So Long Victoria!

In 2010 we set up The Copper Hat at our first craft show in Sidney, BC.  Since then, we’ve been to countless outdoor markets, craft shows, music festivals, community events and have set up shop in several different spaces in Downtown Victoria, most recently, Market Square. What a journey!

We’ve been operating solely online since the end of September, and it’s not going too bad! We definitely miss the interaction with clients in the store and being able to chat with folks in person though – that was the best part of the job 😀

But after almost a year of operating The Copper Hat online and taking a lot of time to think, we’ve decided on some big changes.  So here goes…. we are moving off of Vancouver Island for the time being to pursue some other adventures and goals!

The great thing is, no matter where we are in this country, we can connect with clients through our website and by phone, and ship orders as usual!

What does this mean for you?

If you don’t live in the greater Victoria area, nothing changes for you.  You can still place your order on the website as usual and we will ship it within 1-3 days.

If you live in Victoria and have been using the $3 local delivery option, that will change (since we won’t be here).  For you, we highly recommend checking out the amazing local businesses Zero Waste Emporium (1728 Douglas St) and Market Collective by Shi (in The Bay Centre and at Mattick’s Farm) to find your Copper Hat gear!  Market Collective carries our tins of soap, Journey shaving brushes, and beard oils and Zero Waste Emporium carries our refill soap pucks and they have a variety of other shaving gear.

We’d also be very happy and grateful if you continue to place orders on our website 🙂  Your shipping price will go up a few dollars, but we try to keep things as reasonable as possible.  If you’d like to take advantage of the $3 local delivery price, it will stay the same for folks in the Victoria area until early July, when we move.

As we move forward, our aim is to connect with more local retailers across the country so that you can find your Copper Hat supplies in-person – we hope to reach out to you in the future to ask about your favourite local shops that might be a good fit for our gear!

Thank YOU!!!

Whether we met you at a craft show, in the store, or through our website, you are a part of our Copper Hat journey – thank you very much for that.  It has been a privilege to operate a retail store and meet so many of you.  The stories you’ve shared in the store are honestly what has kept us going over the years.  You’ve inspired us to get out there, move around, and meet more folks as we continue on our adventure, wherever that may lead!

Goodbye Market Square.

Hi Everyone.  We’ve been putting this off because it’s a tough one to write.

On September 27, we will be closing our doors in Market Square (for real this time) and going online.

Like everyone else, we have felt the effect of COVID-19 on our business.  To ensure that we can keep The Copper Hat going and supply you with your shaving gear needs, we’ve decided to transition to online/over the phone only.  While we love the human interaction that comes with the store (in fact, it’s our favourite part of the job!), it’s extremely difficult now to make that happen in a calm and relaxed environment.

We have been in Market Square for over 6 years, and Downtown for more than that (anyone remember our shop in Fan Tan Alley or Rock Bay Square?).  We love Downtown and we firmly believe that supporting owner-operated, small, local businesses is crucial to keep the community vibrant.  We have pledged to shop Downtown for as many of our needs as we are able to and we hope that folks that have that option join in. 

Thank You!

We are so grateful for YOUR support over the years – YOU GUYS keep us going.  The conversations we have in the store are hilariously varied and cover every topic we can imagine!  Seriously, seeing you walk into the store with a smiling face, pumped to get new shave soap or explaining to us how good your shave is makes our day.  Continuing the conversation onto motorcycles, mental health, sustainability, outdoor pursuits, art… that lights us up.  We don’t take it for granted that we have had the opportunity to run a business in this way.  It is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and wow, it has been phenomenal.  In some ways, the amazing human interaction we’ve had through The Copper Hat is why we are doing this. We both have so many interests and passions and I’m sure it’s not a shock to you that running your own business, especially a brick-and-mortar one, doesn’t allow for a lot of extra time.

We are excited to spend more time on new projects, volunteering, and just being involved in our community.   So much of what we are interested in has arisen from conversations with you, so thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, for that.

So what does this mean for you and your shaving supplies? 

Well, we hope to make the transition as pain free as possible. The Copper Hat has been an online store for over a decade and a lot of our clients have never set foot in Market Square.  We ship orders all over the world several times a week and know how to pack up shave soap, razors and body butter as well as we tie our shoes (perhaps, better?!).  Starting in October (or you can start now if you’d like!), you can browse through your favourite shaving supplies on our website,  You can place your order online and pay with a credit card or PayPal.  Or, if online shopping isn’t your jam, give us a call or send us an email and we’ll take your order that way and you can pay with an e-transfer.  If none of these payment options work for you, please call us – we are committed to making sure you get what you need!  Once you’ve paid for your order, we will deliver it to you in/around Victoria, or ship it to you through Canada Post.  We did this throughout the COVID-19 shutdown and it worked very well.  Some folks have asked about picking up their orders – this is something we will work on, but will not be available right away in October.

If you’ve made it this far through this note, thank you!  Please hang onto this coupon code:  OCTOBER5 – it’s good for $5 off any order you place on our website in the month of October.

So once again, yes, this sucks, but if we’ve learned anything doing what we do, it’s that life is a journey with a lot of ups and downs. 

We hope that you and yours are well.  Please stay in touch, and if you have the time, drop by in Market Square before Sept. 27.  We’re open Thursday to Sunday. Otherwise, we hope to see you out in the community or on the website.

Take care of yourselves and thank you for everything you have done for us,

Kate & Brad

Moving The Copper Hat sign into Market Square, 2014


We’re Re-Opening the Store!

Hi folks, we hope you are all doing well! We recognize that these past few months have been challenging for everyone, and that for many people, things continue to be difficult. While we may simply be the place you pick up your favourite shave soap, we hope that we can bring a little bit of fun and smooth skin back in to your life 🙂

Since March, we’ve be operating The Copper Hat through our website and we’ve been shipping and delivering orders several times a week. We’d like to give a huge thank you to everyone who placed an order online in the past few months!

New Hours

Mon-Wed: Closed | Thurs: 11am-4pm | Fri-Sun: 11am-5pm

The Store has a New Look!

As you’ve likely experienced, our store space in Market Square is very small. At the best of times, it is tricky to fit multiple people inside. You also know that our business involves a lot of picking things up, trying products on, smelling soap and aftershave – it’s a hands-on experience! Sadly, it’s hands-on no more. So in an effort to keep everyone safe and limit handling of products, we’ve reconfigured the store to be more of a pickup window. Yep, it’s like walk-by shaving supplies… Nope, it’s not why we started this business, but it is what it is!

All of our products are now displayed in the front window. You come up to the counter at the front of the store, let us know what you’d like, and we’ll get it packed up for you. If you think of it like an ice cream parlor it’s less sad and more fun!

This means we’ll have a little less time for skin assessments and answering shaving-related questions in the long-winded and detailed ways you know us best for. The good news, we still have our website and we’re happy to help you through email or over the phone if you need to have a longer chat about your shaving routine.

And about the Website…

We have been pleasantly surprised with how effective moving all of our business online and over the telephone has been. It’s not perfect, but it works really quite well (many folks don’t know this, but we had a web store well before we ever set up at a market booth or had a brick-and-mortar store)!

If you find getting Downtown to be a challenge or would prefer to order your shaving supplies from home, PLEASE DO! We will continue to ship and deliver orders several times a week. How we arrange local deliveries may change slightly as we move forward, but it has been a great success over the past several months.

Alternatively, if you know what you need and would like to do a quick pick up, just place you order online and we’ll let you know when it’s ready to pick up at the store.

One More Thing…

Skip this part if you’re just here for the shaving supplies 😉

We’ve addressed this in some earlier social media posts, but think it’s worth repeating… many small and micro businesses, including us, have been unassisted through the COVID-19 pandemic (we acknowledge that many folks have had it much more difficult than we do and will continue to be challenged moving forward).

As an owner-operated micro business, The Copper Hat is ineligible for the federal wage subsidy. By keeping our website open, we generated enough revenue to disqualify us from the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) and the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program (CECRA), but lost over 65% of our income. This is not an unusual position to be in – it is happening to small businesses across the city and the country. We closed our doors to keep people safe, lost the majority of our income, and have continued to pay our bills, most notably, our rent on empty store fronts throughout the pandemic. Why mention this? Because it’s true and it’s our story. If you’re reading this and you take an interest, reach out, we’d love to hear from you if you have any thoughts on the situation (not just ours, but the struggle of small businesses everywhere right now).

Thank You!

To everyone who has met us at a market, a craft show, Rock Bay Square, Fan Tan Alley, Market Square or through the website – THANK YOU! Yes, we sell shaving products, but seriously, we are here for the PEOPLE!

Take care,

Brad and Kate

Our New Normal – We Miss You!

Well this has been quite the ride… 

First off, we hope you are well.  We know we’re just the shaving shop, but we really do hope you’re doing ok.  It’s been a bumpy couple of months and whether you’ve been impacted a little or a lot, we wish you well.

Next up, an update on our store.  You’ve likely heard that some retails shops are opening back up in BC this week. We’ve thought long and hard about this one, and have decided that because our store space is tiny and it lacks running water, we can’t open back up safely.  Physical distancing inside our store is impossible and hand washing requires us to lock up the store each time as there is no washroom on site.  We pride ourselves on giving you top notch service and allowing you to pick up razors, smell shave soaps and try on aftershaves and body butters – it appears that those things are no longer in the cards.  This decision is a big one for us, because we continue to pay rent on our storefront as we have throughout the pandemic.

The good news: as always, we have our web store and our telephone! Our website contains all of our products and lot of extra shaving info.  For folks adverse to the internet (don’t worry, we get it!), give us a call – we’ll happily help you choose the shaving supplies that are right for you. 778-433-4626

How will you get your stuff, you ask?
We continue to offer free delivery in and around the greater Victoria area! For all other orders in Canada, we charge a flat rate of $5. When you place your order, the option applicable for your address will appear.

Thank you for supporting us over the years! Whether online, in the store, or at a market, we truly appreciate you coming along with us on this journey.  We’d also like to thank the folks who have placed orders with us these past 2 months.  We honestly had no idea what would happen when we locked up the store on March 15th and we are so grateful that orders have still been coming in. Thank you!

A few of our thoughts ….

COVID-19 has affected almost everyone, and in many different ways.  All we can speak to is what it’s like to be an owner-operated micro business right now.  We are lucky and we are privileged to own our own business, live in our home, buy food to eat, and take care of our health.  We know this is not the case for many people. We understand that sometimes there is no choice when it comes to shopping, but if you are in a position to choose where you shop, please shop small.  Amazon will come through this just fine.  Many small businesses will not.  Like us, many small businesses rent space from property owners who have not deferred rent payments or taken advantage of the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance program.  This means that while store fronts have been empty and sales have been low or non-existent, tenants have been paying the full rent on spaces they cannot use.  Also like us, many owner-operated small businesses are not eligible for the federal wage subsidy or CERB. 

Why mention this?  Because shopping small helps, a lot.  It doesn’t take much to make or break a family run business in your community.  If you can, try to source from a local shop rather than Amazon – it make a big difference and it’s how we protect our local economies and communities. 

We hope you are doing well and we hope to see you in the future in some form or another! Please drop us a line by email or give us a call if you have any questions or just want to chat – we miss you!

Take care,

Brad & Kate

Our COVID19 Update

March 18, 2020

Given the COVID19 situation, our physical store will be closed for the time being. We are very fortunate to have our online store and we will be shipping orders purchased on the website as we normally do.

If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to give us a call or send an email to We are here to answer your questions and help you choose the best shaving supplies for you!

This is a wild and crazy time, and we’ll take it step-by-step. We’ll miss seeing you all in person in the store.

Take care,

Kate & Brad

Big News!

Big News Folks!

The last time many of you heard from us, we likely told you in person, in our newsletter, or through our blog post, that we would soon be closing our brick-and-mortar store in Market Square.  Today we get to share the big news that we have decided to stay!!

We took some time off in January to rest and reflect on our journey as a business and concluded that we’re just not done with this little store!

Over the past several months, we’ve had many conversations in person, over the phone and by email with folks who we’ve grown to know through the store.  While most of you were supportive of our evolution into a primarily online business, we also heard from many of you that you were grateful for the store and would really miss it.  We started to realize that we would really miss it too!

The last several years have been quite the adventure for The Copper Hat, and we really thought we were ready for a break.  After giving it more thought, we realized that yes, we need a break, but quitting the store altogether is not the answer.  Chatting with you folks in the store is what gives us the energy to keep chugging along, sharing wet shaving with razor-burnt people worldwide! Whether you live Downtown and stroll in on a lazy Sunday, drive like mad to get here after work, discovered us at random while vacationing in Victoria, or just love spending time in small, local businesses, THANK YOU!  We are so pumped that you care enough about our store and getting a good shave that you make your way into beautiful Market Square. 


So here we go, onto a new chapter of The Copper Hat – we would be so happy if you would join us. 

Want to show your support but already own every scent of soap and every brand of blades??  Consider telling a friend about our store/website.  Word-of-mouth referrals make a huge difference to our business!  We’d also appreciate it very much if you’d leave us a Google review and/or review your favourite products right on our website,

To stay in the loop with what we’re up to, events, and promotions, please sign up for our email list (we’re moving away from social media).

Thank you for your continued support! We look forward to seeing you soon!

-Brad and Kate

Store Hours:

  • Wed-Sat: 11am-5pm
  • Sun: 11am-4pm
  • Mon & Tues: Closed

Stay in Touch!

Stay in Touch with our e-newletter!

Signing up for our e-newsletter is the best way to learn about what’s new at The Copper Hat including deals, events and new products. We promise to keep our emails short, sweet, and not too frequent. You can unsubscribe anytime. Thanks!


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The Journey Continues

Kate and Brad in front of the store
Kate and Brad in front of the store

A Note to Our Valued Customers

UPDATE (Dec 21, 2019) – we will still be open in our store front in Market Square for January and February 2020! Please read on for our original post 🙂

Well, here goes! After 10 years in business and over 5 years in Market Square, we’ve decided to close our brick-and-mortar location. We are not selling or closing our business – just evolving!

We will close up shop in Market Square after Christmas, and starting in January 2020 (actually, starting in March 2020), we’ll do all of our sales online. When we first started this journey, The Copper Hat existed solely on our website, so in a way, we feel a bit like we’re going back to our roots!

How It Will Work

For folks from out of town, you’re probably already used to ordering your gear from our website and receiving your order on your doorstep – nothing will change for you guys!  For our local clients who normally purchase your supplies in our store in Market Square, have no fear! We’ll still sell all of the same shaving products you know and love and will ship your order straight to your door.  We’ll also have an option for you to come pick up your order from our office in Esquimalt.

Why We’re Moving

We have been operating a brick-and-mortar store in Downtown Victoria in one space or another since 2011. Being Downtown, meeting amazing people, and sharing knowledge about something we think is important has been the best job either of us has had!  But, believe it or not, we both have many passions and talents besides shaving!

Operating a physical store location is a lot of work, and after many years, we’ve decided now is the time for us to try something a little different.  This move will allow us to finally tour around and meet amazing shop owners across Canada and bring The Copper Hat closer to our customers across the country.  We believe strongly in shopping local and shopping small, and we can’t wait to help shop owners choose wet shaving gear that will best serve the customers in their own neighbourhoods.

This evolution will also allow both of us to pursue other passions and hobbies and to use our skills in new ways (that don’t involve buying till tape from a big box store at 9pm because you have way too many things on your mind and completely forgot to order more…).

A Very Big Thank You!

We are extremely grateful to all of you who have made this job such an amazing experience for us.  Operating a store in historic Downtown Victoria has been a job like no other and we are lucky to have had the opportunity. Meeting folks from all over this city, country, and the world when they visit the store has been a privilege and we will miss it very much.  The Copper Hat started as a shaving supply business, but rapidly turned into something more.  Early on, we realized that working with and educating people was our favourite part of the job 😊

Whether you met Brad in a coffee shop to buy your first razor 10 years ago, visited our shop in Rock Bay Square, found us in our tiny space in Fan Tan Alley, shopped at 1 of many farmers markets and craft shows, buy your gear on our website, or frequent our beloved Market Square store, THANK YOU! There is no way we would have stuck this thing out if it weren’t for our supportive, creative, loyal, hilarious and brilliant customers! You folks have made this journey unlike any other and we are so grateful for that.  To our suppliers, past and present staff members, and fellow small businesses, you guys rock. Thank you for doing what you do 😊

In (not) Closing

So, to sum it all up, we are not closing! We will be open as usual in our Market Square store until the end of December, 2019 February 2020  After that, everything you normally pick up in store will be available on our website (well, it already is).  If you live nearby, we’ll offer a pickup day once a week at our office in Esquimalt (which happens to have it’s own free parking stall, what?!).  For updates and for our new pickup location, please sign up for our email list or pop by our website (we’re kind of moving away from that social media thing…).

With much gratitude,

Kate and Brad

Summertime Shaving Tips

Hints for Faces:

  • During hot summer months, you’ll likely sweat more throughout the day.  This can make skin feel greasy.  Keeping a gentle toning aftershave on hand at work, the gym or at home is a refreshing way to gently cleanse your skin and tighten up pores.  You can splash some on any time, not just after shaving. We recommend this gentle aftershave splash if you’re on the hunt: Red Cedar Aftershave Splash.
  • If you’ve spent the day in the sun or wind, try a cooling aftershave balm to soothe skin.  We personally find the Anthony Gold Cool Mint Aftershave Balm is excellent for that!
  • Need something refreshing to wake you up in the morning?  Try a cold water shave! It sounds shocking, but a wet shave with cold or cool water can feel great on a hot day.  Many folks really enjoy the way the cool water helps stubble stand up prior to shaving.
  • Speaking of a cold shave, our Shaved Ice shave soap includes peppermint and eucalyptus essential oils that help cool and refresh your skin during your shave.  It’s our most popular soap in the summer months because of its cooling kick!

Hints for Legs and Body:

  • Chlorine and salt water can irritate recently shaven skin, so if possible, give it an hour 2 between shaving and going for a swim.
  • Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize! You’ve gone to the effort to get an awesome shave, so finish it up with an excellent body butter! A moisturizer like this will soothe dry skin, help prevent ingrowns, and feel amazing!  
  • Just-shaved skin doesn’t like friction, so help prevent ingrowns by wearing loose clothing right after your shave.
  • Issues with shaving underarms?  Check your deoderant or antiperspirant situation!  Underarm products easily clog up razors, so wash them off before you begin shaving.

Hints for Beards:

  • It’s summertime! No need for a thick, face-insulating beard to keep you warm! If you’ve been thinking about a trim, this is the time to go for it!  Ask your barber to trim up the sides of you beard and snip off any stubborn split ends at the bottom.  
  • If the warmth of the sun is melting your beard balm, you might enjoy trying a beard brush for this time of year.  This boar bristle beard and hair brushevenly distributes the naturally-occurring oil from your face through your beard so that you can get away with using less beard balm or oil.

An Interview with Rough and Tumble Gentleman

We recently had the pleasure of telling our story to Matt of Rough and Tumble Gentleman, a website and blog dedicated to wet shaving, skin care and many more excellent topics!  Below is the plain text version of our interview, or you can head over to Rough and Tumble Gentleman to get the full experience!  Thanks so much, Matt!

Wet-Shaving Re-Imagined: An Interview About Creativity and Process with Kate and Brad of The Copper Hat

You might imagine that the parameters of traditional wet shaving have all been explored, and that the very appeal of wet shaving itself is that it’s tried-and-true, standard, and unchanging. That’s an easy trap to fall into, and honestly, we may have fallen into that way of thinking, as well.

But that’s one of the most wonderful and fascinating aspects of Kate and Brad’s business, and why we’re so excited about today’s interview: through their company, The Copper Hat, they’ve re-invigorated the practice of wet shaving with genuine creativity, and an insight into what makes wet shaving so special.

Their custom shave brushes—made from family heirloom material, ranging from the wood of dining room tables to tree houses to sailboats(!)—are a fantastic example: they’re a re-interpretation of traditional shaving brushes, that incorporate the nostalgia connected to wet shaving, while also being an entirely new and unique product. As wet shaving enthusiasts, we’re inspired to see how bright, innovative business owners can re-imagine classic wet-shaving, and get an entirely new generation and set of people interested in it.

We’re also inspired by their love of person-to-person interactions. Much of the renewed interested in wet shaving has been primarily an online affair, and that’s a shame. Wet shavers appreciate all seem to appreciate the traditional, “throw-back” aspect of shaving itself—but when they buy “traditional” wet shaving products, they do so online! The opportunity to buy wet shaving products in an interpersonal setting—as buyers can do at The Copper Hat’s storefront location in Victoria, BC—is a part of The Copper Hat’s charm.

So here’s a BIG thank you to Kate and Brad for talking with us—as with all of our interviews, they’ve made us look at wet shaving in a new way. And, when you get the chance—check out their full line of products on The Copper Hat’s website (including their original shave brush named The Journey, which we’ll talk about in a minute), or visit them at their location in Victoria at #100-560 Johnson Street, Market Square, Victoria, BC (and if you do, tell them we said hello!).

Now on to that interview!

Q: Hello, Kate and Brad! Would you tell us a little bit about yourselves, about Copper Hat, and about the products you sell?

A: Sure! We are The Copper Hat, a husband and wife team that started our wet shaving supply business in 2009. Kate and I both love the outdoors and are passionate about exploring and getting outside—we both grew up in the prairies, and in 2010, we made the move to Vancouver Island. Our business started as a website, but we soon learned that our favourite part of The Copper Hat was being set up at local markets and craft shows both in Victoria and in other cities in western Canada. We’ve had our share of very small brick-and-mortar locations in Victoria, including an 80-square-foot spot in industrial Rock Bay and a 100-square-foot spot in Chinatown’s Fan Tan Alley, but we now call historic Market Square home, and we’ve been in our current space for almost 5 years.

As for our business, we basically sell everything a person needs to enjoy shaving! As one of the signs outside our store says, “If you hate shaving, you’ll love this store!” Of course, folks who already love wet shaving enjoy The Copper Hat, but a massive part of what we do is teach people that there is no reason that shaving needs to be painful, wasteful, or prohibitively expensive. I make our one-of-a-kind shaving brushes, Kate makes a wide variety of all-natural shaving and skin care products for face or leg shavers, we manufacture our own line of aluminum handled shaving brushes (the Journey), and we source all kinds of excellent blades, razors, travel accessories, and more from local and international makers.

Q: Sounds like you’ve got a lot going on! So what’s the story behind The Copper Hat itself? How did the company come to be, and how did you arrive at the name?

A: About nine years ago when we still lived in Edmonton, Alberta, I was a courier driver for UPS and had to be clean shaven for work every day. I had always struggled to get a clean, comfortable shave, and by the end of my first week of daily shaving, my face was raw and I was spending a fortune on cartridge razors. I started looking into alternatives to plastic drug store razors and found a safety razor at a local antique shop and a cheap boar brush at the drug store. I was sold, like most people are, after my first shave with the “new” gear. Kate was in university and I was getting ready for trade school so money was tight, so the drastic decrease in the cost of shaving was great for both of us. We were sold and knew we weren’t the only ones who could benefit from wet shaving—we wanted to share the news, and the supplies, with everyone! In the beginning, I collected and sold vintage safety and straight razors on eBay. Around the same time, I became interested in woodturning and used my father-in-law’s lathe to make myself a one-of-a-kind shaving brush. My love of woodworking solidified my direction on this new path we were on. A friend helped us build out first website, and we went live, selling vintage restored razors and my hand-made shaving brushes.

The name, The Copper Hat, came about during a brain storming session. Kate and I knew we wanted this new business to embody our values, including the idea that you buy a product for life, not to throw it away after a few uses. The core value of our business is that when you see a problem, you don’t complain about it, you seek a way to fix it. Kate’s Grandpa, who had recently passed away, was a farmer, but also a learner, a teacher, and a problem solver – someone who tried to repair things rather than buy new ones. We had been given a few of his old hats, and one was a copper colour. The name stuck! From a marketing perspective, naming your shaving supply store after a hat was a questionable choice, but it’s who we are!

Q: That’s awesome! That’s one of our favorite aspects of wet shaving, too—that quality-made shaving tools can last a lifetime. Speaking of which—we’re big suckers when it comes to unique-looking tools, and your new line of anodized aluminum shaving brushes are absolutely gorgeous. They somehow combine an old-school wet shaving feel, with a streamlined/modern look. I think it’s the colors available, and the “hourglass”-style incline right beneath the brush head. That combo of “old and new” is tough to pull off—can you tell us about how you came up with that design, and more generally, how you come up with product ideas?

A: The Journey, our aluminum shaving brush, is something we’re incredibly proud of. The design for it started in my head over the years while I was making custom handmade shaving brushes—I was often asked for something more modern, comfortable, and longer than the typical shaving brush, so I knew the type of brush I wanted to make—but we had a hard time figuring out how to make them. We knew we wanted our own made-in-Canada shaving brush, but if we wanted to grow as a business, I wouldn’t be able to make all of those brushes by hand.

My first drawing was a doodle on a napkin, and then I learned some basic AutoCad skills to translate the initial design. A local CNC prototype shop refined the design and that’s when it became real! Believe it or not, that was almost four years ago. We’ve done multiple runs of this brush over the years, but the brushes you see today are the first official launch! The time and energy that went into creating this brush is why it’s called “The Journey”.

As for our other in-house products, we make what people need. We started with our shave soap, an all-natural, easy to use, sensitive skin friendly lather. From there, Kate quickly moved on to products suited to leg shaving because so much of wet shaving had been aimed at face shavers. We make many of our products ourselves, but we also love working with other artists to design awesome gear—one example is our Royal Canadian Mint money bag dopp kits made by local leather worker RadJuli. Kate and I found a pile of old authentic canvas money bags in Saskatoon several years ago and knew Juli could make them into something very cool!

Q: The Journey is gorgeous, and we’d also like to showcase your custom shave brushes, because they’re such a fantastic idea. Basically, that you can take a piece of wood that’s meaningful to someone—it can be part of a branch from a tree you grew up near, or part of a frame from a family photo, or just about anything—and you’ll take that wood and make it into a shaving brush. Can you tell us about some of the items that you’ve made into shaving brushes? That’s such an incredible idea, especially on a shave brush, which can become a father-to-son family heirloom, and I don’t think we’ve seen that anywhere else.

A: The handmade brushes are one of my favourite parts of what we do. I’ve fallen hard for woodworking and love that I’m able to “play” in the woodshop as work. I think a lot of folks are downsizing these days, and passing down an entire dining room table and chairs isn’t always doable. I thought to myself, “What if I could keep a small piece and allow a family memento to be passed down through a family in a new form?” From there, clients got really creative and started to bring in pieces of childhood tree houses, kitchen cupboards, all kinds of stuff. I’ve turned a pair of father/son brushes out of an old Red River Wagon Co. wagon wheel spoke, and I made a matched stand, razor, and brush set from teak wood left over from the restoration work done on a sailboat that a couple had lived on for many years. [EDITOR’S NOTE: That is the coolest thing, ever. Just awesome.]

A favourite material for me is the lilac that my parents collected from their acreage in Saskatchewan a few years ago. We met them at Kate’s parents’ home in Edmonton and loaded the lilac branches into the back of our truck before heading back to Victoria. It’s a little piece of a larger memory that I can reflect on every time I use it.

Q: That is just awesome, and it’s absolutely unique to your company—and finding something absolutely unique can be a difficult thing for a company. Can you actually tell us about the challenges of starting and running a business? A lot of our readers—many of them artisans in their own right—would love to start a business, but have no idea how to get started. Do you have any guidance or advice for them?

A: This is something I love to answer, and my answer is always “do it!”. It’s hard—very hard, in fact—but it’s by no means impossible. Every step starts with a question, like “how do you even rent a store front?” You don’t have to know all the answers yourself—but there are people out there who specialize in those answers. Mostly, it’s about putting one foot in front of the other and learning as you go; if you stop learning you’ve stopped growing.

It also helps to focus on building positive networks in your community with other businesses, even the ones you think are your “competition.” We have a great relationship with many of our competitors, because we share clients. If I know they carry something I don’t, I’ll happily send a customer their way and vice versa. This builds a solid foundation for your business and adds to the community.

Most importantly, though—start a business you’re truly passionate about. If it doesn’t get you fired up, don’t do it. It’s much easier to drag yourself through low sales, late nights and the roller-coaster of entrepreneurship when you love what’s at the core of your business.

Q: That’s good advice, and I don’t think we’ve ever heard that before! Reaching out to others is important, and there’s a “Thank you” note on your “About” page—that’s a nice touch! At the end of the day, you’re totally responsible for your business, but there are a lot of people who help along the way. Can you tell us about some of those folks who give you a little push or a little support when you needed it?

One day we’ll write a book about this question! We are thankful for the people who came before us in this world of wet shaving and to those who have allowed us to sell their products. We’re grateful for those who have helped build our website, rented us space, started a local market or craft show or managed our books. We’re privileged to carry the work of many talented artists and makers. Our families have been incredibly supportive from the beginning and are all a huge contributor to our growth. We are thankful for every person who has worked with us in our store for helping us get to where we are today. And, of course, we are forever grateful to the people who took a chance on us when we told them wet shaving was great and they believed us! At the end of each day in the store, we tell each other about the people who we got to chat with during the day. We’ve often thought of starting a journal of all of the amazing conversations we’ve had with a vast array of people from all around the world. Whether you bought a vintage razor from us at a craft show in a pub 8 years ago, visited our store on your vacation to Canada one summer, found us online and cruised the website, or walk into the store once every few months for more soap, thank you! You’re why we’re here!

Q: That’s wonderful to hear—it sounds like you guys really do get to enjoy your patrons! That’s a nice change of pace, because a lot of the wet shaving world is online, and that “personal touch,” or that interaction, isn’t part of the equation. It’s really cool that you guys have that, because it’s not something you get on a website.

We actually had a question about your website, though. On your “Shave Set” page, it looks like you guys offer purchasers the opportunity to put together their own shaving sets. Can you tell us about some of the options a person has when putting together a set, and why it can be such a great idea for a person to get a custom set, rather than put together a kit themselves?

A: Sure. Touching base with us to put together a set is a great idea for someone entirely new to the world of wetshaving, or for someone buying a gift. When it comes down to it, you can swap out just about anything in a set, which helps to really personalize what gear might work the best for you. Different gear really does work in different ways—for instance, if you’re looking at brushes, Silvertip may be the most expensive and softest brush you’ll find, but if you shave once or twice a week and buy a Silvertip Badger brush, there’s a good chance you’ll find it too soft. So choosing products really does require some information. We carry a few different options in shave soaps and creams but if you mention scent sensitivities or sensitive skin, we’re going to likely direct you towards something a bit more natural (like our soap) in an effort to give you the least irritation possible.

Unlike mass market shave goo and plastic razors, almost everything in the world of wetshaving can be adjusted or changed entirely to fit you and your routine better. What feels good in your hand, what do you like the smell of, and what does your skin respond to the best!

Q: That makes a lot of sense, and a lot of men who are used to those mass market goos don’t always realize that with the right information, you can find something that’s truly personalized to your shave routine.

It’s not only men, though—while a lot of the sites that we interview are solely focused on men’s shaving, you guys offer wet shaving products for women, too. Can you tell us about some of the products on your site that our female readers might be interested in (or our male readers, who are interested in a gift for a special someone in their lives)?

A: We have always been a store for people who shave anything – legs, faces, or any other places! For people out there who aren’t shaving faces, we highly recommend a boar bristle brush for quick exfoliation (legs have a lot of surface area to cover, and badger hair is almost too soft) or an all-natural exfoliating scrub before shaving. Our all-natural shave soapis a great option, especially if you’re shaving in the bathtub—you don’t want to be bathing in canned shaving gel! Finally, our body butter is fantastic for soothing dry skin and moisturizing after your shave. We make all of our “Legs” products in-house with natural ingredients that are gentle on sensitive skin, and we’re very proud of them.

Q: Your “What is Wet Shaving” page here is very helpful—it seems like a lot of people want to get involved in wet shaving, but they’re not sure where to start. Do you have any advice for our readers who want to change their shaving habits, but might be a little intimidated or hesitant to do so?

A: Sure! Like any personal care routine, there is no one way to do it. You may have a friend who swears by a certain model of razor or blade, but wet shaving is not one-size-fits-all—so you should never feel like you’re stuck with only one option. We’ve helped thousands of people get into wet shaving, and folks are often nervous about nicking themselves…. but here’s the truth: if you hold your razor like a plastic drugstore razor and shove it into your skin, you can nick yourself. If you hold it properly, you’ll be fine— and you do way more dangerous things in a day than shave! Finally, not all razors and brushes are created equal. We’re so happy to see wet shaving picking up steam, but with the increase in popularity comes a lot of new, cheaply made safety razors and shaving brushes on the market. If possible, buy your razor and brush in person from a specialty shop or from an online retailer you trust.

Q: That’s great advice, and that seems like a great place to stop! Thank you, Kate and Brad for taking the time to talk with us, and keep up the great work!