06-29-2012, 12:07 PM
#1
  • Dave
  • Moderator Emeritus
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This is the second in a series of interviews here on the ShaveNook with some of the vendors and craftsmen that making wetshaving great. My plan is to try and have one that runs every Friday. That will depend on who I can get to do an interview

Phil owns and runs Bullgoose Shaving. He’s know for great service, a wide variety of products, and the fastest delivery in the business. When you place an order with Phil, you’re going to get fast delivery, email confirmation within seconds of placing the order, and a personal note thanking you for your order both in the box and through email. Phil took some time from his busy schedule to answer a few questions. Here’s my interview with Phil

1) How long have you been wet shaving and what is your ideal wetshaving set-up?

I toyed around with wet shaving on and off as far back as the late 1980’s with a brush and soap but did not try a DE razor until about 4 years ago. I had been getting some bad shaves and my father gave me a copy of Michael Ham’s book, the Leisureguy’s Guide to Gourmet Shaving. An addiction was born. I joined the three major forums at the time –Badger & Blade, Shave My Face and the Shave Den and jumped in with both feet. I just had to try everything.

I am not sure if I could give an ideal wetshaving set-up. I have a lot of favorites. The one constant in all of my shaves is Glyce Lime soap but other than that, I mix things up pretty well. I tend to prefer modern production DE razors and tallow shave soaps but I also have some creams that I love as well as some vintage razors. It all depends on my mood.


2) What prompted you to start BullGoose Shaving?

I had been selling a lot of things on the B/S/T …razors that did not work for me and that sort of thing and I started to get a bit of a following. I then started to sell Astra blades…by the 25 pack, 50 pack or carton of 100. The first 1000 blades that I purchased sold out in a day. When I purchased another 1000 and put them up on the B/S/T I was told that I would have to list it in the vendors corner instead. So, I did. At the same time, The Shave Den changed their rules and required a website in order to post in their vendors section. Thus, I was in a tough spot. I could not post in the B/S/T because I wasn’t a vendor yet and I could not post in the vendor section because I did not have a website. So…I decided to get a website in April of 2009
It seemed silly to only sell Astra blades on a website so I formed BullGoose Shaving Supplies, got my reseller license and Federal Tax ID and set up shop. The timing was perfect as I had recently left my job as a college administrator (my background is in social and developmental psychology) to pursue a career as a Real Estate Broker. The Real Estate career tanked due to the recession and I was ready for something new. I jumped in with both feet and made BullGoose Shaving my full-time occupation.

3) You are well known for Special Edition Items (Vie-Long Beehives, Simfix, Simpson Ehsan etc). How did these come about and how do you acquire exclusives?

I follow the forums fairly closely and try to keep my nose on the ground. My first special edition was the Simpson Ehsan brush. Ehsan (a member of B&B) sent me a PM to see if I could get a custom brush made for him (a two band Colonel with a shorter loft). I was brand new and naïve and did not know at the time that I would be subject to a flat rate fish and wildlife tax for importing badger brushes. Had I known, the Ehsan would not have been born and I likely would not have explored Special Editions at all. In any case, I quoted Ehsan a price for his brush and the brush actually cost me three times what I charged him due to taxes. The brush got a great review on B&B so I called Simpson to see if I could have a run of them made. Thankfully, they agreed and the rest is history. Mark and his father Philip were very gracious in producing three exclusive brushes for me and I am very grateful for this. The Ehsan kind of put me on the map and I took it from there. It was part luck and part timing.
The other Special Editions are inspired by what I perceive to be a want on the forums. I sort of form an idea on what I read and what seems to me will sell. I then pitch it to the head honchos at Vie-Long or Simpson and see if we can make a deal.


4) You’re opening a boutique for BullGoose which I am sure is a great amount of work for you. Can you go through some of the added advantages a customer will see both on-line and in-store for the Boutique?

I probably should have waited to make that announcement. What I did was move into a new office with warehouse space. For the time being, BullGoose Shaving is still on-line only but there will be a few changes. First of all, I now have a lot more storage space which means I will be able to expand my offerings a bit and can also buy in larger quantities which will allow me to control costs. I also plan to eventually hire employees (right now it is just me). This will allow me to take phone orders and also allow local customers to pick up their orders if they do not want to wait (or pay) for shipping. It will not be a true brick and mortar though…at least not for awhile.
The added space allows me to be more efficient and I can pack more orders in a day than I could before. I am also planning to upgrade my shipping software which will allow more shipping options. For example, I will be able to offer first class shipping for packages under 12oz which will save customers a bit of money.
All of this is extremely time consuming and the shipping software is much more complicated than one would think (if you want it to be automated). It will take time.


5) What new items will we see at Bullgoose in the upcoming months?

That is such a secret that even I do not know. I have pre-ordered all of the new Musgo Real creams and the Musgo Real shave soap and should have them in stock by early September. I am also working on another Vie-Long LE brush and have several other irons in the fire. I, of course, will carry the new Tradere and iKon models as soon as they are released


Phil thanks for taking time away from Bullgoose to answer some questions for us and thanks for the Nook as well.

You can check out Phil, his lightning fast shipping, amazing selection and customer service at http://www.bullgooseshaving.net

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 06-29-2012, 12:19 PM
#2
  • Johnny
  • Super Moderator
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
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Phil who?Biggrin

Nice review Dave. Thanks Phil for taking the time to do this.

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 06-29-2012, 12:21 PM
#3
  • mikeperry
  • Senior Member
  • St Louis via the UK
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Dave, another good interview. Thank you Thumbsup

Phil, thanks for answering those questions and giving us a glimpse behind the BullGoose curtain Smile

Phil, is there a story behind the name "BullGoose"?

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 06-29-2012, 12:25 PM
#4
  • Dave
  • Moderator Emeritus
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The best part of the interview for me was finding out the history of the Ehsan. That was the one brush I could never track down and it's a great story. Thanks for sharing it Phil.

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 06-29-2012, 12:29 PM
#5
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Phil is just a top guy.

Hat's off, great interview.

Mark

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 06-29-2012, 12:29 PM
#6
  • bullgoose
  • The Enabler
  • Redondo Beach, California, U.S.A
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(06-29-2012, 12:21 PM)mikeperry Wrote: Phil, is there a story behind the name "BullGoose"?

There is. I am a big Jack Nicholson fan and BullGoose is a reference to One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest. It became my nickname in softball and then became my screen name on the various forums. When I started out as a vendor, many people knew me as BullGoose so...BullGoose Shaving it was.

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 06-29-2012, 12:35 PM
#7
  • Harvey
  • Senior Member
  • North Hills CA
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I always thought it was a male goose who like a Bull would shall we say take over the farm and have his way with the hens or whatever you call female geese...anyway a well written history of why we do what we do...and how you become the best...very interesting Idea

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 06-29-2012, 01:07 PM
#8
  • greyhawk
  • Senior Member
  • Southern California
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Nice interview!
I'm glad you explained the origin of BullGoose; I have always wondered about that Smile

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 06-29-2012, 01:14 PM
#9
  • mikeperry
  • Senior Member
  • St Louis via the UK
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(06-29-2012, 12:29 PM)bullgoose Wrote: There is. I am a big Jack Nicholson fan and BullGoose is a reference to One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest. It became my nickname in softball and then became my screen name on the various forums. When I started out as a vendor, many people knew me as BullGoose so...BullGoose Shaving it was.

Cool So you're a head loony? Wink

Jack Nicholson is definitely in my top 3 actors and One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest sits firmly in my top 10 films of all time...

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 06-29-2012, 01:20 PM
#10
  • bullgoose
  • The Enabler
  • Redondo Beach, California, U.S.A
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(06-29-2012, 01:14 PM)mikeperry Wrote: Cool So you're a head loony? Wink

Jack Nicholson is definitely in my top 3 actors and One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest sits firmly in my top 10 films of all time...

Exactly. Biggrin When I came out with Portman Square, I seriously considered calling the line, "The Famous Dr. Scanlon's shaving soap" but thought there may be copyright issues.

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 06-29-2012, 01:22 PM
#11
  • gijames
  • Mile High Soldier
  • TN, USA
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Clap

Thank you for the interview, Dave and #Enabler!

I am glad that Phil has maintained a relationship with Greg/iKON, and is also helping put new products on the map like Richard/Tradere.

Phil's work as a vendor with makers, and his work here at TSN have made me a happy victim of traditional wet shaving!

I am glad that the admins/mods, Phil, and the rest of TSN, make an AWESOME community!

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 06-29-2012, 02:13 PM
#12
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thanks for the interview, Phil.

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 06-29-2012, 02:32 PM
#13
  • slantman
  • Expert Shaver
  • Leesburg, Florida
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Great interview Phil and thank you so much Dave for doing it.

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 06-29-2012, 02:35 PM
#14
  • Howler
  • A calamophile and vintage razor lover
  • Fort Smith AR
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Dave, great interview.

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 06-29-2012, 02:47 PM
#15
  • tgutc
  • Senior Member
  • Michigan
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Thanks Dave that was interesting and neat to hear how it all came about. Phil, do you make the Portman Square yourself or does someone make them for you? I've always wondered.

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 06-29-2012, 02:56 PM
#16
  • bullgoose
  • The Enabler
  • Redondo Beach, California, U.S.A
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(06-29-2012, 02:47 PM)tgutc Wrote: Thanks Dave that was interesting and neat to hear how it all came about. Phil, do you make the Portman Square yourself or does someone make them for you? I've always wondered.

No...I don't make it myself. The versions that I currently have are made by Queen Charlotte Soaps.

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 06-29-2012, 03:02 PM
#17
  • Johnny
  • Super Moderator
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
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Phil does not have time to make soap. He has to keep his still fired up.

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 06-29-2012, 03:05 PM
#18
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My only other question is who Phil knows/bribes in the USPS to ship Priority Mail packages faster than they ship Express Mail for most people Biggrin

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 06-29-2012, 03:29 PM
#19
  • Dave
  • Moderator Emeritus
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(06-29-2012, 03:05 PM)nEver-Ready Wrote: My only other question is who Phil knows/bribes in the USPS to ship Priority Mail packages faster than they ship Express Mail for most people Biggrin

I asked that question and this was the response I got never-ready

Nono

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 06-29-2012, 04:36 PM
#20
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(06-29-2012, 03:29 PM)Dave Wrote:
(06-29-2012, 03:05 PM)nEver-Ready Wrote: My only other question is who Phil knows/bribes in the USPS to ship Priority Mail packages faster than they ship Express Mail for most people :biggrin:

I asked that question and this was the response I got never-ready

:nono:

All I know is that with how effective he is with getting a government agency to do its job so well, I'm hoping he runs for President!

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