06-26-2012, 01:49 AM
#1
  • Dave
  • Moderator Emeritus
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[Image: MikesNaturalSoaps.jpg]


One of the best new artisan soaps to come out within the last year is “Mike’s Natural Soaps”. Mike has been in business since 2011 in Brooklyn NY, and has been crafting out a variety of shaving soaps, which include such favorites as “Barber Shop”, “Orange, Cedarwood, and Black Pepper” and the chilling “Peppermint and Rosemary’. Mike has quickly gained a reputation as a gifted soap maker whose creations are easy to lather and feel great both during and after the shave. At the request of wet shavers, Mike has begun selling his soaps in a tin and is also busy churning out new products, with a Bay Rum Scented Soap coming out last week, a veggie based soap coming out soon, and shave sticks coming out sometime in July. In addition to making soaps, Mike is also a full-time PHD Student and adjunct lecturer. I’d like to thank Mike for taking time out of his extremely busy schedule to answer a few questions for Nook Readers.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

Hmm, this is always tough. I’ve lived my entire life (31 years) in Brooklyn, with the exception of a few years in college when I resided in Manhattan. I grew up in the Park Slope/Windsor Terrace area and am currently, along with my lovely girlfriend, a resident of the Crown Heights neighborhood, which is well known for once being a hotbed of racial tension and violence, but is now one of many rapidly developing (gentrifying) Brooklyn neighborhoods. For the past four years, I’ve been enrolled full-time in a PhD program in Classical Philology (languages & literatures of ancient Greece and Rome). Besides soap and Classics, I enjoy playing guitar, jazz, wine, traveling (when I’m able), and I’ve recently taken an interest in home coffee roasting.


What prompted you to begin wet shaving?

Like a lot of wet shavers, I had always had a really unpleasant shaving experience before making the switch. I started with Bic disposables and canned goo when I was a teenager, which, of course, was terrible. After a few years of that, I switched to the Mach 3, which was much better than the disposables, but still not very pleasant. At one point my mom got me some Kiehls shaving cream. This a was a step up from the canned goo, but still yielded painful, irritation-ridden shaves, to the point where my skin just couldn’t take shaving more than once every 3-7 days. I just became accustomed to constantly sporting several days growth. Having been dissatisfied with my setup, I decided to give an electric razor a try and picked up a refurbished Braun from Amazon. It wasn’t much of an improvement; my face still felt raw after shaving and, to my surprise, it took forever! Also, no matter what I did, it would not shave my neck reasonably well, so I had to use the Mach 3 for that anyway. So after a couple of years of the electric, I came crawling back to the Mach 3. By this time I was in graduate school and, therefore, very poor, so I took to the internet, primarily to look for deals on M3 blades, but also to just see what else was out there shaving-wise. Amid my search I stumbled upon a Q&A on msn.com all about traditional wet shaving. Right away I new it was something I needed to try. Shortly thereafter, I ordered a Merkur 33C, a Vulfix pure badger brush, and a tube of Proraso. I haven’t looked back since.


What prompted you to begin making shaving and bath soaps?

When I took up traditional wet shaving, the soaps and creams absolutely blew my mind. Not only were they far more effective than anything I had tried, but the way they lathered up seemed like some sort of magic trick to me. After a while, I decided I had to find out how it was done, so I did a little research, which then led to my desire to actually give soap-making a try. It’s hard to explain in a short time, but it’s the sort of thing I’m drawn to. I knew it would be fun and I also thought that I might be able to save myself some money in the long run if I were able to make my own shaving and bath soaps. So one February I was exempt from paying rent in accordance with my lease agreement, so I used some of that money that I would not have normally had to buy some soaping supplies. I enjoyed it immensely from the very start and soon found myself brainstorming over new formulas and scents. It just grew from there.


What products can the wet shaving community look forward to in the future?

In addition to what you’ve already mentioned, I’d very much like to offer sandalwood and rose shaving soaps scented with essential oils and/or absolutes. I recently obtained samples of Australian sandalwood EO, Egyptian rose absolute, and Moroccan rose absolute that I really like. These soaps would cost quite a bit more, but I think it would be worth it. Also, I plan on adding a shampoo bar to my lineup in the relatively near future. Besides these additions, I’ll continue to add new scents to both my bath and shaving soap lineups.

Mike thank you so much for taking the time to answer a few questions for us. Is there anything else you’d like to add?

I’d just like to thank Phil and the moderator team for putting together such an excellent forum. The Nook is a great place to hang out! I’d also like to thank all of you guys for supporting my business and taking an interest in what I do. I feel very fortunate.


You can buy samples as well as full sized bars of Mikes Soaps from this website.

http://mikesnaturalsoaps.com/Mikes_Natur...lcome.html

Thank you so very much Mike

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 06-26-2012, 03:50 AM
#2
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Thanks Dave for your interview.

Like many folks, I'm an unabashed fan of Mike's Natural soap.

After reading some of the glowing reviews on this and other forums, I ordered a bar of Barber Shop and was blown away with both the performance and scent. Later I ordered the Rose & Cedarwood and Lavandin & Eucalyptus.

I loved the minimal packaging, the neatly hand-wrapped wax paper and corrugated cardboard sleeve perfectly match the home-craftsman nature of this soap.

Mike's Natural Soap is truly the rookie-of-the-year in the shave world.

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 06-26-2012, 03:59 AM
#3
  • Dave
  • Moderator Emeritus
User Info
No problem Robert. This is the first in a series. I have about 4 more lined up and am looking for other folks to get interviews with. PM me with ideas and I'll see if I can make it happen.

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 06-26-2012, 04:16 AM
#4
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Thank you Mike and Dave. A very interesting and educational read indeed - gives some insight in why some people take up old fashoned crafts.

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 06-26-2012, 05:05 AM
#5
  • iKon
  • Vendor/Mfg.
  • NYC
User Info
Nice ! , ordering a bar of shave soap now...

Spent many a day in Bklyn as a youth.

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 06-26-2012, 05:37 AM
#6
  • ben74
  • Administrator
  • Perth, Australia
User Info
My sister relocated to Brooklyn, New York from Australia nearly 2 years ago. She's practically your neighbour Mike as she lives in Bedford-Stuyvesant (on Stuyvesant Avenue)!

I'm really interested in the Australian sandalwood, Egyptian rose, and Moroccan rose, any timeframe in mind for these?

In the interim I'm interested in the Rose and Cedarwood, Barbershop and possibly the unscented...

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 06-26-2012, 05:52 AM
#7
User Info
looking forward to trying these...
Mike- I grew up in NY and met my wife in Park Slope. We lived in Windsor Terrace for 5 years! 17th and Prospect area.

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 06-26-2012, 06:12 AM
#8
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Greg interview. It is nice to see the people behind the product.

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 06-26-2012, 06:22 AM
#9
User Info
(06-26-2012, 05:37 AM)ben74 Wrote: My sister relocated to Brooklyn, New York from Australia nearly 2 years ago. She's practically your neighbour Mike as she lives in Bedford-Stuyvesant (on Stuyvesant Avenue)!

I'm really interested in the Australian sandalwood, Egyptian rose, and Moroccan rose, any timeframe in mind for these?

In the interim I'm interested in the Rose and Cedarwood, Barbershop and possibly the unscented...

Hi Ben,

I don't have a time frame for those scents quite yet. Those oils are very expensive and it might take me a little while before I'm able to buy a significant amount. They smell amazing though!

(06-26-2012, 05:52 AM)Chicagotrim Wrote: looking forward to trying these...
Mike- I grew up in NY and met my wife in Park Slope. We lived in Windsor Terrace for 5 years! 17th and Prospect area.

Nice! I grew up on 11th St. and PPW. I also lived on PPSW and 11th Ave. for a couple of years in my early twenties.

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 06-26-2012, 06:35 AM
#10
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(06-26-2012, 06:22 AM)OckhamsRazor Wrote:
(06-26-2012, 05:37 AM)ben74 Wrote: My sister relocated to Brooklyn, New York from Australia nearly 2 years ago. She's practically your neighbour Mike as she lives in Bedford-Stuyvesant (on Stuyvesant Avenue)!

I'm really interested in the Australian sandalwood, Egyptian rose, and Moroccan rose, any timeframe in mind for these?

In the interim I'm interested in the Rose and Cedarwood, Barbershop and possibly the unscented...

Hi Ben,

I don't have a time frame for those scents quite yet. Those oils are very expensive and it might take me a little while before I'm able to buy a significant amount. They smell amazing though!

(06-26-2012, 05:52 AM)Chicagotrim Wrote: looking forward to trying these...
Mike- I grew up in NY and met my wife in Park Slope. We lived in Windsor Terrace for 5 years! 17th and Prospect area.

Nice! I grew up on 11th St. and PPW. I also lived on PPSW and 11th Ave. for a couple of years in my early twenties.

Small world. When we first moved there, we were actually on 11th ave and Prospect ave! So you were right near windsor terrace bagels..

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 06-26-2012, 06:37 AM
#11
  • bullgoose
  • The Enabler
  • Redondo Beach, California, U.S.A
User Info
Thank you for the Interview Mike & Dave. It is always interesting to know the back story. Biggrin Keep up the great work!

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 06-26-2012, 06:43 AM
#12
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(06-26-2012, 06:35 AM)Chicagotrim Wrote:
(06-26-2012, 06:22 AM)OckhamsRazor Wrote:
(06-26-2012, 05:37 AM)ben74 Wrote: My sister relocated to Brooklyn, New York from Australia nearly 2 years ago. She's practically your neighbour Mike as she lives in Bedford-Stuyvesant (on Stuyvesant Avenue)!

I'm really interested in the Australian sandalwood, Egyptian rose, and Moroccan rose, any timeframe in mind for these?

In the interim I'm interested in the Rose and Cedarwood, Barbershop and possibly the unscented...

Hi Ben,

I don't have a time frame for those scents quite yet. Those oils are very expensive and it might take me a little while before I'm able to buy a significant amount. They smell amazing though!

(06-26-2012, 05:52 AM)Chicagotrim Wrote: looking forward to trying these...
Mike- I grew up in NY and met my wife in Park Slope. We lived in Windsor Terrace for 5 years! 17th and Prospect area.

Nice! I grew up on 11th St. and PPW. I also lived on PPSW and 11th Ave. for a couple of years in my early twenties.

Small world. When we first moved there, we were actually on 11th ave and Prospect ave! So you were right near windsor terrace bagels..

My after-class ritual in high school was to gorge myself on Terrace bagels!

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 06-26-2012, 06:43 AM
#13
  • ben74
  • Administrator
  • Perth, Australia
User Info
Just ordered a tin of the Rose and Cedarwood and a tin of the Barbershop. Can't wait!

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 06-26-2012, 06:49 AM
#14
  • mikeperry
  • Senior Member
  • St Louis via the UK
User Info
Thanks Dave for conducting the interview, and for Mike allowing us a small glimpse behind the curtain and into his life Thumbsup

Mike, I look forward to receiving and trying the samples I ordered from yourself a couple of days ago Shaving

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 06-26-2012, 06:51 AM
#15
  • slantman
  • Expert Shaver
  • Leesburg, Florida
User Info
Thank you Dave for the great interview Mike is a true entrepreneur who has created fantastic soaps for shaving and bath. I am very happy that both Mike and Dave are a part of our growing family at TSN.

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 06-26-2012, 07:02 AM
#16
  • Johnny
  • Super Moderator
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
User Info
Sir Dave, job well done. Thanks to Mike for giving us a look in to his background and business.

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 06-26-2012, 08:22 AM
#17
  • donoma
  • Member
  • Birmingham, AL
User Info
Great Interview Dave & Mike. I ordered samples of all the products & am looking forward to finally trying out some Mike's Shave Soap!

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 06-26-2012, 08:41 AM
#18
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Thanks for the interview, gentlemen!!

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 06-26-2012, 09:41 AM
#19
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Thank you Mike and Dave for a great interview.
I'm looking forward to trying some of the Mike's Natural Soaps and the shampoo bar sounds great as well, so I'll keep my eyes open for it's arrival.

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 06-26-2012, 09:59 AM
#20
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I enjoyed the interview, thanks guys!

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