A few months back, I stumbled onto a small start up company based out of Virginia that specializes making handmade essentials for men. Recently, my eyes were opened up to the world of the barber shop. Ever since then, I have been looking for quality products to take care of not only my skin, but my beard as well. Soapbox Gypsy, owned by Ryan Vann and Jeremiah Johnston, is a breath of fresh air for men’s grooming products. There is originality, craftsmanship, and a whole lot of badass filled in each bottle of Soapbox Gypsy. How often have you finished up your morning shave with a dash of rum splashed on your baby face?
I reached out to Jeremiah to ask him a few questions about the products that they have to offer. At first, I just wanted to run an interview with him and Ryan, but to my surprise, he sent over a box of their offerings at the time. After unwrapping everything in the box, I found a bottle of their Bay Rum Aftershave/Cologne, a bottle of Hold Fast Beard Oil, their Pure and True Mouth Rinse, and a bottle of Hold Fast Pre-Shave Oil. Since receiving the package, Jeremiah and Ryan have added a few new products that I’m hoping my barber will begin to carry. You should check them out for yourself on their Etsy shop.
Since the guys at Soapbox Gypsy were kind enough to send me a few products, I decided to give them a review. In order to give a proper review, I wanted to dedicate at least four weeks to actually test the products. Below, you can find my thoughts on each item in the package.
*It should be noted that my skin is notoriously sensitive. When it comes to shaving, I would rather get a tattoo, run a triathlon, walk across hot coals, etc.
Soapbox Gypsy Products
- Hold Fast Beard Oil: Guys, if you have a beard, and you want to tame it, you need beard oil. Overall, it should give your beard a healthier look, and help you manage those wild whiskers. The Hold Fast Beard oil performed all of these necessary tasks, all the while complimenting my beard with scents of cedar wood and bergamot. One of the best parts about this product is that it is relatively inexpensive compared to other beard oils. As a proud owner of a ginger beard, I approve of this product.
- Hold Fast Pre-Shave Oil: As noted above, I hate shaving. Getting tattooed is more comfortable to me than taking a razor to my neck. However, I am a big fan of getting a straight razor shave from my barber. Part of the reason is because of the pre-shave preparation that he puts in before taking a straight razor to my neck. When I used the Hold Fast Pre-Shave Oil, I realized how important it was to prep my skin before shaving. What was a relatively dull razor, seemed to glide over my skin effortlessly. For the first time that I can remember, I had zero nicks, zero irritation, and zero pull on my whiskers. The cedar scent compliments the beard oil as well, so you can feel free to wear your beard or mustache while keeping your neck clean.
- Bay Rum Aftershave / Cologne: I’ll start off by listing a few of the ingredients: Rum, Vodka, Bay Leaf Oil, Rosemary Oil… Should I continue? Bay rum aftershave is a classic, manly scent that has historic roots from the sailors of the 16th century, which eventually made its way into the barber shops of America. Soapbox Gypsy’s Bay Rum Aftershave is made with all natural ingredients, and leaves your skin smelling fresh and feeling clean. My skin appreciated the extra attention.
- Pure and True Mouth Rinse: This product was another pleasant surprise from Soapbox Gypsy. After being brainwashed by department stores about whitening strips and mouth rinses, I was a bit skeptical that the guys could make a product that actually works with a list of limited ingredients. There are seven ingredients used in Pure and True Mouth Rinse, one of which includes distilled water… and of course, vodka. After four weeks of using this product, I noticed coffee stains disappearing. Using the product itself was fairly refreshing as well. It left no weird chemical aftertaste in my mouth that most rinses carry along.
Overall, I was exceptionally pleased with the products that I tried from Soapbox Gypsy. They have created a great product line that most guys will be able to appreciate (Hint: Ladies, these would make great gifts). Make sure you check these guys out, or request that your barber start caring their products in shop.
John Grove says
I just ordered the bay rum, looks like a beautiful bottle and good ingredients.
Kevin Ekmark says
John, I think you will be really happy with the purchase! Thanks for dropping a line!
Jeremiah Johnston says
Thanks again John for the order! Our website is up and running! soapboxgypsy.com . Kevin Thanks again for the review! It’s been very helpful in giving people an idea of what we are about. Let me know if you need any refills. Soapbox Gypsy will be at the 2012 Beard Con in Columbus OH. Oct 6th. If your in the area stop by. I know this is a Southern forum but Soapbox Gypsy loves all of America and like a good gypsy must roam where need be. Cheers!
Johnnie Bradley says
I was on the fence about ordering the AS, after your review, it’s on my to do list! Thanks!