Every house in Roswell, Georgia is clean and manicured to perfection, resembling the America of bygone films. Lawns look so neat they appear fake and shrubbery is shaped to the point where you’ll almost want to stop to see if they’re plastic.
Here I met with Robert ‘Bob’ Quinn from Elite Razor and was given a tour of his humble home workshop and dispatch centre where I immediately felt Bob’s passion for his work as he explained how a hobby and passion became a business.
He showed me his inventory of high-end custom brush handles and I was lost at the variety of woods he had turned into masterpieces. Each piece of timber had a story of where it came from, how old it was and the process behind how it became a work of art. The collection expanded into exotic stones and assorted resins and the customisation seemed endless. Every brush looked the same yet so different. Bob boasted of his unique and original idea of placing internal pieces from watches into clear resin, giving them the appearance of being suspended – ‘stuck in time’ as it were.
Then something incredible caught my eye. A turquoise stone shave brush that was amazing in colour and showed all the mineralisation throughout the stone. The idea of stone pieces intrigued me as Bob then showed me a gold laced quartz’ which looked more like marble and a gold laced onyx which looked like a gold lightning bolt through a black sky.
Bob’s philosophy is that given the age of most of the materials he uses, the pieces don’t actually belong to him but he minds them until they find their next caretaker.
The categorised shelf of shaver handles was where the true craftsmanship lay. Lazer cut precision timber with inlays, various snakeskins or exotic feathers or stone such as matching quartz, onyx or turquoise. Beautiful pieces, all set off beautifully with the chrome or gold hardware.
Everything Bob makes is compatible with modern replacement blades: the handle collars are designed to work with heads from Edwin Jagger, Merkur, Weber and Muhle or Bob can set you up with a completely new set. He even has home options for Shick and Gillette heads (which was my pick. I couldn’t pass it up for my home Fusion) and the brushes come with different badger ‘knot’ options or even Boars Bristle if desired.
Meeting Bob was powerful in showing how passion can create truly unique art, even if you have to venture a little of the path to find and appreciate it.
If you’re putting your kit together and want to stand out more than the guy working next to you – so you don’t have the same clippers, guards, combs, cutthroat and the same shave brush as everyone else – consider customising your kit. You want to be noticed? Be the best dressed in the room, I say.
interview by: dan dixon