What's In A Logo? March 26, 2016 17:15

What’s in a logo?

My father was an artist.  He raised nine kids on painting.  I was in the Art Institute Of Chicago seemingly constantly.  Never went to Disney, but I got to see many exhibits of all of the great art names.  Though I didn’t think much about it at the time, I absorbed a love for looking at things.

My tastes tend to gravitate toward graphic design more than Gauguin.  I love logos.  

As long as I can remember, I also had an affinity for gas station signs.  When we travelled, I liked how different regions had different brands of stations.

I had a Sinclair Oil storage facility in my hometown.  I always loved their dinosaur logo.  It looked especially cool on the huge storage tanks.   

I wanted one of those.  I love the clean lines and simple, to the point look.  Plus, as I was having to do the design work myself, the simpler the better.  Win win for me!

So I played around with colors and fonts.  I finally settled on green, gray and white, along with my finest, gas station worthy, signage motif.


What's In A Name? February 12, 2016 21:56

My full name is Paolo Francesco Licciardi.  A tad on the Italian side.  My name was not fun in the first grade.  For those counting, it contains three letters less than the entire alphabet! Standardized tests took me forever to fill in!

With that name, you’d think I would be able to speak the most beautiful language of my people.  Not a word.  I was born in Iowa.  Not exactly the focaccia mecca.

Further still, my grandfather was a typical immigrant from the turn of the last century.  They left their homelands to become Americans.  He went by Paul.  He learned English.  Like many, he seemed to downplay ethnicity.  My father never learned Italian with any fluency.

When I was thinking of what to call my soap company, I knew I had to take advantage of my tailor made backstory of having a Italian barber in my family.  I wanted to accentuate my ethnic background! 

I love simple.  Neat and tidy.  I really liked Mike’s Natural Soap as a name (the soap as well!).  It’s short, concise, and leaves no question to what Mike does.  I wanted that. 

Sapone Di Paolo!  Paolo’s soap. Simple and short with the romance of the Italian language!  Done.

I then thought about what to call the scents.  Since I don’t speak Italian, I needed to not get too crazy with long names.  I decided to make them all one word.  A single descriptor also works perfectly with my want of simplicity.

 Agrume - citrus, Bosco - woods, Cremoso - creamy, Piccante - spicy.  

That’s the magic of the Italian language!  It can take absolutely anything and make it sound fancy, exotic and beautiful!

…I mean bellissimo!

Hello, my name is Paolo! April 12, 2015 11:22


Why am I here?  What made me decide to start making shaving products?  

Oddly enough, it all started with my hands.

I was suffering from dry, cracked and often bleeding hands. It was to a point where getting dressed, or reaching into my pocket for my wallet, or tapping the turn signal in my car, or picking just about anything up would split open my fingers. I was getting beyond frustrated.

I used every hand cream. I went to the dermatologist. He gave me steroid ointments which healed it, but it would always come back a week later. Completely sick of having four bandaids on my hands at once, it was time to solve this on my own.

My research began. After some time and testing, I found that removing sulfates from my skin did the trick. This led me into the world of natural products. Once I had cleaned up my ingredient lists with everything in the sink, shower, laundry, etc., I was still feeling slightly itchy when I shaved.

Which brought me to the wonderful and intriguing world of traditional wet shaving.

I had learned how to shave as a teen with safety razors. After years of canned foams and gels, bad disposable razors, electric razors and every other gimmick, it was a welcomed return to my roots along with the newly acquired interest in shaving soaps. I dove right in.

Creams. Soaps. Hard. Soft. Balms. Splashes. Endless scents. Brushes. Blades… It’s all very intoxicating and addictive.

With a few favorites, I thought “why not try to make your perfect soap?” Take the slickness from this one, a scent like that one and the post shave feel from that other one and make my super soap! I’m a genius!

Until I actually tried it. I very abruptly learned a new and great respect for soap makers.

But I persevered. It is a very interesting and enjoyable process. It let’s me be both creative AND nerdy! After several months of tinkering and tweaking, I finally have my perfect soap. It lathers easily, it’s slick, it smells fantastic and my face feels great hours later.

And now I can hopefully pass that same feeling on to you.