I had a chance to chat with Jason of Tryablade.com as I had recently been turned onto the site to quickly and easily sample a large number of different double edge razor blades. The speed of shipping and great customer services prompted me to follow up with him and have a quick interview on the site and how it came about.
How did you come up with the idea of tryablade.com ?
When I started wet shaving, I didn’t know what blades to buy, so I bought a sampler from a web site that contained about ten full packs. As I tried them, I discovered that there were some blades that did not work for me at all and some that did. Over time I had a surplus of blades that I would probably never use again. It seemed wasteful to just toss them. I am a web developer by day, so I started to think about I could offer selling blades individually so people can choose exactly what they want to try. Also, I wanted to be a source where people could try a blade they’ve heard others talking about without the investment, albeit a small one, of a larger quantity purchase.
How long has the site been up?
The site has been live since October of 2013. It was a soft launch and I mentioned it on a few forums. The web site began to pick up steam and hasn’t slowed down since.
How long have you been wet shaving yourself?
I have been wet shaving since June of 2011. I started with a Merkur 180 razor, Col. Conk Lime soap, and Nivea Post Shave balm. I got a sampler of blades from a popular vendor.
What is your blade of choice?
My favorite blade is the Rapira Platinum Lux. This blade was such a pleasant surprise when I discovered it. It was such a smooth shave it didn’t feel like it was taking off an of the beard at all. The blade lasts me five or more quality three-pass shaves. I try different blades in my inventory to experience them for myself, but I always come back to those.
I enjoyed my Merkur 180 for a few years and then started hitting up local antique stores. I have a few around town where I have landed some amazing deals. I found my Gillette Slim Adjustable and Fat Boy for just a few dollars and have those in my rotation among a bunch of other razors. I really like my Feather Artist Club SS Fixed and have a variety of GEM and STAR single edge razors that get their turn. However, my favorite razor is my Merkur Futur. I love the look of it, the ability to adjust the gap, and the performance.
I have been branching out and trying lots of different soaps lately. My current favorite is Mickey Lee’s – The Drunken Goat. It whips up very easily, gives the razor plenty of glide, and smells amazing.
Where do you see your site in a year? 5 years?
In a year, I hope to have a totally redesigned site and would like the inventory to expand even more. As for five years, who knows. I have been thinking about opening another web store which offers larger quantities of blades for people that found their blade. It would be a good place for me to offer other wet shaving related gear.
Is this full time, or do you have a day job?
TryABlade is part time. I am a night owl and usually fill orders around 10pm CST. Fairly can fill an order just as it comes it. I have had more an a few customers ask me if the order was really filled because they got a tracking ID a few minutes after ordering.
What is the average order like from tryablade.com?
There isn’t really one type of order from my customers, there are a few. Some people will just get a sampler or two, some will just get a few blades, some with get a hodgepodge of everything in different quantities, and some will buy full packs.
Do you have many repeat customers?
According to my analytics, 15% of my customers reorder.
And that sums it up. I hope you find the time to check out the site and find it as useful as I did!