How Did It Begin?
Gunslinger Soap started as a small operation in St. Joseph, Missouri. I initially started for one simple reason: to scratch my own itch. I made it for me. I was tired of using cheap, drying, generic scented soap from a store shelf. It seems many others were tired of it was well. I gave away much of the first batch to family and got asked for more. The unique scent and smooth conditioning properties of my handmade creation was immediately in demand. It was time to go to work.
After too many hours of research, I came up with almost 100 formulas for soap. I narrowed that list down to 15 and started cooking. From those multiple batches I chose the formula that I believe created the best, most well balanced bar. I made 5 distinct scents, handed it out freely, and watched something incredible happen - people became truly excited for the soap, something that continues to happen to this day.
Many more hours were spent expanding into shaving and beard care soaps and oils after multiple requests, creating the line of Gunslinger premium products that I offer today. With this I stumbled onto a new problem.
I began wet shaving after reading about the benefits of using an old style safety razor and shave soap. I was interested in the process. It takes the mundane task of shaving and turns it into a ritual of manhood. I became discouraged when I searched online for a razor and was overwhelmed with options. Every site that I visited had so many products listed that I didn't know where to start, and always ended up closing the site and walking away.
I want to eliminate the frustration of finding the perfect razor by adding the shave store to my site and keeping it simple. I'm not going to sell every model that a razor company has to offer. I've narrowed the choices down to just a few of the top razor manufacturers and will only carry their two highest rated and most well-loved products. I want someone new to the wet shaving world to have an easy selection and to be assured that they are getting not only a quality product, but becoming part of the ever growing Gunslinger Tribe.
What oils do you use in your soap?
Our soaps are made of coconut, olive, palm, castor, sunflower, and sweet almond oils.
Why those oils? How did you come up with the formula?
We'll answer that by laying a little soap science on ya. There are literally hundreds of oils that can be used in soap making, each with its own unique properties and characteristics. The challenge is that when an oil adds to one area, it can take away from another. For example, an oil that adds to the hardness and cleaning properties of a bar can also make it very drying to the skin. A highly conditioning oil, added to combat this, will also make the bar softer.
It's really a puzzle trying to find a good formula that will give a hard bar that cleans and conditions the skin, and will have a good stable lather. When I say a puzzle I don't mean a little newspaper crossword. More like one of the puzzles from the Saw movies, where there's some contraption locked on your head and slowly drilling into your brain until the unlikely happens and you figure it out. But that's also where all of the fun is at. I came up with close to 100 combinations of oils, and narrowed those down to about 15 experimental soaps before finding the one that I felt made the best, most well-balanced bar.
But isn't the soap thing kind of, uhm, girly?
Alright, time for a quick lesson. Get your crayons out and take notes.
According to legend the Romans that washed clothes in the Tiber River noticed that their threads were much cleaner after heavy rains. After some detective work they found that the rains were washing down runoff from Mount Sapo. What's Mount Sapo? None other than an ancient site of animal sacrifice. The combination of ash and animal fats that collected around the altars saponified, and the heavy rains washed it down to the banks of the Tiber. That's right, one possible explanation has soap stemming from animal sacrifice. I'm not quite sure what animals were offered up on the mountain, but I'm going to assume it was cats simply to piss off my girlfriend.
Now, some claim that the Mount Sapo story is a hoax, but to me that sounds pretty damn manly.