The Londoner - Western students want to provide a better, cheaper shave

Students want to provide better, cheaper shave

A pair of Western University students behind a new startup are prepared to "throw down the gauntlet" in the men's shaving market, particularly with the large corporations behind expensive cartridge-based disposable razors.

Gareth Everard, 21, and Morgan Nordstrom, 20, are the founders of Rockwell Razors. Two days ago, they posted on crowd-funding website Kickstarter a prototype safety razor they say can offer a better shave at a fraction of the price of current disposables.

Their double-edged razor — the Rockwell 6S — has since taken off, surpassing its goal of $12,000 in less than 24 hours. If the trend continues as of September 12, the project is on track to raise over $250,000.

"We're really happy that everyone seems to be sharing our vision for a product that adds value to your life," Everard said. "It's something that very obviously saves you money. The concept of escaping cartridges is really catching on and we're thrilled."

Everard, an environmental sciences student, and Nordstrom, an engineering student, met at a local BizInc business pitch competition last year. Nordstrom was already considering a business focused on restoring straight edge razors when he and Everard decided to go in a slightly different direction.

Their design for the Rockwell 6S is in some ways a nod to the past. The safety razor is similar to popular designs of the 1900s, before the rise of the disposable razor.

According to the Kickstarter page, the Rockwell 6S will come with a base cost of $50. One of its major selling points is it adjusts to six different positions. Then there's the cost of the replacement blades, which are currently priced at only $2 for 10.

"It's a shout-out to the past but it's also looking to the future," Everard said. "It's definitely an innovative spin on what we've seen in the past. We wanted to change it and make it better. Hopefully we've done that. It seems like people are pretty interested in what they're seeing."

With over a month left in their Kickstarter campaign, Everard and Nordstrom can look forward to what comes next. Everard said they have already reached out to manufacturers to validate the design and have even heard from retailers interested in shelving the finished product.

"We're going to make sure we get the polish perfect, we're going to test them until the ends of the Earth to make sure the razor we're sending these backers is perfect," he said. "We definitely feel like we're throwing the gauntlet down with the big companies. We aren't interested in selling people really expensive cartridges. We're interested in making people feel maybe Gillette's on the hook."

Twitter: @LondonerChris

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