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July 22, 2021

How uncomfortable questions led to our fantastic Bar Soap

unwrapped bar soap on top of packaged bar soap

There's something really painful about an awkward personal conversation with your coworkers, isn’t there? You know, that moment where you realized you just found your way into an uncomfortable topic and there’s no easy way out? There was a time in my life where I could make myself uneasy just thinking about it.

When Allen and I decided to start Fulton & Roark, we knew we would have to put those concerns aside and “get comfortable being uncomfortable.” Because even though we could talk about fine fragrance all day, we also wanted to rethink an array of grooming products as well. In order to do that, we needed to know all the little details about how people get ready every day. In exploring those details, we believed we might find answers. We also knew we would likely have to ask some fairly intimate questions.

Case in point—creating our Bar Soap. When we began work on making a better bar soap, we were admittedly pessimistic. Soap has been around for centuries, and we weren’t sure what was left to be improved, but we started asking questions all the same.

When we interviewed men who were bar soap users, we asked them, “Do you use a washcloth with your soap, or go straight ‘bar-to-body?’” They almost all answered that they were washcloth users, which led us to follow up with questions about what kind of lather they looked for, etc. But one day, I asked another follow-up question of the self-reported washcloth users: “Did you use a washcloth today?”  In response to that question, most men gave us a sheepish look, and replied something to the effect of, “Well, I didn’t use a washcloth today.”

While some of the respondents may have felt a little embarrassed giving their answers, it led us to ask a whole new set of questions that uncovered a major problem with the bar-to-body experience for guys—body hair and bar soap do NOT get along. Most bars of soap have a waxy texture that rips and tugs instead of gliding over a patch of chest hair. And the thicker the hair, the worse the experience.

That insight got our minds going, and after plenty of experimentation we learned that adding a combination of rhassoul or kaolin (fine clays used in a number of spa treatments) and oat flour still allowed for a rich lather and a long-lasting bar of soap, while also creating a texture that made the bar glide through even the Burt Reynolds-iest patches of chest hair.

While that may seem like an odd bit of trivia, from the perspective of many of our customers, taking the time to ask the right questions and really listen led us from making what would have been a good bar of soap to instead making the best bar of soap around. And, like all F&R products, our bar soaps smell fantastic. Try a bar today. With our 30-Day No-Questions-Asked Returns Policy, if you don’t love it, send it back, and we’ll exchange it or refund your money—your choice.

Do you have an insight or idea that could lead us to our next great product? Send a message to info@fultonandroark. We’re listening.


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