How did you come up with the name Tatara Razors?
“Tatara (鑪) is the name of the furnace where the forge masters used to smelt the steel for Samurai swords in ancient Japan. Like the Japanese katanas, our products are
made with extreme dedication and attention to detail. Combining this with the obsessive precision of modern engineering, Tatara Razors is proudly creating safety razors of rare sensitivity and strength.”
We have a strong Japanese inspiration, because they can do great blades and have a minimalist aesthetics, and we wanted to transport that to our brand.
Tell us the backstory behind Tatara Razors and how it's inspired from ancient Japanese Samurai warrior swords?
We, the founders, met in university. We studied Mechanical Engineering, so for us it was relatively easy to develop new products.
Someday, we decided to enter the School of Startups of our University. There, we learned that a brand’s backbone is its identity. So we started looking for inspiration, we searched a lot, saw a lot of movies and we came up with this video of the katana’s manufacturing process. In that moment we knew that the Japanese theme had to be present in our identity.
We decided to go with Tatara, because the first idea for the razors was to make them in a foundry, which is basically a furnace, like Tatara.
“What we set up to do was to develop a classic shaving instrument but with a modern look.”
Tell us what goes into producing a razor from Tatara Razors?
Essentially 3 things:
What sets Tatara Razors apart from other razor brands?
The market of wet shaving was saturated with old looking equipment at the time and with little to no innovation for a long time. What we set up to do was to develop a classic shaving instrument but with a modern look. We wanted the razor to look good in a bathroom by itself.
We introduced some innovations that help a lot reducing the blade vibration and blade shatter, which are the main sources of problems in shaving.
Introduce us to the Tatara Razors team!
As I mentioned before, we are 3 young engineers, we live in the beautiful city of Porto.
André Guimarães is passionate about refined products for everyday use. He is a CNC machining expert and leads the manufacturing of high-quality products for various areas such as aerospace, medical and optical industry.
After his master, he took a post-graduation in advanced machining and business management. Don’t mess with André! He’s a black belt in Karaté!
Luis Oliveira is a product designing specialist. This is very handy when it comes to designing our razors. He worked several years modeling automotive parts, where quality standards are high, just like in Tatara. He has a master in Automation and skills in laser engraving. Luis loves to travel, cinema, and you should see his cooking skills!
João Gomes is an innovation engineer that worked as a process engineer in investment casting producing turbines for the automotive and aviation industry. In recent years, he has been involved in Automotive Interiors R&D and this year he left his job to focus 100% on Tatara. João plays guitar as a hobby and he is a “snowboarder addicted”!
Walk us through your daily routine!
Well, I wake up early and work out for a while, then I have a shower and breakfast and head up to Porto, where we have the office.
I meet João there about 9 am and first thing we do is to plan our day. We are only 2 people at Tatara, so that is relatively easy 😊
Then we roll our sleeves and pick whichever project is on the table.
Depending on the day, we can make a break to walk to the nearby park, or eat ice cream or drink a beer.
We leave the office around 6pm, but we are always available to help our customers after that.
“We are on a quest to educate more and more people, and our goal for the following years is to expand our presence both online and in stores.”
Do you have any tips on choosing the razor that's right for you?
It will depend on your hair and your shaving habits. We recommend choosing a closed comb for people who shave more regularly or have thinner hair, and an open comb for people who have thicker hair or shave occasionally.
We have 2 “lines” of regular razors, the Masamune, which is smoother and more comfortable, and the Nodachi, which is more aggressive, very appreciated by more experienced shavers.
If you want a more advanced experience, we recently launched the Muramasa, which is an adjustable razor. With only a twist of a dial, you can completely change the shaving experience.
How important is sustainability to Tatara Razors?
It is very important. All our products last forever and you can recycle 100% of it. We use sustainable cork and paper for packaging that can even be reused for other purposes.
Wet shaving in general is more sustainable, because the blades it uses don’t contain plastic, the shaving soaps don’t contain aerosols, and have less preservatives, due to their solid nature.
Is Tatara Razors looking to expand in the near future?
We truly believe that wet shaving is better for the skin, for the environment and for the wallet. We are on a quest to educate more and more people, and our goal for the following years is to expand our presence both online and in stores. We hope that GlossWire can help us with that 😊
What has been your most memorable moment with Tatara Razors?
We will always remember when we went to open the company and register the brand, of course. Another moment was when we open pre-orders for the Masamune, our first product, and sold out in a few hours.
And also, when we were in Cosmoprof, one of the biggest cosmetic fairs in Europe!
How has Tatara razors evolved throughout the years?
In the beginning, all of us worked for this project in our free time. We were working for our respective companies by day, fulfilling orders by night and developing new products on weekends. It was very challenging, but we were having fun!
João returned from Belgium in 2020 to work full time for Tatara and I left my job this year to help him.
We moved out of André’s parents’ garage to an office here in Porto, so things are going alright for us 😊
How do you like to spend your free time?
As I said before, we all have our own hobbies. But we have in common this passion for traveling.
We were lucky to visit Japan in 2018 and it was a very inspiring trip for us and for the brand also. Japan is really a world apart.