The Groomatorium is a Southern California traditional men's grooming store, started by me, an avid wet shaver and soap maker Ron Wiebe. I believe that men should enjoy shaving and have access to great products that make them feel and look better every day.
More details for the board and/or easily amused... :)
I started wet shaving in 2013 and was instantly hooked. I love traditional methods of doing things – I use fountain pens and always wear a mechanical watch – so when I found out about wet shaving, I knew I had to try it. Much to my surprise, not only was it traditional, but it was also much better than shaving with a cartridge or electric razor.
I always dreaded shaving. I would shave every few days, and my coarse stubble would clog my multi-blade cartridge, causing it to pull my hair instead of cutting it off smoothly. Wet shaving fixed that issue for me, and what was a tiresome task became a pleasure, and then evolved into a hobby.
I loved trying new soaps and scents, but found that most of what I tried either lacked in performance or were scented with scents that were less than appealing to me. While floral and unisex scents are fine – I have made several as well – I wanted some traditionally masculine scents, and since I had already been dabbling for years with my own DIY cologne for a couple years, I decided to try to make my own soaps.
I found out about melt and pour soaps, as well as recipes for a vegan hot process soap. I used these to post a proof-of-concept website in November of 2014 to test the market for my homemade soaps and see if I could actually stir up some interest. The interest was immediate, so I went back to the drawing board and made batch after batch of soap before I came up with a tallow-based soap recipe of my own that I was happy with (to me, the best soap I have ever used), as well as a line of scents that appealed to my traditional senses (plus some customer requests like Banana and Orange Creamsicle).
I reopened my site on Christmas of 2014 and have been amazed and humbled by the great outpouring of support that I have had. I started making batches of soap in the evenings after work. Each batch was only 12 soaps and took me six hours to make. Six months later, I was making batches of 150 soaps. By May 2015, I was able to recoup my initial investment into the business, and am now in the black, which frees me up to explore more exciting options. There are many great things planned for Chiseled Face – a line of brushes, razors, shower gel, pre-shave products and much more that I am tinkering with. My friends call me a “mad scientist” since I’m always working on something, and my home looks like a lab with all the glassware and ingredients I have everywhere, but I don’t mind. I’m having fun making and selling the best shaving tools for men that I can with the best ingredients I can find.
I got laid off from my full-time job late 2016 and decided to make men's grooming my full-time career. This is how Groomatorium Inc was born. We've been operating in Ontario, California since then and have been thrilled to be able to host a ton of fantastic customers at our store. My wish is that everyone would enjoy their daily morning routine as much as I do!