I recently met Jake, the CEO and founder of Rocky Mountain Shave Co., one of my favorite new start-ups in the men’s grooming market. His products are all so interesting, (especially his aftershaves) and wanting to learn more, I asked him a few questions about his company and products.
Electrogent: Who are you, and what do you do?
Jake: My name is Jacob Daniel McCaig. As of this interview, I am 24 years old and live in the City of Denver, CO. I have lived in several areas throughout the country. Born in St. Marys, GA. Lived in St. Louis, MO for about 15 years, and then Denver, CO
E: Why did you start Rocky Mountain Shave Company? Is it your full-time job?
J: The RMSC is not my full-time job, however I would love for it to be! I am a full-time Paramedic for the City and County of Denver. I have been in emergency medicine for about 6 years. I started the RMSC because I wanted quality, American made shaving products for myself! I actually started with some pre-shave oil and mustache wax and the catalog grew from there. It was the suggestion of my friends and family that I start selling my products and that’s when everything took off.
E: With what resources did you start Rocky Mountain Shave Company?
J: I have always had fun messing around with building websites and such so I actually started building the site and showing it off to see if there would be much interest in my goods and thankfully there was. I did start with paying for the business out of my pocket and didn’t have much of a problem with it because I enjoy doing this so much.
E: Personally, I’d have no idea about how to make an aftershave. Do you have a background in chemistry or something? What did you do to make your ideas come to life in the form of your products? Additionally, how did you take your razors from design to implementation? Any machining background?
J: I have pretty much no engineering background whatsoever, haha. Actually I knew what I wanted as a base for the aftershaves and from there I just had to come up with scents. I have always loved bay rum so that was easy. I really enjoy good smokes like cigars and pipes and thought that making a product that uses real cigars would not only smell great but be a great marketing angle as well and so far I’ve been right haha. I am always experimenting with different scents, some come from essential oils, some from actual infusion of ingredients. We are actually on the verge of producing our own essential oils to make everything in house! As far as the razors go, I have a very good friend who I work with at my full-time job that happens to own The Rocky Mountain Pen Co. He is a great craftsman who I’ve worked with in both design and manufacturing of the razor components.
E: What inspired you to make shave soap out of beer?
J: My other hobby is home brewing. It’s a great process to learn and the product is far superior to anything you can buy so I thought why not use my superior beer in my superior products?
E: Your aftershaves smell amazing. Would you ever consider making cologne with the same scents?
J: Colognes have been considered and, in all likelihood, will be a future product, along with more balms and lotions!
E: You told me once that men no longer appreciate grooming. What did you mean by that, and how do you operate Rocky Mountain Shave Company in light of this philosophy?
J: I think that a lot of folks nowadays think that ‘grooming’ isn’t manly. I feel that this couldn’t be further from the truth. There is nothing more relaxing than heading to the barbershop and getting a face shave. Trimming up the eyebrows, and clipping those nose hairs are a requirement in my book. I want to look good and I don’t mind saying it. A gentleman should want to take care of himself! I try to make my products manly so that people realize looking good is manly! I mean hell, my soaps are made with beer. I put rum in my bay rum aftershave, and even our heat balm is made with real cayenne peppers! If that isn’t manly then I don’t know what is.
E: The Rocky Mountain Shave Company runs entirely on wind power. How did you manage that? What are the details there?
J: The online store is run on wind energy. My web host isn’t directly run with a windmill out back however they do offset 100% of their footprint by purchasing wind energy credits.
E: What are you most proud about with regards to your company? What sets you apart from the rest?
J: I am most proud that I oversee every single process of the business and my hands touch everything that goes out. I hand write a personal thank you note to all of my customers. I don’t know of any other company that can say that.
E: What’s the first thing you do in the morning? What’s the last thing you do at night?
J: First thing I do in the morning is something that I learned from my pops and excuse the language. S.S.S. which stands for Shit, Shower, and Shave. In that order!
At night after dinner, I watch television while I pack my pipe with some Colorado Honey tobacco and puff away.
E: If someone wanted to start a shaving supply company, what are the three most important pieces of advice you would give them?
J: Know that you aren’t the first out there are certainly won’t be the last.
Use your own products! And don’t make a product that you wouldn’t want to use yourself!
Talk to your customers. Listen, and learn. And act on what they tell you, but don’t lose yourself either!
E: Your website and logo design are pretty nice–did you make both yourself?
J: The web design was done by me, I even gave a few pointers to the Rocky Mountain Pen Co. and let them go at it with their creativity. My logo was a vision of mine and was actually produced by my sister Holly McCaig of Holly McCaig Designs LLC She is a professional graphic designer and photographer. She also collaborated with me on my packaging.
E: What’s your biggest goal with regard to your company?
J: I would love to be able to live off of my revenue because I love what I do!
E: Which historical figure, now dead, do you think had the best facial hair?
J: Theodore Roosevelt. He rocked a mean mustache and was a real man as well.
E: Know any tricks or tips for guys who can’t grow a thick beard or mustache but want one?
J: I am blessed with a great mustache, my beard however leaves something to be desired. The only advice I can offer is patience, and perhaps Rogaine will produce a face cream?
E: You cut yourself shaving: toilet paper corner on the cut, or let it go free?
J: I typically let it go until I’m done with the shave, then I use a styptic pencil. If that doesn’t work then the old TP standby.
E: Have you sent any of your “Havana” aftershave to Castro? Ever considered it?
J: I think the USPS would frown upon my shipping a package to Cuba. I do think it would blow his mind however!
I’d like to thank Jake for spending time to answer my questions and for his efforts in keeping the fun in shaving. If you want to learn more about Jake or the Rocky Mountain Shave Company, head over to their website.
Have any questions for Jake regarding his company or background? Ask him in the comments below!