Our world is becoming smaller and we are able to interact with people from places we can only imagine, thanks to the internet and social media. Last week, I got to experience first hand the phenomenon of social media and its wide reach around the globe.
I received a message from a Russian man named Pavel who lives in Brooklyn. Pavel has a YouTube channel called Brooklyn Productions. He politely introduced himself, described his channel, and asked if I would be willing to send him products for him to review. I don’t normally respond to random emails from individuals asking for samples or who want to place huge orders and have them shipped using their own shipping company…PSA: it’s a scam. However, The Bibbed Wonder looked up Pavel’s channel and it was solidly legitimate.
It is the most unusual thing. Pavel does a weekly review of shaving products and antique razors. His channel is all about him unpacking the products, reviewing the package, and introducing a new antique razor he will then shave with the following week using the products he unpacked. He then records himself shaving with the products and he gives a review as he shaves. The entire channel is of a big, burly, ruggedly handsome Russian man wet shaving with antique razors and various shave soaps from around the world. It is bizarrely fascinating. Oh, also the entire review is in Russian. However, there is a way to translate it into text on your screen. Interestingly, Pavel has 500 thousand followers!
I am always fascinated by what people find fascinating. This has turned into a wonderful educational experience. First, I was unaware that there is huge a wet shaving culture. There are individuals who take wet shaving very seriously. Also, wet shaving is an art. Secondly, speaking of art, wet shavers like colorful, decorative artwork on the packaging of their shave soaps and they often buy shave soap just for the art on the package. Too, they buy shave soap in colorful packaging to match their boar or badger hair shave brushes. I had no idea this even existed. Seriously, what an unusual and cool artisan culture.
I am also learning that there are various “markets” that one can break into if one has a good product. Several times in the “unpacking episode,” Pavel refers to the Russian market and how The Smiling Goat Soap Company has not broken in to the Russian market yet. He is a leader or trendsetter into this scene. What I find fascinating is that these markets exist with all ethnicities and one has to have “a lead” to break into this market. My products would not be welcomed if I were promoting them but if I have a lead, they trust that the product is good. I find this all very interesting and fascinating.
Lastly, I am always amazed at what individuals will watch. If someone asked me to sit and watch a ruggedly handsome Russian man shave for entertainment, I would politely decline and then think that individual has some weird pass times. However, watching Pavel shave has been surprisingly interesting, educational, and informative. Both The Bibbed Wonder and I have watched in awe as this robust man shaves with some very primitive and wicked looking antique razors. Truly, it is fascinating. If you are so inclined, I suggest you check it out on YouTube @BrooklynProductions.
One other thing that I find absolutely amazing is the reach social media has. Pavel did the “unpacking” of our products on Saturday. Ever since he has done the unpacking, we have seen an increase in web traffic. Not only have we seen an increase in web traffic, the traffic is coming from all over the world. There are individuals in Russia, Australia, Africa, and India who are taking their time to look at our humble little web site. It is exciting to think of these people from all over the world peeking into our small soap business. People who would have never heard about us except for one Russian man who shaves on camera and posts it on the internet. So weird, so fascinating, and so wonderful all at the same time.
The education I receive from soap is endless. I would have never had an opportunity to peek into the wet shaving culture if it weren’t for soap making. I would never have been introduced to a fascinating, ruggedly handsome Russian man if it weren’t for soap. I would have never known about all the fascinating little sub cultures that are right here in our country if it weren’t for soap. I am feeling very grateful for all these opportunities and this new insight and tidbit of knowledge. One never knows where one’s path may lead. I am finding this path to be very interesting and I am happy to have been led here.
As always dear reader, stay safe, stay smart, enjoy your path, and keep washing your hands.