Welcome to the Paladin Shaving™ website! It's been a long time coming. We give heartfelt thanks for the continuing interest and support of all who have (more or less) patiently waited for us to get it together. The fact is we’re still not quite there yet, but this is definitely a big step.
We established Dark Holler Design Works and started making Paladin™ shaving brushes in August of 2014. The story of how that all came about will be the subject of a separate article. I want to use the inaugural post on this blog simply to introduce the website and say a few things about its objectives.
First, paladinshaving.com is and will probably remain a work in progress. (So is this venture for that matter.) We invite you to visit and explore the site frequently. Our goals for it are 1) to provide a means of efficient communication regarding our products; 2) to offer an online shopping experience that comes as close as possible to that of selecting a shaving brush in a physical store; 3) to share our thoughts and perspectives related to wet-shaving; and 4) to contribute to building and maintaining the community of traditional wet-shavers.
The Paladin Shaving Brush Shop (hosted by Shopify with payments processed by PayPal Pro) is, to the best of our knowledge, unique in a few significant respects. One of those is that we post front and back photos of every individual brush offered for sale in the shop. (Note in this regard that we individually hand-wash and comb each knot before it's set. We find it easier to match knots to handles when we know what the knots look like after they’ve opened up a bit.) We also include an approximate measurement of free loft (for a definition of that term see Knot Notes). And finally, every Paladin brush made available for purchase on this site is associated with both a serial number and a knot code (also discussed in Knot Notes) that provides information regarding source, type, general characteristics, and acquisition date of the batch from which that particular brush’s knot was selected for installation in its handle. Of course, it's perfectly fine not to have any interest in those details. But they're of interest to us, so we share them.
The way we go about making brushes limits how many we can produce. And our production capacity can very depending on a number a factors. We presently don’t have a basis for confidently forecasting future demand, but I won’t be surprised if the stock we have on hand at opening is rapidly depleted. We suspended acceptance of new orders in July of last year until we could get a site up, and in the time since a sizable list of prospective brush-buyers has accumulated. Please don’t be discouraged if what you want isn’t available (or it quickly disappears) when you first browse the shop. More brushes are in the works. There will probably be some lag (hopefully not more than a few weeks) between the launch of this site and replenishment of stock. We have a knot order in process, fulfillment of which will temporarily gate production of more completed brushes, but not for long.
At this time, shipping orders outside the United States poses significant challenges for us. We’re working to resolve those issues. Until that is accomplished, best would be for international customers to make arrangements for a friend or family member in the U.S. to purchase and/or forward desired orders on their behalf. We apologize for any resulting frustration or inconvenience. Trust that it doesn’t reflect a lack of concern or respect on our part.
A Few Thoughts for Prospective Wet-shavers
Although opportunities to introduce variety into the practice abound, enlightened shaving only requires an open mind, a few quality products, mastery of some basic techniques, and willingness to give up thinking about everything else in the world for a few minutes.
A decent razor and functional shaving brush are the essential tools for traditional wet-shaving. And the truth is that both of these can be obtained for a very modest price. The last thing we want to do is discourage any prospective wet-shaver by suggesting that one needs to spend $150 or more on a badger-hair brush to achieve satisfying results. It just ain’t so. And for most, it’s probably best to start out with a focus on the basics. We’ll still be here when you’re ready for a Paladin Shaving Brush. In the meantime, feel free to hang around anyhow. We enjoy the company.
Thanks once again to all whose support, interest, and encouragement has contributed in some way to making this venture possible for us. You know who you are. So do we.