The purpose of this blog is simply to serve as a place to post updates and other information related to our products, plans, progress, this website, etc. It's going to take us a while to catch up to ourselves, and launching this site without having enough brushes available to meet pent-up demand could, at least for a while, result in more frustration than satisfaction. But putting off launch won't solve that problem. So we're going to forge ahead and do the best we can. We'll use this blog to let anyone who cares to follow it know what's in the works and how production is shaping up. We're also going to give Twitter a whirl with the same objective.
Our hunch is that the Paladin Shaving Brush Shop will get hit pretty hard as soon as it opens. There are a lot of different style/size/material variations represented in the store right now (i.e., prior to opening), but only one or two examples of many of them. We have enough knots on-hand to make another 75-100 brushes, but that's not all that many to spread across six handle styles, three sizes, and more than 15 different materials. We're close to finalizing another order of knots, which should be delivered to us by sometime around mid-May. Those knots will, we hope, put us in position to hit a sustainable stride. But capacity will continue to be limited just based on how we go about making brushes. And none of us at Dark Holler Design Works is interested in scaling production at the expense of doing what we love the way we love doing it.
At present, the work we do gets done by three pairs of hands, and all in the family. We draft the designs ourselves in CAD programs; do our own post-processing; write all of the CNC code (much of it manually with ad hoc adjustments frequently made on the fly while standing at the lathe); finalize designs through iterative prototyping; source various materials, parts, and supplies; fabricate some of our tooling (e.g., mandrels, gauges, sizing templates); run the machines doing all manual tool changes; sand and finish each and every handle 100% by hand; engrave the handles; hand-paint the engravings; photograph completed brushes; take and record knot measurements; pack and ship brushes; correspond with the community; manage the website; deal with all of the administrative requirements (book-keeping, legal compliance, etc.); and maintain the equipment, which frequently requires doing repairs with scavenged parts on machines that have been out of production for decades. We also make our own coffee and take out the trash. There is no delegation. That's why we have to find ways to achieve reasonable efficiency in order to preserve time to make brushes. Using this website effectively will be key to accomplishing that goal.
As always, thanks for your continuing interest, support, and patience.