You’re listening to Wet Shaving Talk powered by Sharpologist.com where we’re dedicated to preserving the art and skill of classic shaving. I’m your host Joe Borrelli and today is Dec 20 th ,2021
Today on the Show
The Holiday Season is Here
Year in Review
What’s in Store for 2022
Year In Review
What’s In Store for 2022
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You’re listening to wet shaving talk powered by sharpologist. Dot com, where we’re dedicated to serving the art and skill of classic shaving. I’m your host Joe Borrelli, and today is December 20th 2021,
All right, everyone, welcome back to the podcast on our final podcast of the year. That’s right, 2021 is coming to an end and this is actually the final podcast of 21. I cannot believe this time is come. Already this year seems like it’s gone fast. I know I say that every year and it feels like it. I guess the older I get, the faster the years get. And yeah, and 21 is almost over. We’re in the home stretch, full full-fledged holiday season and having a lot of fun doing so too.
So a few things we are talking about today. Really no script today on on the podcast didn’t really want to do like a like a set show. I just wanted to really reflect on the year of what’s shaving and and in general, and talk a little bit about what is going to happen in 2022 for the podcast and and maybe some predictions of what shaving in general.
So few things going on regarding what shaving this year, you know, with the pandemic still really affecting just about everybody. Is everybody in the listening area still some restrictions. You still have supply changes and all that stuff. So we’re gong to talk a little bit about that and then a little bit of some of the cool releases that came out and some of the stuff that we’ll be seeing in the future here, and a little bit about some of my like my wet shaving.
I guess my wet shaving, New Year’s resolutions do that every year, for for myself I’m really big New Year’s resolution person and I have a few wet shaving ones I want to accomplish this year and a couple of things I want to do regarding wet shaving and get that going.
So yeah, we’ll talk about that as well. So without further ado, let’s get on with the final show of 2021. A
ll right, so 2021 was definitely a year to remember. You know we talked about, I remember doing the end of the year for last year for 2020 and it was just all really. You know, the way the year started started out normal. The pandemic had everything kind of little bit nutty and then this year we started off with the pandemic and then just kind of got a little bit of normal and then kind of went back pandemic. It’s just really never gone away, even though some of the restrictions have gone away and few things that we noticed in the wet shaving world was one, the supply chain.
Honestly, the supply chain affect how it affected the, the actual alcove and the pandemic has affected the supply chain for certain products such as, you know, perfumers, alcohol. Soap products sent all that stuff. You saw a lot of artisans go out of stock or are unable to do special releases for most of the year because of that. So that’s one of the major points I wanted to point out for 2021 and that’s something that we would need to definitely remember.
Just how you know how these artisans, really adapted to enable, were able to come out with all their stuff, knowing that bottles were out of stock and knowing that you know perfumers, alcohol was out of stock or scented oils were out of stock and how they came around and got it.
You know you saw a couple of vendors I saw some real struggle with was like Barrister And Mann. You know you saw how he evolved. He had a-balm come out last year and kept it going and then when he got his stuff back in stock he know he worked with it.
So that’s one of the things that really impressed me about 2021 was how the vendors were able and artisans were able to overcome a lot of the challenges that came up regarding supply chain shortages and just how they were able to do and still going on to this day. Really, we still have issues with getting stuff from certain countries and getting held up in the ports or something like that.
So yeah, really the. The way these guys handled themselves and were able to continue keeping us in stock was great and honestly it was really it’s just a nice thing to see and just to be able to have new releases still coming out and see a little bit of normal towards the end of the year.
So all of you artisans out there, we salute you. We definitely want to tip our hats to you because you did a great job this year keeping us in stock and honestly, now keeping it still, keeping it really inventive. You know we saw about 200 new releases of new products this year between most of the artisans out there. I have a 100 and 86 artisans on my list that I keep in my notebook. I keep a handwritten list. Actually it’s not database which will be actually creating like an excel sheet next year just to make it a little easier on myself to add and subtract.
You know we saw the emergence of about ten or about 13 new vendors that I have written down and we saw about eight or nine drop out. Due to the pandemic. So I mean it’s all rot. Even we’re keeping the amount of people, amount of businesses and business, so I mean 21 was honestly really good year for most most artisans and vendors. Now a couple of things that we did see with the supply chain. Like mentioned. We saw supply chain issues and then we saw some some new release issues. You know we saw a couple of a couple of vendors just not do new releases and you know honestly the the fall season special.
The fall season really was where it was eye-opening for me noticing that the fall seasonal sense, we’re probably one of the lowest of fever that I’ve been since I’ve been doing this, six years of doing the broadcast. So hopefully we see that change and I did get a few emails regarding the market and all that. So we’ll talk about that next. So really wanted to first salute all the artisans going through all all the struggles and everything like that. Number two would be the market itself.
Now I am very active in watching the wet shaving market, watching the collectable sell, and one thing I noticed about 2021. Was we started out hot, meaning we came out with bottom dials, red dots, toggles going for a lot of money. I mean we’re talking premium money, thousands of dollars to where right about October to November about saw about 40% drop in some of these high collectible items.
I saw bottom dial sell for like $700 when it being of the year they were going for like $2200. I saw a couple of red dots go for, you know, record money last year to this year going a little bit less, not as much as a dramatic drop as the bottom dial. You know honestly, the toggles are still holding a premium out there for pricing when it comes to vintage Gillettes.
Now this is just my take on it. I’m not the best one out there for researching and stuff, but I do keep pretty pretty up-to-date on the market like that. So I would say that collectables are probably going down. We saw a huge spike last year and honestly, during the pandemic the spike was everybody’s staying home.
Everybody’s like. Listen. You know I’ve always wanted this. I’ve always wanted that. I’m going to get it. You know this is it. You know everything going on. You know everything could get worse. You know now was the time. If I’m going to buy it, I’m going to buy a bottom that I’m going to buy you a Wolfman razor.
So we saw last year we saw a huge, huge increase in in buying premium products and then towards the end of the year we did see a massive decline in in value and I think that’s just because everybody’s like, ok, I got what I wanted. I’m done. I’m not really thinking about it and now it’s just you know. Hey, I got looking, going back to normal little bit and I may not be able to spend two or three thousand dollars on my hobby right now. I got to spend. Maybe I can spend a few 100 personally. For me, this year, 2021 was the least.
I bought the least amount of wet shaving products I’ve ever bought since I’ve started, even when I was in college, when I started wet shaving and I was like really didn’t buy much of anything. I spend less this year than ever, mainly because honestly I had come and I didn’t I don’t have any sense of smell or taste still to this day. So I cannot smell any new soaps or really enjoy them without.
You know I could just get the performance out of it, but I can’t so that’s kind of keep me on the software side where I just kind of stayed stagnant. I think about one or two soaps all year, just collectable soaps for myself. I know probably a lot of you are out there in the same boat and for software or hardware.
Just as well. You know I just I really had nothing to buy this year. I didn’t see too many new. I mean there was a lot of new releases. That came out, a lot of cool razors. and brushes. It’s just I’m kind of happy with what I have, I guess, and I’m kind of going to stick with it for a little while.
You know I went through a whole year. I didn’t buy a brush, I didn’t buy one brush this whole year. I don’t think so and I didn’t but I think I bought one or two razors, maybe three razors, and I kind of kept nothing premium now I kept everything pretty much now, regular stuff. You know I didn’t buy anything. Premium didn’t go crazy and you know it’s just, it’s a good thing for me. I think so. You know the pandemic, whatever.
Put all things aside, a good year for wet shaving in general with releases but very few artisan releases when it came to hardware other than a couple of them here and there. But nothing really that crazy. I mean I saw a Chiseled Face came out there. Razor for a while. You had, you know you had Charcoal Goods come back. You know you had Blackland come out with a couple of things. Rex Ambassador came out with actually probably the biggest release in the last few years with that slant adjustable razor that’s coming out soon. You know that’s a big deal. That’s actually a new concept which is really exciting. You know you had the Mag T come out, which is a pretty cool razor.
So I mean yeah, for innovation. It was definitely a good year, as for, like you know, really big releases and premium stuff selling at a premium or stuff selling higher than value than its valued. No, I think now is the time. If you want to buy something good or something that you that’s been on your radar, now is probably time to get it. You’re going to probably pay about ten to 15% less. That’s for number two now number three, with the watching world this year. Well, meet up again.
No real meetups happening. A few of them happened a few months ago, and that’s just another thing that’s been kind of downer with the market itself is none of us have been able to see each other or or hang out or have an event to where everybody can attend just because we are, you know, still in pandemic mode and it looks like we’re going to be in it, probably for the next year as well. So that’s another bummer, and just another thing that’s affected the market is just it’s been year two without any meetups.
Now we were going through so many wet shaving meetups in the past, from 2015 to 2019. Where were the year of the meat up? Years of meat up there, like the Maggard Meet Up the Big Shave West. You had met us on the West Coast. Meet ups on the East Coast. You had one in Miami, had one over here. You, you had one New York, you, you all over the country, all over the world there were meetups of wet shaving and that’s another thing that really we saw a massive decline, if not really almost no movement at all, no no action at all with meetups.
So I mean those. three things are just really what I’ve noticed with the wet shaving world, the changes that we’ve had throughout the year and just and moving forward. Probably I don’t see much of a changing this year, with the exception of possibly some of the items increasing in value. But honestly, really for collectables, now is time, I think, to purchase.
I think you’re at the lowest point that you’re on to see and I think you know if you’re looking for something and you have or if you have something to sell, I would probably hold on to it. If not, if you’re going to, unless you’re on to offload it pretty quickly and really find a good buyer for it. I would say: hold on to your collectables and your going to buy. Now is the time to buy. So I know it’s like a double-edged sword. I’m kind of telling you to do something and telling you not to jest my prediction on that on the market itself.
Now for next year, next year, 2022, is going to be. I don’t know what to say because the last two years, every time I do this show, I say hey, I’m thinking this is going to happen. What’s going to happen? And I can tell you right now everything that I’ve predicted has not really came true in the last year because you never really know what’s going to happen. You know I thought the market was going. I thought everything was going to go back to the normal.
I think we all did after 2020 and we are still not back to normal, were a little bit closer to normal. But just I guess we’re not going to be back to where we were at least for some time. So I don’t see any more for 22. I don’t see any more meat ups coming up or anything really you now. Maybe we’ll see some meet ups closer to the summertime, hopefully, but I don’t I don’t know. That’s why I’m not really going to do predictions this year.
It’s very difficult to do so. I can tell you guys my day job, my regular work, all the predictions. I threw them all in the garbage over over Thanksgiving because everything’s all over the place, like it’s just people are not going out, they are going it, just it’s just it’s very hard to predict what’s going to happen and this year it’s been really a difficult year for that in general and just just really keeping in stock and offloading stuff. It’s all, it’s all over the place. Yeah, it’s pretty difficult to talk about 2022 and predictions of the market. But for the podcasts I could tell you that next year we’re going to focus more on reviews and stuff like that instead of just really just looking at the market and everything like that.
Now I’ll be honest during the holiday season. This time it is difficult for me to come up with some really good content on podcasts because, to be completely honest, I am swamped at work. I could tell you right now, this podcast is being recorded at midnight and I have been working probably over 70 hours the last week alone, six-days and just also working from home.
So it’s it’s a difficult time when you’re working retail, especially during the holiday. So you next year, I think you know we might hold off on doing holiday shows or just do one for the whole holiday season, and that will be it. You know just just respect of respect for you guys, because honestly you know this, this podcast itself is unscripted. I don’t have really much of an agenda other than what I wanted, what I wanted to reflect a little bit about 2021 and to move on into 2022.
So yeah, to be fairer to the listeners, I’d like to get some interviews going, but you know a lot of people asked me now. Joe why don’t you do interviews? And I said well, most of the guys out there, the other podcasts and stuff. They do interviews. They’ve been interviewed. You know all the artisans have been interviewed and hear like the same thing over and over. It kind of just it’s just repetitions to me and a little bit boring. I guess you know.
Personally I listen to all the wet shaving podcasts that are out there. But I mean how many times you going to interview the same three artisans? You know it’s like I already know their story. I’ve heard it on four or five previous podcasts before on Youtube stations and stuff and I know it’s a lot of fun, but to me it’s repetitious and I’d like to. I’d like to keep it fresh and do something unique.
So we’ll talk more about you now. Artisan reviews going to get more into stuff that I try and use and stuff like that. My collection is big enough to where I have most of the major artisans already and and a lot of smaller artisans. So I’ll be able to definitely discuss a lot without even breaking the bank. So that’s kind of what I’m going to do. I’d also like to hear your guys thoughts on that as well, because I’d like to hear what hat do you guys want to hear? Because you know, like I said, the interviews are one thing, a cohost would be another thing, but here’s the thing with that. I just I just don’t have the resources or honestly, it’s not fair to the other person to co-host I just don’t have the time to be able to commit, you know, to one specific day to where I can sit-down and just we can just talk. I know an hour here, an hour. There has a lot to do with it.
You know it doesn’t sound like a lot, but I’m sorry, but it just it is. You know it is when you’re trying to make stuff happen. You have a child and family and in a very demanding job. You know to be able to be fair, I don’t want to be unfair to the other cohost. So that’s kind of why we don’t do cohost either. Why I do this solo. So let me know your thoughts. You can send me an email: [email protected] you from now until the end of the year. What do you think you’d like to hear on the podcast? What do you want me to research this year or look into also still writing that book.
I’m almost done with the straight razor book that I’ve been writing for about two years. I’m working on finishing up and and actually I’m proof reading it myself and editing it myself. Before I send it, I’m going to self publish it so it will be available only in print. I’m not going to do a book right away and the reason being is, I think you know all things considered that shaving is an older fashioned kind of hobby. I guess. So I think I’d like to keep it in print, for now will be affordable. I’m not looking to make any money off of it. I’m looking to just to get it out there and just it’s something that I’ve always wanted to do and just to have out now to have it, and that will be, like you know, crowning achievement in my life for wet shaving in general. So that will be in 2022 definitely coming out.
I know I originally planned to have that book out this year, but I just wasn’t able to get it done and there’s a lot involved in writing a book. I didn’t realize it. Even if it’s a short book, there’s still so much to do and when you read it you want to change it around again and stuff like that and edit it. So the book you’ll be that coming out will be definitely all on me. I’m going to self publish itself, edited everything like that. I want to have it all. There’s not going be any influence in it at all. You will have some, of course, grammatical errors changed and all that stuff, but otherwise it contents going a 100% you know wet shaving, so looking forward to that. That will be a major thing to do this year and just really have fun with what.
I hope you guys are really having fun with it because after a few years of doing this, you know it doesn’t it does seem to get a little bit repetitious. You know you’re shaving every day, you’re using the same, you know your rotation of razors and you know sometimes you might have like a 100 razors and you might be using only one or two a week. That’s kind of where I’ve been several times. I could tell you right now I’ve been using safety razors primarily for the last two years and just recently, the last couple of weeks, I’ve been picking up my straight razors again and just using them because it’s like, hey, they’re sitting there, they need to be honed again. It’s time to play and start. You know, using those those bad boys again and getting back into it to get the whole wet shaving experience.
So that’s really everything I have. In a nutshell, you know I hate to end a year like this with not much going on, but honestly I went researching a little bit and it’s pretty quiet out there, other than that new razor coming out. I got to give Rex Emporium that when I saw that he was. I heard about that concept of the adjustable slant raiser about a year and a half ago. I was really excited about it and I thought that was really interesting to see that come out. Really looking forward to seeing some of the reviews when they come through and I think that’s something that’s on be a big deal for 2022 and a couple of other things coming out to a couple of new razors and stuff, you know, Charcoal Goods. Back in the game again you got some really good brushmakers coming up in the ranks and a lot of people doing hand tied at home knots, you know.
So it’s going to look great, I think for 2022. As for the podcast, we’re on to continue doing the podcast. It is not going away. We’re going to continue doing, you know, shows twice a month and just to have fun with it and just really look at wet shaving from from the ground-up I think we’re going to the year I’m going to start off with talking about. You know, some some some some real, some artisan products but also some non artisan products, some some Truefitt & Hills and all that stuff that’s been around for years. You know, sometimes we kind of forget about them, Michel’s Woolfat. I don’t discuss any more as much you now. We kind of forget about those old-fashioned companies that ve been around for a while and you know the excitement is not there, mainly because there’s no personalities behind the product. But you know that’s going to be something I’m going to revisit this year. I’m going to actually use Williams this year and I planned on using it more than once. I’m going to use Williams, I’m going to use, van her hagen you know, and I’m going to use all that stuff that you can find a drug store and just try it out again, because that’s how I started.
So it’s going to be fun, 2022, and I think the content for the podcast really interesting as well, and we’re going to just have a good time with it. So looking forward to seeing you all next year and having a great time in general with wet shaving. So, guys, as we shut down for 2021, and I wanted to wish you all a very happy and healthy holiday season. In addition to that, I’m really looking forward to our next show, which will be in January, mid-January and just really talking about wet shaving, you know, just please feel free to email me. I love talking about. If you have any questions at any time, you know about anything, you know if I don’t know the answer, I’ll find it. I’ll I’ll I’ll find out or I’ll research it. You know, love talking, let love talking about that stuff. So if you have a few minutes you want to shoot me an email, definitely looking for pen pals out there. So you want to talk about wet shaving. So no problem got time for that and really guy, just really, I’ve got to say thank you for another great year. It’s been great doing this podcast. I’m having so much fun and looking forward to 2022 because we got some great stuff again coming up.
So remember, our show is powered by sharpologist.com, which your father didn’t teach you about shaving. Special thanks to you guys, the listeners and of course Mark mantic59 for everything that he does with the watch in community. All right guys, until then and went to have a happy New year, have a merry Christmas and happy holidays and I’ll see you soon bye bye now.