We’ve been working underground and off the grid almost entirely since the last release of Paladin shaving brushes in June. There’s a lot to show and tell about how we’ve spent the last four months, but I’ll save that for other posts. My purpose here is to give a concise report on 1) the configuration of Dark Holler Design Works in consequence of our recent moves and 2) near-term plans for Paladin™ Shaving.
Where we are
Cody’s part of the shop is now set-up and fully operational in Corvallis, OR. He still carries responsibility for finishing and engraving handles. He continues to manage the Paladin Shaving website. And, of course, he maintains heavy involvement in design work.
Everything related to turning handles has been moved out of our home (in Overland Park, KS) and into nearby space that formerly housed an analytical lab. It’s pretty damn cool. I have a lot more room to spread out, which has enabled placing into service some more machines that I had accumulated over the past two years. I still can’t run more than one machine at a time, but the new configuration will allow me to work more efficiently. That should translate into increased capacity.
Although Cody’s day-to-day physical presence is sorely missed, we frequently Skype with him; he has already made two highly productive trips back (more about the last one in another post); and overall, the new shop configuration is vastly superior to what we were working with previously.
What lies ahead
Right now, we have about 100 Paladin® shaving brushes completed, measured, photographed, and on the shelf ready for release. In queue behind them are about 100 finished and engraved handles waiting for knots. And after I get this posted and do the best I can to catch up email, I’ll start turning out more handles to feed Cody via USPS Priority Mail.
Our plan is to release 50-100 brushes very soon (probably sometime next week) and then follow after another week or two with manageably (for us) sized releases on a more-or-less rolling basis (like maybe 2-3 times per month, depending on how our capacity and customer demand shape up). We’ll continue, at least for the foreseeable future, to post photos of brushes in advance of their release.
We also invested significant time and attention over several months in the first half of this year working with a highly-respected, US-based, soap-maker to develop five new, distinctive, tallow-based shaving soaps exclusively for Paladin Shaving. Those, along with an unscented after-shave balm, will be introduced on a trial basis as soon as the website is ready, hopefully very, very soon. Suffice it to say for now that we’re extremely pleased by how the soaps and balm turned out and excited to add them to our offerings.
In the meantime
Neither Dark Holler Design Works nor Paladin Shaving would exist without Badger & Blade. Its generous community and vast store of information and lore supported my early journey in relation to traditional wet-shaving, which led in a very path-dependent way to the 2013 M&F Chief Group Buy and all that has followed upon that highly formative experience.
The generosity of the Badger & Blade community is manifested in many ways. One of those is the Annual “Saint” Sue Moore Memorial Fundraiser in support of The National Breast Cancer Foundation. We have proudly supported that event in past years and donated a number of items to be included in this year’s auction (the sixth) to be held on October 19 (i.e., in two days). Photos of the items we donated are posted below. Here’s your chance to try a Paladin Shaving Soap before official release or stake claim to a Paladin Shaving brush without racing to check-out (or lining the pockets of a scalper on eBay). And all auction proceeds will go to a great cause. We hope you’ll check it out. There will lots of great stuff to bid on.
So now I’m going to focus on getting descriptions of the soaps written for the website, catching up emails, and getting back to making handles. Please keep an eye out in the usual places for further updates.