OPUMO In Conversation with Derrick Webb

This article was originally posted on opumo.com.

Bolin Webb was founded by Derrick Webb in 2007, after a search for aesthetically pleasing and inspiring razors proved fruitless. He took ahold of the opportunity to elevate an everyday activity, bringing his passion for great design to the shaving experience. The result is an impressive range of luxury razorsrazor sets and shaving accessories that make grooming a delight.

We caught up with Derrick to learn more about Bolin Webb and its innovative approach to design and manufacturing.

What was the initial impetus behind launching a razor brand? 

My idea for a new razor brand was to bring design excellence to shaving.  There is every reason to admire what we use and enjoy what we do, and shaving should be no exception. I wanted to create razors and accessories that look good, feel great and perform well.

Is there a certain type of man you envision as the typical Bolin Webb customer?

Most men shave, so it’s not possible to envision the typical man.  The man who shaves regularly is obviously our key user, but men with stubble and beards also need to trim.  The female buyer is important to Bolin Webb as well, as women often look for distinctive and original presents for men.  A Bolin Webb razor is a great gift.

What do you think differentiates Bolin Webb from other razor brands?

Bolin Webb aims to create shaving tools that give exceptional pleasure in terms of the way they look and feel, and I think our series of design awards shows Bolin Webb has managed to make a difference. Our razors stand out and look great in the bathroom. Gillette blades on our handles ensure a good shave. And our razor stands and travel cases complement our razors in a well-coordinated and attractive way.

Bolin Webb has been the recipient of a number of prestigious design awards. How would you characterise Bolin Webb’s approach to product design?

Good product design depends on a team of people working well together and fully committed to bringing a new idea to market. Our designers are passionate about their trade, and this shines through in the products they develop.  Personally, I enjoy proposing new ideas and design cues, while all the time keeping in mind what it actually takes to bring a concept to life.

Do you have any design role models that you look up to? 

I enjoy all areas of design where materials and aesthetics work together well to create an outstanding product. Exceptional cars are naturally an area of inspirational product design, yet this also extends to all areas in work and leisure, such as sports equipment or travel goods.  Looking back, the Design Museum in Kensington is a great reference for design excellence through the years.

Do you have a personal favourite razor from the collection?

The R1 collection is the original Bolin Webb razor, so I am particularly fond of this design. Gillette’s Mach3 blade gives me the most comfortable shave.  As to colour, the Bolin Webb palette, although inspired by the world of super and classic cars, is specially selected to work well on the relatively small surface of a razor handle. They need to look good close up.

Why is it important to you that the products are made in England?

England has a longstanding reputation for product design and manufacturing, which many customers from many different countries recognise and appreciate.  And it’s a pleasure to work with our UK suppliers – these personal relationships are a big part of the enjoyment of running a business that spans design to manufacturing to market.

What are some tips for establishing a successful shaving routine?

There are now so many different routines and products for male grooming.  For a wet shave, it’s important the beard is first softened with warm water.  Then use a shaving cream or gel that suits you. I believe a Gillette blade ensures a comfortable and close shave. After shaving, rinse the face and then use a natural moisturising cream with a texture and fragrance that appeals to you.

What’s next for Bolin Webb?

We are working on designs for new products to be launched in 2021.  These are at an early phase in their journey from conception to manufacturing, and we have only recently looked into making prototypes. It’s too early to say what they actually will be.  Be sure we are working on ideas that again can make a difference.