Cover Story

A Sharper Idea

The Old Town Shaving Company revives the art of the razor

by EDDIE RIVERA, Editor, Living Section
Published: Tuesday, January 28, 2014 | 7:10 PM

Damon Stathatos is the proprietor of Old Town Shaving Company.

Damon Stathatos is the proprietor of Old Town Shaving Company.

 

Ah, the fine art of shaving. Did you know that before the advent of razors, people used two shells to pull the hair out? Ow. That hurt just to type that.

Copper razors were finally invented in 3000 B.C.

But it wasn’t just to look neat, or to ace that job interview. Alexander the Great promoted shaving to avoid “dangerous beard-grabbing in combat”, and, well, he also thought it looked better.

A collection of shaving brushes at The Old Town Shaving Company.

In some Native American tribes, at the time of contact with British colonists, it was customary for men and women to remove all bodily hair using these methods.

And though, these days, more than one hipster is sporting a beard long enough for a circus, the art of wet shaving lives on.

Which brings us to The Old Town Shaving Company, located at ‘The Shoppes at Stats’, which most locals know as the home of the largest Christmas store they’ve ever seen.

Damon Stathatos, son of the store’s founder, Dan, had a sharper idea a few years ago.

“It’s a concept that I took from Western Europe,” he told Pasadena Now.  “They still place a value on grooming themselves.

“They value quality grooming products there. If you go to London, they have gentleman’s stores where gentlemen go and buy products to groom themselves, and they’re high quality products, they’re branded products.  In London you might go to Taylor of Old Bond Street and you walk in and it’s all of their brands there, or you might walk into George F. Trumper’s, again, all their own brand.  And they compete against each other for markets there.  So that forces them to offer quality products,…because they’re fighting for that share of the gentleman’s market.”

As a child, like most young boys, Damon watched his father shave, and he was fascinated.

“I’m talking about the double-edged blade, like I used to watch my dad shave with, and brush and soap and cream, and traditional after-shaves,” he continued.  “I got into London and realized I was misled here,” he explained.  “So, I was going to bring a conglomeration of what they offer there and offer it here, and try to introduce it to people here.  And that’s what I’ve done.”

He had no idea of the response he would get.

“It’s been met with an unbelievable amount of enthusiasm by people,” he said.  “They recognize the fact that this kind of thing is not available to them, and they’re really getting excited about it.  So it’s been kind of a hit so far.”

The store specializes in European-based quality shaving products and the shelves are packed with creams, lotions, as well as pre-and after-shave concoctions. Gift tins pack the display case, along with other grooming aids like pomades and hair gels.

The razors are either from Germany or England,” Damon explained, “It’s Merkur, and Muhle from Germany, and from England, its Edwin Jagger.  So those are the brands that are very familiar to Western European and Eastern Europeans.”

The store also features products from Taylor of Old Bond Street, George F. Trumper, and DR Harris & Company, as well as Italian brands like Proraso.

Penhaligon, official providers to the Royals, is also featured.  “They make the the cologne that Winston Churchill wore, or Prince William wears,” said Damon.  “So it’s some very important brands there, that I’m trying to introduce to people here, and like I said, it’s been very well received.”

The Old Town Shaving company is at 120 South Raymond Avenue, Pasadena. (626) 795-9308. www.facebook.com/OldTownShaving.

 

 

 

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