Chris Bartek is the (new to our site) soap maker behind Ballenclaugh Soaps. Located in Wilber, Nebraska, you get small batch soaps from small-town America. While he has pretty much been flying under the radar, he has been offering soaps since about 2013. With its phenomenal ingredients list and resulting lather, it is a great value. Their unique line of scents is both sophisticated, invigorating, and unorthodox all at the same time. West Coast Shaving is excited to be the exclusive retailer for Ballenclaugh.
Let’s start with the name. Ballenclaugh is pronounced ball & claw. “[Ball and claw] was my original idea for a name referencing the old ball and claw foot furniture of the past. I tried it out and didn't think I liked it. After combining the words into one and with the uniqueness of the name, I decided to go with Ballenclaugh,” said Chris. But it isn’t just the name that is unique. His soap formula has a superior slickness and original scents. “The thing about me is, I like trying new scents and the scents I make are ever-changing. Customers can request scents that they loved in the past, but I usually just create what inspires me, and sometimes some scents end up being made for just one batch.”
Chris began soapmaking in 2012 with bar soap, but that isn’t when his fascination with wet shaving started. “I had been interested in wet shaving since being a young child. My grandfather had a superspeed razor that I had always seen in his drawer but never thought people still shaved that way,” said Chris. In his 20s, his interest in wet shaving was renewed as an economical way to shave. He started shaving with Williams Mug soap and a shaving brush. “Once I started trying more expensive soaps I got addicted and started looking into them more. I noticed in pictures that many people who used a brush and soap also used safety razors. This renewed my interest in my grandfather's old superspeed and I was wet shaving with a safety razor since.” Soon his hobby of making bar soap expanded into creating his own shaving soap – a logical leap since he was already in love with whipping up a shaving lather. After hours of research, trial-and-error, and forums, he ended up with a formula worth sending out. “Over time I went through many formulas to end up at 4.5 which is my current and best formula,” said Chris. He began selling his soap through Facebook in 2013.
As the exclusive retailer for Chris’ soaps, we are launching two of his more popular scent offerings. Check out Honey Tobacco and Old Barber Menthe.
Ballenclaugh Soaps Shaving Soap, Honey Tobacco - This Honey Tobacco aroma is sure to please, ya'll. Just like sitting on a porch sippin' Kentucky Bourbon, this fragrance is a little sweet, a little strong, a little bit southern. Lather it up and enjoy.
Ballenclaugh Soaps Shaving Soap, Old Barber Menthe - Old Barber Menthe delivers what it promises, a barbershop mint-scented soap. This is fabulous for those traditional shavers who like a classic scent AND a classic menthol.