SEPTEMBER IMPACT | MAKE A WISH OREGON

In lieu of offering our "Cancer Free" sale this year, we have opted to donate 15% of sales from the first week of September to The Make-A-Wish Foundation® of Oregon. The Make-A-Wish Foundation® of Oregon is an organization of thousands of volunteers, donors and supporters who work to grant life-changing wishes of children with critical illnesses living in Oregon and Clark County, Washington. Please read on below for Scott's personal reflections on this decision and what it means to have positive impact for a child battling a critical illness.

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Dear Reader,

This week, Portland Razor Company will be partnering with The Make-A-Wish Foundation® of Oregon, and donating 15% of all website sales to this great foundation, whose cause is near and dear to my heart. As some of you know, in 2015/2016 I battled cancer and survived with the help of my friends and family. I feel very fortunate to have had this experience but it was certainly the toughest thing I have ever endured. I know that surviving cancer is one of the greatest gifts I could and will ever receive, and it has become a goal in my life to give back.

Every year, thousands of children and their families deal with the same hardships that me and my family did in 2015. Between the physical, mental and emotional stress of battling a critical illness, it can be very difficult for these children to live as positively and as happily as they deserve. The Make-A-Wish Foundation® of Oregon plays a very important role in helping lift the spirits of these brave Wish Kids and their families. The simple act of granting a wish to a child can have an incredibly positive impact on their mental and physical well being. The Make-A-Wish Foundation® of Oregon is here to make sure that every Wish Kid is given the chance of happiness. Make-A-Wish has granted thousands of wishes and by donating to this cause, we hope to help grant the wishes of as many children as is possible.

I know first hand that having something to look forward to is important during the treatment of a critical illness. Minutes, hours, days, and months really start to add up when they are spent in a hospital bed. During my treatment, I dreamed of the day that I could once again ride my mountain bike and told myself that every minute of treatment was bringing me ever closer to this dream. One friend brought me some new parts to go on my mountain bike when I could ride it again, and a nurse found an old stationary pedaling machine in the hospital and brought it to my room. These little acts of kindness functioned as reminders that I had a life to look forward to after cancer and helped keep me going. Make A Wish helps give Wish Kids something to look forward to, and I believe that donating to this cause is one of the most effective ways we can help these children and their families.

Myself, my family, and Portland Razor Company all thank you for your continued support, and we wish good health for all of you and your loved ones!

Best,

Scott Miyako


How It Works

Portland Razor Co. will donate 15%  of all online sales during the first week of September 2018 in support of The Make-A-Wish Foundation® of Oregon. These donations will continue through the end of January. We hope to aid those in need as much as we can and thank you for your support.

If you would like to make a donation on your own accord, you can donate directly to Make-A-Wish Foundation® of Oregon here.

What is Aftershave?

We seek to provide our customers with the highest-quality products and the knowledge and skills to use them. To that end, we are proud to introduce our new Executive Aftershave Tonic & Aftershave Balm as part of our new Executive Shave Essentials line.

What is Aftershave?

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Shaving can be a pretty brutal process for your skin. Even a comfortable shave removes some dermis, exposing it to the elements and leaving it vulnerable to minor skin infections that cause razor burn and razor bumps. A quality aftershave soothes the skin post-shave and protects against infection, resulting in a more comfortable shave.

AFTERSHAVE TONIC VS. AFTERSHAVE BALM

Aftershave tonics come in liquid form and are sprayed or splashed onto the skin. These can go by many names "aftershave tonic", "aftershave splash" or just "aftershave". They are typically made with a high concentration of alcohol to disinfect and create a cooling sensation as they evaporate. However, too much alcohol can be irritating and dry out your skin. For this reason, we recommend choosing an aftershave tonic with a lower concentration of alcohol and following up with an aftershave balm to moisturize.

Now let's examine how an aftershave balm differs from an aftershave tonic. Aftershave balms look and feel more like lotion. They containt ingredients to protect and moisturize the skin post-shave. A balm will have less alcohol content and therefore be gentler and less drying on the skin. Some aftershave balms can be used alone, though we recommend using them in conjunction with a traditional aftershave tonic for best results.

THE EXECUTIVE AFTERSHAVE TONIC

Our warm & invigorating Executive Aftershave Tonic tones and protects skin from razor burn and irritation. Formulated using witch hazel, natural essential oils, a minimum amount of alcohol (as an emulsifier), and aloe extract, this aftershave tonic cleanses without the burn of traditional, alcohol-based aftershaves and is gentler for sensitive skin.

To use, shake well and dispense 3-4 sprays of the tonic onto palm. Rub hands together and apply to shaved area. Allow to evaporate.

THE EXECUTIVE AFTERSHAVE BALM

Our Executive Aftershave Balm tones and protects skin from razor burn and irritation. Formulated with witch hazel, aloe vera, essential oils, and vitamin E, this post-shave balm cleanses and protects without the burn of traditional, alcohol-based aftershaves and is better for sensitive skin.

To use, dispense dime-sized amount of product onto palm. Rub hands together and apply to shaved area. Remove any excess with a moist towel. For best results, we recommend applying the Executive Aftershave Balm after using the Tonic.

EXECUTIVE AFTERSHAVE TONIC SPECS:

Citrus Bay Scent Handmade in Portland, OR 3.3 oz. Crafted from high quality, natural ingredients Formulated to warm & invigorate while soothing and protecting the skin Spray pump nozzle for easy dispensing Shatter-proof bottle Ingredients: Water, Witch Hazel, SD Alcohol, Glycerin, Essential Oil Blend, Aloe Extract

EXECUTIVE AFTERSHAVE BALM SPECS:

Citrus Bay Scent Handmade in Porltand, OR 3.3 oz. Crafted from high quality, natural ingredients Formulated to warm & invigorate while soothing and protecting the skin Easy-pour, shatter-proof bottle Ingredients: Water, Witch Hazel, Aloe Vera Liquid, Citric Acid, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Sulfite, Avocado Oil, Rice Bran Oil, BTMS-50, Glycerin, Stearyl Alcohol, Oat Extract, DL Penthenol, Essential Oil Blend, Optiphen, Buckthorn Extract, Vitamin E

The Executive Aftershave Tonic & Aftershave Balm work together to soothe, tone, and protect skin post-shave, no matter what blade you’re using! 

What is Pre-Shave Conditioner?

We seek to provide our customers with the highest-quality products and the knowledge and skills to use them. To that end, we are proud to introduce our new Executive Pre-Shave Conditioner as part of our new Executive Shave Essentials line.

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What is Pre-Shave Conditioner?

Pre-shave conditioners are chemically and functionally different from pre-shave oils. Pre-shave oils primarily add lubricity to your shave, and help to get more performance out of cheap shave creams and soaps. Since our Executive Shave Cream already contains high levels of quality, natural oils for lubrication, we decided to go a different route: use a pre-shave conditioner to soften the hair and extend the life of the razor's edge. Our Executive Pre-Shave Conditioner has a lower pH (higher acidity) than pre-shave oils. This quality of our Pre-Shave Conditioner softens hair and makes the hair easier to cut. Because hairs will be softer, less pressure may be used during shaving and the blade will experience less wear and tear. For our first pre-shave conditioner, we have added eucalyptus and mint essential oils to create a soothing, cooling sensation while you prep for your shave.

How to Use the Executive Pre-Shave Conditioner

The best time to shave is always after a shower, when the hair is hydrated and warm; a hot, moist towel is a great substitute if you don't want to shower. While your hair is hydrated and gently towel-dried:

  1. Dispense a dime-sized amount of conditioner onto your palm.
  2. Rub your hands together and massage into the hair.
  3. You can remove any excess with moist towel.
  4. Allow essential oil fragrance to bloom and cool the skin for a soothing, aromatic shaving experience.
  5. Lather shave soap/shave cream as usual.

PRE-SHAVE CONDITIONER SPECS:

Eucalyptus Mint Scent, Handmade in Portland, OR, 3.3 oz., Crafted from high quality, natural ingredients, formulated for smooth and comfortable shaves, Easy-pour, shatter-proof bottle. Ingredients: Water, Cetearyl Alcohol, Betaine, Coco-Glucoside, Shea Butter, Olive Oil, Sunflower Oil, Coconut Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Jojoba Oil, Aloe Leave Juice Powder, Xanthan Gum, Essential Oil Blend, Citric Acid, Lactic Acid, Benzoic Acid, Dehydroacetic Acid, Vitamin E

The Executive Pre-Shave Conditioner softens hair, extending the life of the razor's edge and soothes and cools the skin for a more comfortable traditional wet shave, no matter what blade you’re using! 

Source: https://www.portlandrazorco.com/shave-esse...

PR Collaborators | Sarah Wolf of Wolf Ceramics

PR Collaborators is a blog series highlighting hardworking individuals who help Portland Razor Co. be the best we can be. We consider the people and companies featured here to be integral to our success and hope our readers will show their support for these wonderful makers.

Several months ago we had the privilege of hosting local photographer and designer Connor Ebbinghouse at Portland Razor Co. Scrolling through his Instagram feed gives viewers a glimpse of Portland life and all the wonderful and interesting people we have the privilege of calling our neighbors. In browsing through Connor's beautiful galleries we came across one such neighbor, Sarah Wolf of Wolf Ceramics. We had been keeping our eyes open for the right collaborator to make shave dishes and scuttles for Portland Razor Co. and we were taken by the quality and aesthetic of Sarah's work immediately. We reached out to her and were delighted when she agreed to take on the project! As an added bonus, it's great to know that it is in fact possible to meet great people on the Internet!

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Q: Tell our readers about your business. What do you do? What is your company story?
I started Wolf Ceramics about two years ago and shifted to working in my studio full time just over a year ago. Ceramics had been a hobby since grade school, but only a hobby. I studied Geochemistry in college and then almost went to graduate school for architecture. I kept coming back to clay because I love working with my hands and it is incredibly satisfying to make objects that will be well used. I decided to go back to school for ceramics instead of architecture and eventually chose to take the leap and start my own production studio. While gearing up to setup my own studio, I took part in a Mercy Corps small business program, taking business classes and participating in a matched savings grant program to help cover equipment costs. Now I spend my days in the studio and it is so fun. I am energized by exciting collaborations with other Portland businesses (Like Portland Razor Company!), which push me to try new things.

Wolf Ceramics Mug Sample

Q: Why Portland?
Portland is my home! I grew up here in Northwest Portland. I came back to Portland after leaving for 7 years, and now have a studio in the same building as my mother! She is an artist and has a painting studio just up the stairs from my work space.

Q: Is being in Portland important to you and your business? Why/why not?
Portland has been such a wonderful place for my business to grow, and for so many different reasons. Because I grew up here, I feel the support of my family and the community that a grew up with. But beyond that, the creative community in Portland is so welcoming, supportive, and collaborative. I am constantly meeting people who are doing interesting things and thinking of new ways that we can collaborate or work together in ways that are mutually beneficial. I have found the community of ceramic artists here to be kind and generous. The world of ceramics had also connected me with all sorts of other industries, from restaurants and coffee shops to florists and photographers.

Q: What sharp things do you use (knives, razors, axes, etc) at work?
What tools are your favorite to use? Trimming tools! After throwing on the wheel, we let work dry part way, and then flip it to trim and shape the bottom of the piece. I also use razor blades in the studio for all sorts of things, from cutting handles to the right size, to cleaning up glaze lines.

Q: Where do you look for inspiration?
I love textiles, in fact I may have a textile obsession. I also love drawing and playing with shapes and negative space. Sometimes I’ll peruse Instagram or Pinterest for patterns and shapes, start drawing, and just see where it takes me. I also love working from prompts. Sometimes a friend or business will come to me with a question or suggestion. Maybe they love a particular handle or wish that that their mug was different in some way. Maybe they need a particular tool and haven’t been able to find it anywhere. These sorts of conversations always get me thinking and often lead to new forms and new designs.

Sarah Wolf of Wolf Ceramics at Work

Q: We love your product. In your own words, what’s better about it than its big-box store competitors?
I find that I always enjoy using things more when I know where they came from and who made them. Its the same with coffee mugs as scuttle mugs. When I use a hand made object that I know was made with care, it often pushes me to be more thought full and intentional in what I am doing. I find my self taking more pleasure in the experience of using that object and even being more present in that moment.

Wolf Ceramics Coffee Pour Over

Q: What is the most “Portland” thing to ever happen to you?
One day I found myself biking down the street along side a man on horseback.

Q: Do you straight shave? If not, would you consider it?
Nope, but maybe...

Q: What is one thing you wish more of your customers knew about you or your work?
I want to somehow show my customers more about the process that goes into making each piece. In fact, I have been working with a friend on a tiny short film that documents making one mug from start to finish! I think that ceramics often have a low perceived value, because you can go to Ikea and buy 10 perfectly matching, factory made mugs for $20 or $30. Its always a little nerve racking pricing new work, because I want things to be affordable and accessible to all sorts of people, but I also need to charge enough to make my business viable. When I know more about how something is made, and the complex challenges that the maker faces when creating it, I find my self feeling good about paying a fair price for the object and more inclined to treat it with care and make it last. I feel more inclined to own fewer, higher quality things.

Q:How can readers get in touch with you?
Check out my website wolfceramics.com or email me at sarah[at]wolfceramics.com!

Introducing the Professional Line

We are excited to introduce the Portland Razor Co. Professional Line Straight Razors! The Professional Line Straight Razors can be fully sanitized due to their unique blade and scales materials, improvements which make them the ultimate shaving tool for professional barbers and stylists. We believe that conventional straight razors not only out-perform disposable razors in many categories, they also offer a waste-free solution to practitioners in search of green alternatives.

The Problem

" --In reality, conventional straight razors can be used in most states with proper sanitary technique."

For decades, disposable razors have been commonplace in shops across the United States. Used properly, disposable blades are perfectly safe and sanitary. That said, blade changes take time, pose an added risk to the professional handling them, often barbers will have to throw out unused blades because they are simply not sharp, and they end up in our landfills as hazardous waste. Students are often told in barber school that there is no alternative, that conventional straight razor use is illegal or unsafe. In reality, conventional straight razors can be used in most states with proper sanitary technique. (We have checked rules & regs in many states including OR, CA, WA, PA, FL, TN, NY, NJ… In fact, the only state we have confirmed prohibits Conventional Straight Razor Use is Rhode Island!)

Even knowing the proper sanitary technique is not enough, unfortunately. Existing razor manufacturers never changed their design or materials to keep up with evolving requirements. For example, all sharp implements which may come in contact with the skin must be fully immersible in a high-level disinfectant. This means the whole razor, scales and all, must be fully immersed to be sanitized. Products like Barbicide do a very good job of destroying organic matter, which makes them great for killing contagions (yay!) and bad for plastics, wood, horn… everything traditionally used to make razor scales. It’s also brutal on most blade steels, causing rust or deformation of the edge.

With these problems in mind, we were ready to get into the shop and find the solution.

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Design Process

Our first and most obvious task was to find materials that are easily sanitized. Our Cascade Steel has the perfect chemistry and edge-retention characteristics to survive prolonged exposure to Barbicide with little to no change in sharpness or surface finish. It’s also easier to clean and maintain than carbon steel blades(such as our O1 razors from our Classic and Artisan lines) without sacrificing cutting performance.

With the blade accounted for, the scales posed our next challenge. We wanted something durable, non-reactive with Barbicide, and easy to work with. This meant metal was out of the question, being either too flimsy or too heavy for our purposes. We settled on resin-based materials, being widely available, lightweight, and easier to work with. After exhaustive testing, we went with a high-impact, chemical-resistant fiberglass and resin composite.

In thinking of how professionals tend to put more mileage on their tools than hobbyists, we decided to upgrade the rest of the hardware while we were at it. Stainless pins and washers replaced the usual brass, making the razor more durable overall.

Once we found all the appropriate materials, we began vigorously testing them in a real-world environment: Portland Shave Shop. Each of our barbers was equipped with a prototype razor, instructed on its care and use, and given license to test them however they saw fit.

It makes sense that a razor designed for use on one’s own face might not be ideal for shaving others. The barbers would work with the razors for a few weeks and come back to us with their feedback, and we would take the razors into the shop for modifications. We started from scratch more than a few times, deciding that we needed two different razors to tackle most jobs in the barbershop. The resulting designs were worth the effort. They come with some obvious changes, a few less-so: we extended the jimps and made them barely deeper to improve grip, and the overall length of the razors was shortened so they would fit in sanitation jars from common manufacturers. The taper of the tang and balance point of the blade were altered to make the razor more comfortable in pinch grips and when held back-handed, grips more common in the barbershop than in the bathroom at home.

Performance

The barbers testing our razors had great feedback. The first thing usually had to do with tactile feedback, or how they could feel the hair and skin by holding the razor. Picture a disposable-blade razor for a moment; a thin piece of metal (the blade) is inserted into a metal or plastic housing with several moving parts, and is fastened together with pins, springs, or magnets. This creates several degrees of separation between the hair being cut and the hand of the barber. All that plastic and hardware absorbs the force of the hair against the blade and it never makes it to the barber’s hand! By contrast, conventional razors are a single piece of steel with only one degree of separation between the client's hair and the barber's hand. This results in an immediate difference in how much the barber can feel on the skin through the razor, allowing them to make adjustments on the fly more naturally than with a disposable blade. This has resulted in fewer nicks, closer shaves, and greater overall comfort for the client.

Second, conventional razors tend to be less aggressive. While some may see this as a drawback, most find that it allows them to give a closer shave that is less irritating to the client’s skin. Our theory is this: you want a razor that is sharp enough to cut the hair with no resistance, but not so sharp that it removes more than the topmost layer of dead skin. The blade should pass effortlessly through hair but glide over the surface of the skin without irritating it.

Third was ease of maintenance. Cleanup is a cinch thanks to the stainless blade, as the whole razor can be rinsed under running water without fear of rust. Sanitation is also simple as with any other sharp in a barber’s toolkit. Because the blade steel and scales materials are non-reactive, they can be fully immersed in Barbicide Plus--or other high-level disinfectants--without the material deteriorating or harming performance. One drawback of course is the need to strop, but this is far outweighed by the benefits of a non-disposable blade. Once the technique is mastered, stropping can be done at the chair while the client is enjoying a hot towel or while your next razor is resting in disinfectant, allowing you to multitask.

On the topic of stropping: we find the edge is durable enough to forego stropping between every client if the blade is only used for neck shaves. Basic lineups don’t seem to put as much wear on the blade, so barbers in busy shops need not take the few extra minutes between clients to strop; only sanitizing is necessary.

Finally, there’s nothing to throw away. We care about our planet and our impact on it, so finding ways to reduce waste is important to us. Switching to conventional straight razors at Portland Shave Shop has allowed us to do away with disposable razors entirely, meaning we both generate less waste and help our barbers save time and money.

1-½” Professional Straight Razor // Line Up

With a shorter blade and a familiar profile, this razor is ideal for line ups and detailed razor work around the ear, or in creative cuts. The blade still has enough weight behind it for a full face shave, but if you are a specialist and are shaving faces every day, we recommend the 2-½” model.

2-½” Professional Straight Razor // Barber Special

This razor most strongly resembles the vintage blades used in barbershops for over 100 years, and brings traditional barbering hurdling into the 21st century. Longer than the Line Up razor, this blade is for barbers whose practice is built around the traditional straight shave. The added surface area allows you to make more strokes before wiping the blade, and the added weight carries the blade through whiskers with less effort.

specs

  • Handmade in Portland, OR
  • 5/8 Round Point Straight Razor
  • 2-1/2" cutting edge
  • Can be fully submerged in high-level disinfectant
  • Durable scales
  • Stainless pins and washers
  • Lower and Upper Jimps for Added Grip and Control
  • Quarter-Hollow Ground Stainless Cascade Steel
  • Hardened to 62 HRC
  • Shave-Ready: Hand-Honed to 12K grit and Stropped Before Shipping
  • Pinned by Hand