Today we're featuring Stan Soldan, the proprietor of the Pomade Shop. Stan runs his premiere online shop featuring the top pomades of the world from his home offices in Munich, Germany. In our book, the Pomade Shop is one of the top three pomade stores in the world, helping to spread the rich heritage of pomade to the masses. Stan's passion for pomade is deeply rooted in his lifestyle and business. Here are a few questions we asked him recently:
G. Tell us how you got interested in pomade.
Since my childhood in the eighties, I have been fascinated by old movies of the 1940s and 50s which aired on television in the afternoons. I especially loved the brilliant and incredibly well-kept hair of the male actors and singers. Cary Grant, Rock Hudson, Clark Gable, Lex Barker, and of course Elvis Presley were my big role models, and for me the epitome of elegant hairstyles. But actually it was the whole aura of elegance and charisma that came from their glossy hairs which made me want to become like these stars of the 1930s, 40s and 50s. When I flew for the first time to Australia to visit my mother, I found a whole new world. In an old barber shop in Sydney I discovered products saying "Pomade," "Hair Dressing," "Murray's," and " Sweet Georgia Brown." Beautiful tin cans shone at me like the Holy Grail. I was blown away! I had never heard of something like this before in Germany.
G. What gave you the idea to open up the Pomade Shop?
In Fall 2007, I brought an old-school friend, Holger Wilken, a sales professional in the IT industry from Italy, a can of Brylcreem Hair Dressing and told him the ingredients, the application and effect, immense history, and he said "Stan, you must open a shop and share all your knowledge of pomade with others!" I had not thought of a shop at all. That very night I began to explore the idea of an online shop, and six months later the Pomade Shop was live.
G. How is the European market compared to the American market? I noticed the European customers embrace the pomade/grease culture wholeheartedly.
From my perspective, America is THE country, where the pomade culture is still maintained and where most of our brands come from. It is the country where many young barbers keep up the tradition and brew their own pomade, handmade in the traditions of the past. Most Europeans today, who did not grow up with the shining era of pomade, know only of the mass market products like gel, hairspray or wax from the supermarket or a hair dressing salon. But a classic pomade is something very exciting - the glamorous pomade history is coming alive again. Holding the same pomade in your hands that Elvis or Johnny Cash would have used to get their magnificent hairstyle is a big "bang" for you and your hair. Pomade users who are used to the easy handling of gel but also love the flexibility and natural shine of a pomade can be satisfied with a gel-pomade like Grant's. The fact that you cannot get these great products everywhere makes one also feel somewhat special. So my experience is that Europeans value these products of the past and love discovering the fascinating world of pomades.
G. How many countries do you service in the EU? Which countries are your strongest supporters?
Pomade Shop services all European countries. Since our website is in German, and of course also in English, our strongest supporters are in German-speaking countries, like Germany, Austria and Switzerland. But we ship a lot to Great Britain, Netherlands, Sweden, Belgium, Italy, France and Spain. The biggest barrier are the shipping costs, which vary in Europe, and whether you feel like being super saturated by global mass products. People in eastern European countries still prefer modern products, but still discover that past the mass market products there is a much more fascinating world.
G. Any personal tips on using pomade (water-based and wax)?
The best thing about pomade is that you can, and should, experiment with them - take only a little or a lot, use the pomade on dry hair, use it on wet hair - then you will be surprised by the outcome again and again. And check out their effects after a few minutes and after a few hours. Try using a hairbrush in addition to a comb. Brush or comb your hair only once and leave the hairstyle, or comb it as often as you feel like, and again check out the result. I find that water-based pomades can dry out your hair a bit, so I combine it with a classic soft pomade to add more moisture and shine. If I want more hold, I add a heavy weight pomade. And when I wash it out in the evening or morning, I find that the water-based pomade helps to remove the heavy weight wax from my hair.
G. Thank you Stan! For more insight into the Pomade Shop and to purchase a tin of Grant's, please visit: www.pomade-shop.eu
Stay tuned as we feature more interviews with intriguing "pomade people." Grant's Golden Brand Pomade the premiere water-based pomade made in the good old USA