Since the beginning of the pandemic we’ve been relying on Amazon and other online shopping services for our household needs. One of the neat things about living in a major city is that we often will receive our order the next day, especially when ordering from Amazon. This sort of immediacy is nifty.

However, as it becomes apparent as to how much money Jeff Bezos is making off of these pandemic circumstances, and coupling this with the fact that he’s not really allowing that wealth to trickle down to those on the Amazonian front lines, the ones that really get our deliveries to us the very next day, I’ve started focusing on shopping local.

I’m what I would call an “avid shaver”. After years of having a beard and/or mustache, I settled into a clean shaven routine when I became a private pilot. In many ways this is in remembrance of a discussion I had with my father back at the big airshow in Oshkosh, Wisconsin in 1984. As we were walking about the airfield, he mentioned that many pilots opt to be well groomed, clean shaved, and with a structured, disciplined demeanor. While I’m sure much of this is due to many pilots of that generation having been in the military at one point or another, I admitted he had a point. Being a good pilot involves a certain amount of calm, cool, discipline, and structure, and outward appearance sometimes reinforces these qualities.

As a clean shaven private pilot, I’ve been purchasing “artisan” shaving products for the past decade or so. I have a Merkur Progress double-edged or “safety” razor. Men in the 1940s through the early 1970s typically shaved with these guys. 10 blades cost less than $2.00. Compare that to your Gillette plastic multi-bladed razor. Back in the early 2000s I purchased shaving brush at a mall kiosk and it has lasted me all these years. I like trying various soaps and creams.

Enter Shavenation.com. I could easily order my shaving supplies through Amazon, but with my focus on local or at least non-big-corporately owned entities, I opted to give “Geofatboy” and his Shavenation electronic storefront a try. He’s located in the suburbs of Chicago, actually just down the street from Chicago Executive Airport, one of the airports I fly out of, and Geofatboy has a bunch of instructional videos online. I placed a small order to give his business a try and it arrived in two days, was well packaged, and met all of my expectations. One of the items in the package was a sampler pack of shave creams from Geo F Trumper; yesterday I used “Spanish Leather” for my shave and this morning I used “Sandalwood”. I’ll probably try something a little more adventurous tomorrow.

Taking a few extra moments every morning to whip up a nice lather with cream and a brush and then slowly shave with a double-edge razor is my meditative and quiet time. The practice centers me and gets me on a productive start to the day. I’m happy to have found Shavenation.com and I’ll probably spend too much money in the future on shaving supplies.