Bolin Webb’s 10 Year Anniversary.
Bolin Webb have been crafting British razors for a full decade. Since 2011, we have enhanced the shaving routine for the clean-cut man, bringing style and design excellence into his morning routine.
Bolin Webb was conceived a few years prior to its launch, on a skiing trip in 2007, high in the Swiss Alpes. The first idea for an inspired handle design has travelled through 10 years of development, refinement and innovation in men’s grooming.
2007 – Bolin Webb’s Story Begins
All brands, young and old, have their beginning. Ours begins with our founder, Derrick Webb, returning from a day on the slopes in the Swiss resort of Verbier contemplating whether there could be milage in a style and design led razor brand over the humdrum old razor sitting on the bathroom shelf. It is so often the case that our best ideas are not manufactured at a desk, but rather surface spontaneously, almost by themselves. This is certainly the case for Bolin Webb. Derrick’s manufacturing background and passion for design meant he had the know-how and inclination to begin to transform this shell of an idea into a functioning product.
2008 – The Path To Design Excellence
The next step on Bolin Webb’s journey required sharing the initial drawings with a skilled draftsman. Enter Stuart Cole of the PDR design centre in Cardiff. Stuart recognised Derrick’s vision for a contemporary razor handle that outshone the market’s bland alternatives and so began creating Bolin Webb’s first product; the R1.
2009 – Prototyping and British Production
Using foaming modelling and 3D printing, advanced technology at the time, we were able to sculpture to the first prototype for our flagship R1 razor. With design specifications finalised, we enlisted the help of a collection of UK manufacturers and suppliers to move our prototype into production.
UK manufacturing is a cornerstone of Bolin Webb’s ethos. We value the quality and craftsmanship of British production as well as recognising the influence our choice in partners can have on the betterment of the British economy. Our painters, for example, are based in Birmingham and specialise in top-level automotive colours, serving supercar brands such as McLaren and Bentley.
2010 – Creating The Brand
With our product in place, the next step was to create a brand with the capacity to make an impact in the men’s shaving world. We set our company vision as simply: bringing design excellence to shaving. The final task was to settle on a name – an elegant collaboration of the two, Derrick and his partner Marina Bolin.
2011 – Launch
Bolin Webb launched at London’s Pulse Trade Show in May 2011. Attracting the attention of visitors proved to be effortless for the sleek bodied R1, with the display drawing the attention of many passers-by. The event was an overwhelming success, topped by our new partnership with our first flagship brand, Harrods of Knightsbridge.
2012 to 2014 – Extending The Range and Industry Recognition
2012 saw the launch of the new X1 razor. Compatible with the 5-blade Gillette Fusion cartridge, the X1 featured a re-imagined handle and an integrated magnetic base to hold the razor in place. In 2013 we introduced our initial razor case to market. The case’s blend of aesthetics and functionality was designed to meet the needs of the Bolin Webb’s active, traveller clientele.
By 2014 our accumulated product range meant that the following 12 months would see Bolin Webb establish itself as a major player in the luxury shaving industry. It was a year of awards and recognition, topped off by the prestigious German iF Product Design Award for our new X1 razor and stand.
2015 To Present – China and Beyond
The last few years has seen our brand take strides into new locations, innovate new colourways and work in a distinctive range of materials. In 2015, the brand entered the Chinese market, building a presence among the highest levels of both the online and instore razor industry. In 2017, we entered Germany’s international Red Dot product design award and came away with ‘The Red Dot Product Design: Best of the Best’ award for our razor case, a coveted accolade that has set the standard for Bolin Webb moving forward.
What Will The Next 10 Years Bring?
As we take a moment to reflect on the ascent of Bolin Webb over the last 10 years, we can proudly say that we are succeeding on our vision of bringing design excellence to men’s shaving. In many ways we are just getting started. Our list of plans and prospective developments we have for the future stretch out like the chapters of a book.
Innovation is constant.