Today I wanted to take some time and answer some questions about the upcoming release of The Seven Collection. It will be made available the week of February 19th.
(A heartfelt thank you to all of you who have supported me to date. Your money helped fund the development of this.)
Q: So what is The Seven Collection?
A: It’s the West of Olympia premium product line. The collection draws inspiration from the seven deadly sins. The first product to be released will be a shaving soap called Envy. It will be available for purchase on the week of February 19.
Q: How will The Seven Collection be rolled out?
A: Each product is based on a “deadly sin”, so there will eventually be seven products in the collection. However, I don’t have the capacity or time to produce them all at once. For this reason, each will be made one at a time and offered as a limited edition. In other words, Envy will be produced for a while and when the money for its development is recouped, I will move onto the next.
Q: How long will each product be made available?
A: That’s a hard question to answer, because it’s dependent on how fast I can make my investments in development back. My initial plan calls for the release of 2 – 3 of these products this year, so that gives us a loose schedule of a few-month offering for each. We’ll see how it goes.
Q: What’s the scent like?
A: It’s dark, woody, sweet, and mysterious with a bit of spice. It represents the innocent origins of envy, but also the dark and resentful places it often leads us to. I think it may be a bit polarizing, but that’s ok. The intent is to best represent the feeling of envy, not to create a “safe” fragrance. The note profile is:
- Citrus Accord, White Florals, Anise, Clove, Nag Champa, Cedarwood, Amber
When the product page is live it will have a more detailed fragrance description. But I'll tell you this: my wife doesn't like the smell of most of the gear in my shaving den, but she loves this stuff.
Q: What makes it special?
A: The ingredients, the performance, and the packaging. I believe in continuous improvement. If I’m not constantly challenging the limits of my ability, I’m doing something wrong. The development of this soap has certainly challenged my limits, and I’m really proud of the result.
This soap boasts of botanical extracts for skin feel, excellent hard water performance, and premium packaging. It has the creamy lather density many of us seek out and the hard water tolerance of some of the best I’ve come across.
Q: Is it more expensive? Why?
A: Yes, Envy will have a retail price of $20.99. This is about a 60% increase as compared to the base price of a soap in The Original Collection. Transparency is important to me, so I’ll tell you exactly why:
- There are more ingredients and the raw material cost per unit is much higher.
- The packaging is better, which costs more. The containers in particular are large, thick-walled tubs.
- The label design for this product is more expensive.
- The soap itself is actually pretty challenging to make. Due to the specific nature of the ingredients, things like temperature, pH, and oxidation play critically important roles in ways that aren’t considerations in most other shaving soap recipes.
- I burned a lot of money experimenting, and I've got to recoup some of that invesment.
But here’s the thing. It’s really good stuff. I’m not at all unaware of what market prices are for shaving soaps in different performance ranges. Given the performance, it’s my opinion that this product is priced competitively.
Q: Will samples be made available?
A: I’m going to try discontinuing all samples (for at least a good while). The data tells me that the people who have ordered my samples typically do not re-order. However, the re-order rate for people who purchase full-size containers is quite good. This seems backwards, because you’d think a sample is what would lead to a full-size purchase. I don’t know the exact reason for this, but the purchasing behavior seems to indicate that people enjoy the soap more when they’re able to experience it as a full-size product.
Of course everything is subject to change and it’s really important to listen to what the customer is saying. But for now, unless there is overwhelming demand, I’m not planning on offering samples of anything.
Q: Will the other soaps be available while Envy is for sale?
A: Yes. You may have noticed I’ve been sold out recently. That’s because all of my time and attention has been devoted to development of The Seven Collection. Once I’m able to make batches in quantity again, my capacity to make the other soaps will increase. That being said, adding another product to the lineup always spreads out my time more, so I may sell out of soaps more frequently.
For my final reveal, here’s a bit of a teaser: The Seven Collection’s description as it will read on the page...
“The seven deadly sins are the cardinal vices referenced in Christian teachings and scripture. They are the doorways to sinful behavior and the temptation that surrounds us all. They represent pleasure and satisfaction at the expense of our morality. They are the deeds that corrupt our conscience. The drunkards, the lawless, and the heretics find comfort here. They are:
The Seven Collection is a sinister celebration of these sins. It is a white flag of surrender raised to temptation’s army. It is a shameless retreat from righteousness. Each product in the Seven Collection is inspired by a sin, and you are invited to experience each. Come and partake in the forbidden fruit, for it is this kind that tastes best.”
I look forward to getting this stuff in your hands. I'm excited for others to experience it!