When I started West of Olympia, I certainly gave some thought to what types of customer feedback and concerns I might get in the course of business. I thought carefully about things like international shipping, the types of ingredients I wanted to use, pricing, and so on. To this point, however, the most consistent point of customer dissent and confusion has to do with the name. I’m not complaining! If that’s the biggest pain point, I think I’m doing alright. That being said, let me explain the name and idea behind the brand a bit.
The story behind the name isn’t particularly inspiring or intelligent. It’s an adaptation of a username I’ve carried for years: OlympiaWest. I have a connection to the online wet shaving community on Reddit, where I go by that username. “West of Olympia” was just a simple way for me to retain any small amount of name recognition I had. I know it’s confusing that I make the soap in Kelso, WA, which is south of Olympia. Sorry about that. But the name has nothing to do with my geography.
The dog in the logo is a subtle way of remembering our Italian Greyhound, Elon. My wife and I rescued Elon as a senior dog in January of 2016. He was our first dog together and quickly became a super fun part of our lives. We only had him for 11 months when he was diagnosed with kidney failure. He stretched it out with us for another 8 months, but sadly, we had to put him down in June of 2017. The open space in the logo is there so he has “room to run around”. (Though I should mention my designer did an excellent job executing the concept)
“Everyone thinks they have the best dog. And none of them are wrong.”
- W.R. Purche