Stirling Soap Company shaving soap, aftershave splash and post shave balm is now in stock at Agent Shave! As part of the launch, our top secret agents went undercover with Rod Lovan to find out everything a wet shaving fan wants to know about Stirling Soap Co!
Who is Stirling Soap Co?
We want to get to know you - tell us a little bit about yourself, family, hobbies, where you live in the world.
I am Rod Lovan, and along with my wife, Mandy, I run Stirling Soap company. We live in a small town in Arkansas. We have three boys (3, 5, and 11) who make up our entire world, and a small farm of sheep, cows, and a few chickens, two dogs and three cats. Life is good.
What do you eat for breakfast?!!!
Most days a home made latte consisting of Mandy's Kenya espresso roast, 2 tablespoons of cream, and 3 ounces of whole milk. On weekends I'll either make an omelet, pancakes, or waffles for the boys.
What is the story behind the name Stirling?
It's from the name of the Scottish town. We were on top of the William Wallace National Monument looking down on Stirling, Scotland when we first discussed the idea of making soap, so it seemed fitting to name the company after the place that inspired it. This is the tree that inspired our logo!
The wet shaving journey
Do you wet shave?
I have wet shaved exclusively for about 14 years now. I have about ten double edged razors and a few straights, but more often than not I use the Stirling Stainless razor with the hyper aggressive head, or my Gillette Slim on 9.
Where is the strangest place you have ever shaved?
In an old Iraqi prison.
Shaving soap secrets
When did you start soap making & why?
Mandy and I started making soap in late 2011 as a hobby. We didn't have kids at the time and wanted to do something fun together in the evenings that didn't involve sitting around watching TV.
What is your secret to achieving the perfect lather from your shaving soaps?
Water. Stirling shaving soap will hold more water than most people realize. I always recommend loading as much soap as you think you need into the shaving brush, and then load for another 15 seconds, and then continue to add water to the tips of your brush as you are building the lather. The lather will really explode as more water is worked into the lather.
Top secret aftershave clones...
Which of your scents are based on famous perfumes?
Too many to mention. We have quite a few that are dupes of Creed such as Executive Man and Tom Ford, Haverford. We've found that they sell really well, and having scents like that gives us the freedom to do custom scents that may not sell as well as those that are based on popular colognes.
What is your favourite Stirling scent and why?
This answer changes throughout the year, as I love variety. However, the answer is always going to be one of my own original creations. Right now the answer is Stirling Gentleman.
Is there a scent that you would really like to try making that you haven't yet?
Not really. We've made an enormous number of scents over the years. The overwhelming majority of the scents we have done have been based on customer suggestions, and I've got a list still to go that is a mile long. In any given week, I get a dozen or more scent suggestions. If I get enough requests, I will typically find a way to add a scent. Sometimes, the suggestions are off the wall though and we just have to politely decline.
What is the difference between using your aftershave or balm?
The aftershave contains alcohol and has a burn as would be expected when applied after shaving. The post shave balm is more like a lotion in consistency, and helps to soothe and moisturize.
Coming soon from Stirling Soap Co?
We're hoping to have a reboot of our deodorants soon, as well as new liquid body soaps, and pomades all within the next 6 months*
I don't feel comfortable asking customers who already have 10 years worth of shaving products to buy more shaving gear, so our path forward to staying afloat and growing as a company has to be by becoming a complete grooming company with all types of bath and body products.
* May not be available in the UK