A bathroom mishap led to creation of a business in Greenville, S.C. It all started when Kirk Goeldner dropped his expensive razor on the bathroom floor and the handle broke in half. Left with a stump of a razor head, his mind started working on a solution. “I can’t remember if it was that evening or later, I was in my back yard and picked up a stick. I realized I could attach my razor head to this stick.”
He took the stick into his garage, sanded it and worked to fashion a razor handle. “The first rendition was pretty rudimentary,” he said, “but I had fun doing it.”
From there, this former insurance executive launched Southern Edge Shave, which sells razors with wooden handles, shave brushes and a line of pre-shave oil, shave soap, and after-shave balm. “I typically use native woods for the handles—rhododendron, magnolia and crepe myrtle,” he said. “I make every one by hand. I don’t use a lathe or a turn. All are hand crafted and assembled in my garage. I work with the natural shape of the wood. I shape them, sand them and finish them with stain and polyurethane.
While it’s old-school to ditch the electric razor, Goeldner says it’s a cleaner shave. It’s not the razor and it’s not the soap,” he said. “The brush is everything. People who don’t use a brush are missing the whole deal because the brush massages the whiskers and softens them up for a good shave. It’s about using a high quality badger fur for the brush. That is the key to a great shave.”
He says it’s one of those functional items that everyone should treat themselves to. “These things are built to last,” he said, “but if you use it every day, over time it will dull. If that happens, send it back to me and I’ll refurbish it. If you don’t just love it, send it back and I’ll give your money back. I want people to be happy.”
Goeldner donates a portion of every purchase to Safe Harbor, a domestic violence agency serving the upstate of South Carolina.