It’s been one week since the store opened, so I’d like to take a minute and give you some insight about where I see this whole thing going. As I’ve said before, this is a hobby. I have no plans (or desire) to take over the world. That being said, my inventory has been selling. So here’s where my head is at and what you can expect from me over the next several months and beyond. Disclaimer: these aren’t my personal commitments, this is just a fun way to tell you about my ideas that may or may not come to fruition.
- I will continue to develop The Original Collection shaving soaps. I’d like to expand this to include a good handful of scents. I remain confident that this is a very high value product worth the reasonable price, so this will remain my flagship line for a while.
- I will experiment with a more premium shaving soap base. Should products keep moving (let’s hope they do) and as my customer base keeps expanding, I think a natural next step for me is to offer a product with truly top-tier performance. I haven't formulated this yet, but I've done a lot of research. I know which oils I want to experiment with and I know what the texture of the lather needs to be like. I envision this product with a more extravagant ingredient formulation and a different lather texture. It would be sold at a higher price with better packaging.
- I will experiment with aftershave products. I’ve done a little aftershave creation of my own for personal use, but I've purposefully put it down the page on the list of priorities simply because I don’t want to try and do too much, too soon. Aftershave requires a different set of ingredients to procure and work with. I also haven’t decided if I want to ship an alcohol-containing product or not. Doing so requires a special permit and comes with shipping restrictions. This is a hobby for me, so an undertaking like that is a big commitment.
When will all of this happen? Well, to tell you the truth, I'm not sure. If I had to guess, I would say those three bullet points are more or less in chronological order. I hope to be adding to The Original Collection by the end of the year.
My honest first priority right now is to make back the money that I spent getting West of Olympia up and running. Once I’ve done that, I think I’ll be more comfortable making long-term strategic decisions and doing some “R&D” experimentation. I need to walk before I can run. And right now, walking just means finding the best way to produce the product, manage the business end of things, and simultaneously enjoy life with my wife. (I got married a few weeks ago! -- That's me and her!)
Much love to all of you guys. I’ll leave you with a quote that gave me pause today for some reason. Until next time!
“It is the mark of a truly intelligent person to be moved by statistics.”
-George Bernard Shaw