Today I ventured into unknown territory. I went to a store that has the word “art” in it. Even on the coldest of days I will break out in a sweat if I enter a Joanne Fabrics or Michael’s Arts and Crafts. If there is a sewing section in the store then I don’t belong there – I’m like an alien in a foreign land. I don’t speak their language. They use words I do not understand, like thread and notions.
But this shopping trip was not about sewing or crafts, it was about shaving. The Art of Shaving is a hip (do people still say that?) little store at the Mall at Millenia on the other side of Orlando. I went in to buy a gift for my son, Joe, who is graduating with his PhD. (We’re so proud of him. Congratulations, Joe!)
This store is definitely a man’s world – the testosterone was palpable, yet it had a salon feel. I told the salesman that this was my first time in his store and he gave me a quick tutorial of the four elements of the perfect shave.
“Interesting. Are you anything like the Clinique counter at Macy’s? Do you have gift sets or promotions?” I asked, grasping for a point of comparison to my world.
He showed me their gift sets. Like Clinique they are quality products which are pricier and better than what you find in a drug store, but unlike Clinique there is no Bonus Time in which free products are given with a purchase.
He expounded. “We have four different scents of shaving cream – lavender, lemon, sandalwood and unscented,” the salesman said as he lifted the unscented variety to my nose for me to smell.
“Is this a trick?” I asked.
He didn’t even blink.
That’s when I began to suspect that The Art of Shaving is a very serious place.
Next he showed me the shaving brushes. “This is a badger brush,” he said.
I replied, “I don’t have a badger. Do you have a dog brush?”
He didn’t crack a smile. He just looked at me with the same look my kids give me when I say something hysterically funny and they don’t get it. I broke it down for him, but you lose a lot when you have to explain things.
I felt like my gig was up, so I made my purchase and left. To his credit, the salesman gave me a few extra samples of products (my own little bonus time – oh yeah!).
The store was quite the classy place – I can see why guys would like the atmosphere and the products; but for me, it’s just another “art” store for my list. I can visit, but I may need my passport and a guide.