As part of my Portland Makers portrait series, I recently visited the very cool offices of Portland Razor Company. I wanted to see firsthand how they handmake their straight razors and strops, and to capture the process on film.
To me, Portland Razor exemplifies the spirit of the Portland ‘Maker’: locally handcrafted items, made at the highest level, resurrecting an age-old craft in the modern era. And marketed really smartly. To quote their tagline, they truly are “On the cutting edge of antiquity.”
Scott Miyako and Alex Pletcher started Portland Razor Co together, and have grown it into a very respectable little company. To quote them:
Portland Razor Co. handcrafts modern straight razors and shaving supplies in Portland, OR using high quality materials and traditional manufacturing techniques. We are here to supply all of the essential tools and knowledge you need to never throw another razor into the trash again. We believe that straight razors can enrich your life beyond providing a terrific shave. The straight razor demands respect and responsibility: treat the blade well and it will treat you well. Carry this same responsibility with you into the world and wonderful things can happen.
Hunter Lea (shown here working on a walnut scale) is their lead bladesmith. He showed me the process of making a blade and scale, from raw steel to shipping to their loyal customers. It’s a fascinating process, to take raw materials and finish them into exquisitely beautiful and superbly functional objects.
The day I was at the shop in SW Portland, they were just finishing up their very cool Portland Shave Shop. Set up in the front of their shop, you can schedule a shave with some of the best barbers in town, in a classic barber shop setting, using PRC’s razors.
Be sure to check out their website (artfully designed and maintained by Alex herself): Portland Razor Co.
And then be sure to contact me about telling the story of your beautiful business.