There’s something about owning a tool that was made just for you. It fits your personality, and represents yourself not only as a user, but can be a personal reflection of who you are. At least that’s how I consider it.
If you’ve set your alarm for the early morning hours to get on the Wolf Whisker waiting list, or have been lucky enough to get one during the random releases, then you’ll understand what makes Wolf Whiskers (WW) a very interesting wet shaving company. Operating as a one-man shop WW has been making shaving brushes since 2013, and was even the first artisan interviewed on The Wet Shaving News Podcast. A custom, made to order shaving brush company, the designs, shapes and even the ordering process are all unique to this one artisan.
[Note: The author is not affiliated with Wolf Whiskers and all brushes were purchased at regular retail directly from WW through the regular ordering process. ]
Peter Wolf is the man who operates Wolf Whiskers. Retired from the US Navy, Peter has always enjoyed working with his hands and building things. He began making shave brushes in 2014 with several shapes and colors. Since then he’s added several dozen shapes and color themes to the portfolio, and is constantly evolving.
Wolf Whisker brushes are completely custom, made to order products in the USA , so no two brushes are alike. With pricing starting at $65, a WW brush is in line for most budgets. Peter is very passionate about his work and is very patient to answer any questions during the process.
If you’ve been around the wet shaving world for several years, you’ll probably remember the WW craze of 2014-2017, when the brushes were in extremely high demand, and selling on the secondary market for insane prices. Although the quality has never changed, the demand has found balance.
The Craze of 2014-2017:
Wolf Whiskers became very popular amongst users and collectors alike from 2014 to 2017. It was not uncommon to see WW brushes sell for more than 500% (I’ve seen one sell for over $1000 usd) of the retail price on platforms such as ebay, BST (Buy Sell Trade) sites, and Facebook Raffles. Since the waitlist process took several months to have a brush made, many wet shavers did not want to wait and were willing to pay a premium for one. This led to brushes being posted for sale to sell out in a matter of seconds and sometimes the same brush would be “flipped” (resold for a profit) several times before it was used. It wasn’t until the emergence of some new brushmakers to the game that the craze of WW slowed down, but even today the waitlist fills up in a matter of minutes.
As of 2021, Wolf Whisker brushes could be had for retail to +20% for limited models (such as an “inside out” brush. Although the flipping process might have slowed down (it has for many wet shaving items), WW brushes are still popular today.
The Ordering Process:
The actual process of ordering a WW brush is unique as it requires the person who desires the brush to put some work in. Peter operates using a five step ordering process in order to make it easy. It, is very straightforward and makes having a brush created really fun.
To purchase a WW brush you will need to first get on the official waiting list which sounds simple, but is not as easy as you may think. WW only opens the waitlist on certain dates which are communicated in advance through the “Waitlist Info” tab on the website. These dates even include the time, which can be early in the morning, or late at night and even the time zone so you know exactly when it opens. Directions are clear, click on the link and sign up, and simply wait your turn. Easy enough?
So why the list? It helps Peter in planning ahead in order to have the right materials and products for the brushes as well as continue the custom process of ordering so every brush gets the same attention to detail. Nothing is mass produced, and each brush is made to order, so the list helps keep all the attention on the brush being made. It also helps the customer plan accordingly and know exactly when their brush will be made.
There are usually only a few spots open so it’s extremely important that you’re punctual and follow directions. Soon after you’ll receive communication via email regarding your place on the list, and your name will be added to the “public waitlist link” so you can view your place in line.
Now the hardest part, waiting. It can take several months to make it to the top of the list and you’ll receive a “custom order form” link when your turn comes up. Once received, you’ll have a few days to build your brush.
The form allows you to choose the shape, color theme, shaving knot (if desired) and delivery options. Peter makes most of the resins for the brushes to order so once finalized he begins to make your brush.
When choosing the handle shape, you can choose (for a nominal charge) if you would like to customize the bottom, (add flutes or vertical grooves) and if desired one of the four specialty handle shapes which can also be further customized with flutes.
Next, choose a color theme from the ones provided or custom color cast, which can include a custom theme or modification such as a translucent bottom. There are some cool options, such as adding a translucent bottom, stacking multiple color themes or experimental shapes. See image of my brushes below: the first two are basic, the second two are custom.
It’s important to note when adding flutes, specialty shapes, and ccc, it does increase the brush price significantly. As previously mentioned, with designs starting at $65, it’s easy to double the price of the brush with specific add-ons.
During the process you’ll be able to choose the shaving knot of your choice. There are several options, ranging in different diameters, materials (synthetic, natural hair) or you can choose to provide your own, or no knot at all. I would usually go more into detail here, but since there are so many knot options, it makes it difficult to provide an accurate review as we all know YMMV.
When Peter is finished, he’ll send you several photos of the brush to be reviewed and once approved you’ll get an invoice. The process is straightforward and to the point, and he will walk you through it.
Of course there are times that the brush may not come out to your liking, which is the reasoning for the amount of communication during the process. If this happens, Peter will make another one and the other brush will be sold to the general public, which is usually randomly and on a first come first serve basis. In the past he’s made it fun, asking to look for a particular image on a website, of the first one to answer a particular question, so always be on the lookout.
There are several design variations that have proved to be very popular amongst those placing orders.
Inside Out Brush:
Although every WW brush is made to order and custom to the preference of the owner, the “inside out” design is the most difficult to obtain, with only several brushes being made in the past eight years. The bottom of the brush is transparent, with a design in the middle making it look as if it’s suspended in mid-air.
Brushes with Translucent bottom:
This may be my personal favorite theme. Translucent designs use a resin that is “see through” and can be made from a multitude of colors.
Stacked Color Brush:
These “stacked” color brushes use two different themes for the top and bottom of the brush handle.
After several years of custom brushmaking, it looks like Wolf Whiskers is here to stay although recently Peter has slowed down production. WW has come a long way in terms of designs and it seems every so often you see a new color theme, shape or really cool brush come out that really wows the wet shaving world.
Having ordered several myself I can safely say that it is a fun experience and recommend purchasing at least one truly custom wet shaving item that’s specifically made for you, during your wet shaving tenure, as it’s an easy way to express yourself.
From the investment standpoint I would say that WW brushes are a safe investment, one should expect the value to increase slowly over time and large spikes if Peter decides to retire.