I have to admit, after over ten years in the wet shaving niche’, I may have gotten a little jaded with the proliferation of products available now. But even I “geeked out” at the opening of a wet shaving brick-and-mortar business near me, CCC Shave Shack!
I’m often contacted by businesses looking for insight into the wet shaving niche’. Last December Steve Struve contacted me with what initially sounded like a crazy idea: a wet shaving business as a “destination.” A couple years ago I would have discounted it out-of-hand, but with the recent success of annual meetups in Pasadena, CA and Adrian, MI I thought maybe the time was right. We discussed it back and forth for a while before I finally got around to asking:
“Where would the business be located?”
The response? “Near Navasota, Texas.”
“Navasota, Texas?!? That’s less than a 30 minute drive from my house!”
“Wait, what?” Steve said, “Where are you??”
“Near College Station.”
“Holy [expletive], we gotta meet!”
So Steve and I met, the first of many meetings, at a local watering-hole (which has since become sort of an unofficial “office” where the regular patrons regard us with wry affection).
Steve has been a traditional shaving enthusiast for the past five years and is what I might call a “serial entrepreneur.” In the past he’s done things like sell wine (he was a major distributor at one time) and own a shooting range. Now he wants to get into the wet shaving business in a big way. Over the past few month’s he’s been acquiring inventory and refurbishing a small building, along with creating an associated website for internet sales (hey, not everyone can make the trip to Navasota, TX…). “The Shack” (as he calls it) now boasts several hundred products at the mid-and-high range from both established names like Taylor Of Old Bond Street and Truefitt and Hill, to a number of “artisan” products from the likes of Stirling Soaps and Stubble Trubble. He also has some products that, at least right now, are only available through him in the US including Plisson shave soaps, Schmiere, Groom.
And being a shaving enthusiast himself, he’s very aware of the “customer service” aspect to the business. His ambition is to become one of the very select few vendors that other shaving (and grooming) enthusiasts will think of first when they want to try something.
The Grand Opening
Steve held a grand opening of the brick-and-mortar store last week and the website launched yesterday. You will be seeing a lot more from Steve and–thanks to his proximity–I will be trying a bunch more products, which you will read about here on Sharpologist!