp, whereas a normal hair shaving brush when dipped in a warm bowl of water looks heavy and limp with water pouring out of it. This will not give you the foam you need to shave.

The availability or amount of hair a badger has in each grade effects the price

Why choose a badger hair shaving brush? You will get the quality worth paying for.

Interested in a badger hair shaving brush?  http://bit.ly/1vhdKCV

 

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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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Tips & Facts: Razor Sharpening

slumiGood honing and good stropping are both absolutely necessary for a good straight razor shave. In order to get a clean and sharp razor blade we start off with honing which sharpens your razor. Then we move onto the stropping. The strop doesn’t sharpen the edge of the razor at all, but simply aligns the edge keeping the very thin metal all pointing in the same direction.

Types of hones:

Natural: Natural sharpening stones can be a lot more difficult to come across due to the inconsistency of their origin. Because they are quarried (mined) from the earth, it becomes more difficult to find an ideal shape or texture in the stone. The use of natural stones require using slurry stones to create a slurry (paste-like consistency) to sharpen the razor. A natural sharpening stone is often less aggressive and consequently gives the razor a smoother shave.

Synthetic: Manmade stones offer the consistency that natural stones can not. Often made of a ceramic base for leverage and abrasive powder to form grits, the stone are carefully constructed and often give a sharper, crisper edge. The grits follow a number system which allows for customers to select the level of coarseness they prefer.

 

HR_430-501-12_naniwa-super-stone-sharpening

 

Naniwa 12,000 Grit Super Stone in Stand

 

Types of strops:

The types of sharpening strops depend on how they are set and the method used while stropping.

Hanging – These are the only style strops that need to be attached to an immovable object which holds the strop stable while stropping. They often have a hook or loop which affixes to an object and a loop or handle at the opposite end of the strop to hold it steady while stropping. These are the most common sharpening strops.

 

HR_430-003-00_30-degree-italian-latigo-leather-strop

 

30 Degree Thin Latigo Natural Leather Strop with Handle, 3″

 

Paddle/Loom – Paddle/Loom strops are relatively uncommon, but are convenient for travelers. The leather strop is affixed to a paddle with an extended handle. These types of strops are as equally as effective as hanging strops, but can be harder to use due to their average size and angle at which the strop must be performed.

 

HR-430-036-00-bison-paddle-strop-case002_2Bison Paddle Strop Razor Case

Types of Materials used:

Materials: Most strops are comprised of a leather component and a reverse fabric component. The fabric aspect is used to thoroughly clean the razor before using the leather component to actually realign the blade’s edge. There are very many different leathers and fabrics used for razor stropping, below are among the most common:

  • Latigo – Typically, this refers to a special process used to treat cowhide leather during the tanning process. It is generally treated with aluminum salts/oil and leaves the strop slightly flexible, oily and strong.
  • Russian Leather (Juchten) – Russian leather is also comprised of cowhide leather, but has been treated with birch oil during it’s tanning process. The birch oil gives the leather a distinct texture, smell and reddish color. The Russian Leather strop requires less time to break in and even allows for a gentle bare hand massage to prepare it for stropping
  • Fabric – The most common materials used to clean the strop are cottonlinen and hemp.

Take a look at the diagram below from Gentleman’s Shop to see how you strop and what direction you move the blade.
sharpen

 

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