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Why Artisan Innovation Matters

This morning, I decided to do something a little different.  I would normally just put on Pandora and listen to some station I created like the Mary Lou Lord one.  Today, I checked my Wet Shaving Times Daily email and I came across a curated video of Chris Bailey’s.

Much to my surprise, I got inspired to react to that video entitled “The Soap Sky Is Falling Part 2” and you can watch it here.  Chris (TSE) does these Sofa Sessions where he discusses his opinion, and that’s fine.  Now I get to share my point of view – perhaps, a different way of thinking than him and it’s definitely not in agreement with his points.

He said “The Holy Grail (of soaps)… we’ve ALREADY FOUND IT.”  “It’s not going to get much better – the improvement will likely be incremental.”

Oh man. IMHO this thinking is so backward.  We start thinking in those terms, and that is discouraging to the upcoming Artisans who want to get into the game and do their part to further the quality and the competition.

We must not do that as consumers and fellow bloggers.  We must encourage the new Artisans and I’ll tell you why.  I’ll use an example that might make sense, especially to those guys and gals reading my blog who are Independent Bands and Artists out there.  Maybe I could even compare it to say, those kids who want to be Actors and Actresses.

Any veteran songwriter will tell you that one of the most interesting songs they have heard had been something that came out after they put out their album – HELL, it may have even been INSPIRED by them.  Case in point and this is a rough example, but Weezer was produced by Ric Ocasek of The Cars.  It’s debatable that The Cars wrote better songs, but wait a second, Weezer is inspiring more people to do their thing and put out their music.

How about an actor example.  Robert DeNiro is one of the best actors out there.  Freaking loved him in Taxi Driver.  He ended up working with Chazz Palminteri as a director for “A Bronx Tale.”  What an amazing, touching story.  DeNiro didn’t say, “Chazz, there’s no room for you in show business, I can’t have you be a part of it- I’m the best.”  He NURTURED that story and made it happen.

The newer Artisans push the older Artisans to up their game.  They push them to make their product even BETTER.  You just don’t want to discourage the newer Artisans.

The Veteran Artisans when they first started out noticed a need and they fulfilled that need.  People wanted better stuff.  They wanted better quality, they wanted unique scents.  The “Newbie at the Time” Artisans wanted better quality and scents.  They worked their asses off to make sure their products were top notch.  They have never stopped working on their products. They are always seeking to improve them.

Imagine if someone said “The products from today will only get better incrementally”  YEARS ago and one of the best potential Artisans had been discouraged enough to not try to put out a better product or a scent they have never smelled before in a product.

To discourage innovation or purchasing product from newer Artisans is foolish.

Artisan innovation matters because, without it, Wet Shaving would be boring.  Hell, I LOVE the fact that Douglas and Fran of Phoenix Artisan Accoutrements are coming out with new products month after month.  It’s FANTASTIC for the industry.

Same with the rest of them.  I love the fact that new Artisans are throwing their hat into the ring.

That is part of the JOY of this hobby.  You never know what soap or aftershave is really going to inspire you to do something great.

Sure, be loyal to the Artisans who are already out there, but give those newer Artisans a chance.  You can bet that a NEW ARTISAN just might blow your socks off.

Hey, I would like to support ALL the Artisans not only out there, but who are coming up on the horizon. I believe they will add value to the Wet Shaving Community as a whole.

Thanks for considering these thoughts – it’s been an interesting day today so far.  I wasn’t really expecting to write my next article based on a reaction to someone else like TSE, but hey, someone’s gotta do it.

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