I’ve never really fetishized the act of shaving. It’s just not an art to me, apologies to the nice people at that classy company that believes it is. Of course I want a good, clean shave, and I do love the refreshing feeling it gives me, but I’m not going to spend any longer than I have to in the bathroom, nor am I going to geek out over some $200 nickel-plated handle for a Gillette Fusion. If carving your puss into perfection with some straight razor and leather strop transports you to a 1930’s barber shop, I’m happy for you, but my interests lie elsewhere. The founders of Harry’s, a new shaving supply website, seem to get this. Oh, they’re big into shaving, and probably consider it an art themselves, but they understand that I just want to shave well, and fast, with minimal fuss and expense.
Harry’s was launched by Andy Katz-Mayfield and Jeff Raider, college pals who were convinced that there was a happy middle ground between "over-priced, over-marketed" razors that are great but too precious, and cheap, mass-market razors that cut your lips off. They’ve certainly got the background for it. Raider was one of the founders of eyewear maker Warby Parker. And they were able to snag the website harrys.com, so they must have some serious pull in the web world.
The beauty of Harry’s is in its simplicity. They only sell a few different kinds of razor handles, razors, and supplies. The Truman is ten bucks. The Winston is twenty. Their shaving cream is eight bucks, and has marula and coconut oil in it. Their razors, which are made to some crazy high standard in Germany or something, have five blades and a "Gothic Arch" pattern. I don’t know what that is, but if it does a good job slicing the little hairs off my cheeks, then color me gothic. An eight pack of razors is $15, which is just $1.88 a cartridge. See if you can do that well at your local Duane Reade. Not for these magnificent works of, uh, craft and science.
And as with Warby Parker, there’s a charitable component to the company. Through its Give a Shave program, for every pack of Harry’s blades you buy, they donate one blade (or an equivalent dollar value) to a charity. They’re starting with The Mission Continues, which empowers veterans of recent wars to apply their skills in the civilian world through six-month fellowships with non-profits. Sounds like a good cause to me.
So if you’ve ever thought about upgrading your shaving routine, but aren’t quite ready to commit three figures to it, visit harrys.com, pick up the Winston Set for $25, and go have the shave of your life. If that’s art to you, all the better. To me it’s just nice shaving stuff for cheap, which is about all I can deal with in the morning.