Brad Maggard spoke to club members today. The following information is taken from the article posted in the Daily Telegram in the past. His business, Maggard Razors, is located in downtown Adrian in the first floor of the original IOOF building on Winter Street. Maggard, whose "day job" is as a network engineer at Adrian College, started restoring vintage straight razors as a hobby about 31⁄2 years ago, learning how to do the work "mainly by trial and error." A few months later he took his first customer and quickly found his interest skyrocketing.
Today the razors lining the shelf in hip store are from Indiana, Maryland, Wisconsin, California, Alaska and China. Almost all date back to before 1900; the one from Maryland was made in about 1790. His clientele is largely higher-income men who "have an appreciation for artisan-made things," he says. "They're the type that smoke pipes, maybe collect knives and guns."
Some are razor collectors — including people who buy them on eBay and have the seller ship them directly to him first for work like new blades or handles — but he also gets customers who have, say, inherited their grandfather's razor and send it to him for refurbishing. He also repairs and then sells razors he's bought himself. "As soon as I get one done, it's sold," he says.
Customers come to him from all over the world, with about half his business in fact coming from overseas, especially Europe. They're drawn to him because of word of mouth about the quality of his work and the fact that his craft is extremely rare. "There are only about 10 guys in the world who do what I do.” He has also used horn, bone, acrylic and the materials G10 and Micarta in his handles.
The growth of his business has been mostly online sales. In addition to straight razors, Maggard sells traditional wet shave equipment: safety razors ranging from $20 to $300, shaving soaps from all over the world, razor blades, soap bowls, brushes, after shave, lotions, virtually everything a person needs for a close shave like no other. Maggard said the company employs eight people including himself.
Maggard’s inventory includes shaving soaps, brushes and razors from as far away as Turkey, Germany, India and Great Britain; he imports stock from 15 different countries with 1,100 items for the “traditional wet shave” available in his inventory. An old card catalog from a library now serves as a handy space for storing razor blades and glass cases hold brushes made from artificial fibers as well as premium boar’s hair. His customers range in age from 20 to 70, he said. About 85 percent are U.S. clients, with 15 percent from Italy, Spain, Germany, Norway, Brazil and Australia.