About us here at ITALIANBARBER.com
It was the summer of 2009 and my family was preparing to embark on a 25-day holiday in Italy. Little did I know that my Father-in-law, a retired Italian Barber, was going to send me on a treasure hunt in the old country. A few days before we left on holiday, my Father in law asked me for a simple favour: “Can you buy be a few Pietra Allume's while you are in Italy?” My response was... Pietra what??? He quickly explained to me that when he was a barber in Italy it was customary to finish a traditional wet-shave with this 'salt-like' stone that was some sort of natural-super-healer; he said they could be found in any traditional Italian barbershop so the task sounded relative simple. I agreed to buy him a few of these salt-stones in exchange for a ride to the airport:-)
Fast-forward two weeks into our holiday... I must of went in and out of 50 traditional barbershops looking for these Pietra Allume's and the responses varied from “Kid, what are you talking about” to “Ya! I remember those, but we haven't sold them for about 25 years!” Quickly I realized that I got the short-end of this 'salt-stone for airport-ride deal'. Around this time, my family met up with my Uncle and his family, who were also on holiday in Italy. Over dinner one night, I mentioned my little treasure hunt and funny enough he was also asked by a friend to bring back a few of these 'salt-stones'. Now we were on a mission together and we were determined to find these things!
The next day we split up. My Uncle and his family headed to Lucca for a day-trip and my family headed into Florence to hit the usual tourist sites. Another day was spent in-and-out of barbershops but again I found nothing. Exhausted and hungry, I knocked on my Uncle's hotel room door to see if they returned. He opens the door with a grand smile and says “Guess what I found!” He had found some little profumeria-boutique in Lucca that had half-a-dozen of these Pietra Allume's stashed in the backroom. At this point, I had to try one of these stones for myself. He gave me a stone and I headed back to my room to shower and shave. Back in those days, I use to shave with a can of 'goo-foam' and a plastic cartridge razor so you can just guess the results. My face was usually red with razor-burn, a little bloody and very irritated. I wet this 'magic-stone' and rubbed it all over my shaved face. At first it stung a little but I noticed it quickly sealed all the little blood spots. “Ok, not bad”...I thought. After about 10 minutes I looked in the mirror again... all those little red bumps on my neck were almost gone; now I was impressed! My Father in law was actually right, this little stone did have some magical powers.
At dinner that evening, I told my Uncle about my experience using the 'salt-stone' and he could see I was very excited and enthused. His response to me was “why isn't this product available in Canada and why don't we bring it to Canada?” One thing led to another and here we are 18 months later with Italianbarber.com. The Alum Rock jump started our journey into the world of wet-shaving and soon we were shaving with a traditional shaving brush, using Italian soaps and creams and experimenting with sharp blades and metal tools, instead of cheap plastic toys filled with over-priced cartridge blades.
In the summer of 2010, our families both returned to Italy. We spent a lot of time and effort finding suppliers and forming relationships and the fruits of our labour can be found right here at ITALIANBARBER.COM
We hope by bringing you these fine products, we can transform a mundane daily chore into a daily activity you look forward to and become passionate about.