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Anne-Katrien
Posts:
I would like to thank everyone, I got many replies and many good suggestions for the future. They will all help me and Ardennes-Coticule a lot! When my project will be in a further stage I will post results. I've still many desk-research to do and when thats finnished I have to make designs! The one thing I can say is that some of the given suggestion will be taken in consideration when developing the new website (we are working on it!)

If there are still people who want to mail me pictures about their Coticule-whetstones or BBW in action, they can still do this! (akce87@gmail.com) I'm still looking for many great pictures!

Cheers,
Anne-Katrien
2011-03-10 16:40
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whitebar
From: United States
Posts: 33
As a professor I am always happy to assist a young scholar with their research so I have filled out your questionnaire. This is an interesting subject for a thesis and I look forward to seeing the end result. Please share it with all of us once the task is completed.
2011-03-12 05:46
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MarkinLondon
Posts: 19
I've completed the questionaire... Good luck with your work.
2011-03-15 22:55
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Anne-Katrien
Posts:
hello everyone,

My project isn't yet finished and I've still some work to do and therefore i need some help (again).
I'm now researching how Ardennes-Coticule can improve the product range and service.
Since this is a forum mainly about straight razor shaving I would like to ask what you think Ardennes-Coticule should do to improve the product range and their service (about straight razor shaving :sleep: )

Looking forward to your replies!
When my project is finished I will make a summary and post it!
kind regards,
Anne-Katrien Celis
2011-04-27 10:15
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MarkinLondon
Posts: 19
Anne,

I'll limit my response to include only the products and services I'd like to see as a customer, and make no comment about whether it makes financial sense for Ardennes to pursue it. Cool?

I currently own three coticules, one from Ardennes, one from a reseller in the UK, and one from eBay. I also have a small disturbed collection of combination slurry stones that began as small dished coticules found on eBay. I use them on a collection of about twenty razors, ranging from easy-to-find Solingens, to 19th century Sheffields, and an NOS Filarmonica. Though I own other natural hones (a Charnley, a Tam O'Shanter, and a Welsh Dragon's Tongue) I use the Coticules almost exclusively. I find them fun to use, fun to hunt for, and especially enjoy being part of the Coticule community. Each sub-group of honers seems to have its own personality. For example, those preferring Japanese Naturals tend to enjoy their exotic method; fans of the Escher tend to be outspoken; and fans of the Coticule tend to be funnier and more attendant to the science behind why these wacky yellow rocks can behave like a perfectly trained pet on one day, and a spoiled child on the next. But enough of the background, eh? Let's answer your question.

I would love to have the ability to individually select my hone. Often times I'm looking not necessarily for a specific hone, but instead for a combination of size, appearance, and performance characteristics. It's also important to note that I'm never in a hurry to purchase it. I simply need to ready to buy it if it presents itself. The hone I purchased from Ardennes was my second hone, and Maurice was very attentive to my request. He found me a terrific 100x50 combo La Veinette. But while I'm certainly happy with that hone, I would have liked to have seen a number of stones prior to deciding so that I could make a choice. I know that Maurice must be very busy and it's a testament to his high standard of customer service that he helped me select a rock, but it's important to know that I might have paid an extra £15 for some kind of "personal shopper assistance" if it resulted in the perfect purchase. As you know, people keep these hones for a very long time, and the sting of the price wears off much faster than the pleasure of the product. A £15 surcharge to help find a specific rock seems reasonable to me. If I asked for some specific characteristics and a I could then choose from a photo of perhaps 3-5 choices, then I would happily pay the surcharge.

Good luck with your research project,
mark
2011-04-27 10:53
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Anne-Katrien
Posts:
Hi Mark,

Thank you for your fast reply!

Yes, I'm looking for replies as you being a customer, and that's exactly what you did! so thank you! It really doesn't matter if it's economical feasible or not in this stage :-) I'm looking for the craziest ideas!
I have some ideas in my mind of what Ardennes-Coticule can or should do and I want to see if customers/consumers/ you guys are also expecting/ demanding this.

Kind regards,
Anne-Katrien
2011-04-27 11:08
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urmas
From: Estonia
Posts: 205
Hi Anne-Katrien,

Since the your product is quite valuable, I think it would be great if I could see and choose the product before purchasing. This means that the Ardennes-Coticule could provide a unique ID number to products and make beautiful pictures of them and after that to put all this material to nice and modern online store. Layer information would be nice to have too. IMHO.

Regards,
Urmas

Edit: Another idea is - I assume that Ardennes has valuable production leftovers such as coticule slurry. I hope that this could be used for production of artificial hones what share some properties of real coticules.
[Last edited by urmas, 2011-04-27 15:05]
2011-04-27 15:00
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vgeorge
+1
Posts: 273
Hi Anne-Katrien,

When you write up these ideas, you might refer to them as having received from "lead users", a theoretical idea of considerable popularity. You will find some citations here.

If my impression is correct, your demand surpasses current supply. If that is true, while Ardennes should remain very nice to the customers, it might be more beneficial to streamline/automate/improve internal processes and designs (both of internal processes and of products). With better margins (from greater efficiencies), better consumer interfaces and designs will become easier to afford and to implement.

I am not suggesting that internal processes are not right. I have no way of knowing that in any detail. I am only suggesting that if you are in a supply constrained market, improving that supply will have the highest benefit.

Very best to your thesis.
George
------
Proud owner of Franz Kline Coticule from Ardennes via Bart
Hoping for Edge, Working on Bevel. © 2010
2011-04-27 15:48
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danjared
Moderator
From: United States
Posts: 1000
iconvgeorge:
Hi Anne-Katrien,

When you write up these ideas, you might refer to them as having received from "lead users", a theoretical idea of considerable popularity. You will find some citations here.

If my impression is correct, your demand surpasses current supply. If that is true, while Ardennes should remain very nice to the customers, it might be more beneficial to streamline/automate/improve internal processes and designs (both of internal processes and of products). With better margins (from greater efficiencies), better consumer interfaces and designs will become easier to afford and to implement.

I am not suggesting that internal processes are not right. I have no way of knowing that in any detail. I am only suggesting that if you are in a supply constrained market, improving that supply will have the highest benefit.

Very best to your thesis.


This sounds like sound advice from Varghese. If I recall correctly, business is his academic career, and he's learned from some of the best.
2011-04-27 17:12
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Anne-Katrien
Posts:
Hello,

I'm always appreciate advice, so thank you for that! when writing, I will take the advice into account.
About the 'lead users': I was writing about co-creation, think that is the same thing?

but I'm still searching what men, who are using straight razors, are looking for in a brand as Ardennes-Coticule. Are this things like workshops or meetings, straight razor related products, more personal service, more unique products, ect.
I' already got some replies that are helpful and support some ideas I already had.

A second thing I would like to know is what shaving with a straight razor means. How does it differs from shaving with throw-away razors. Is it more valuable? Is it a ritual? a habit?

Kind regards,
Anne-Katrien
2011-04-28 14:25
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vgeorge
+1
Posts: 273
Hi Anne-Katrien,

Co-creation with a partner/team and innovative ideas from lead users are slightly different. Co-creators (should) understand the product (design and production) well, while the lead users (should) understand the use/application of the product better. Therefore, a lead user can suggest new features and can even suggest new and different uses.
George
------
Proud owner of Franz Kline Coticule from Ardennes via Bart
Hoping for Edge, Working on Bevel. © 2010
2011-04-28 14:47
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Anne-Katrien
Posts:
Thank you for the clarification!
Meanwhile, i have read a paper about it and think I understand it better know, the difference between co-creating and Lead Users.
2011-04-28 14:55
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Toff
From: United States
Posts: 240
Hello Anne-Katrien
In partial answer to your questions:
iconQuote:
A second thing I would like to know is what shaving with a straight razor
means. How does it differs from shaving with throw-away razors. Is it more
valuable? Is it a ritual? a habit?


Such a question!!!!
Yes to all the ideas.

Shaving with a straight razor becomes a good deal less expensive than using a "hoe" type razor that requires disposable blades or cartridges. Some persons use the straight razor as a special treat when they may relax and take the time to pamper themselves.
Another factor is that, barring accident, that razor may readily pass across 10 or more generations of families. A valuable item at any price. I shave with blades up to two centuries of age.

If we factor in the actual cost of a new straight razor in man hours of work, a quality, newly produced, razor is still equal to a day or three of labor for the average worker. That is as it was 200 years ago and as it is now. That is why many of us rescue old razors and spend that loving time upon them at our leisure rather than buying new.

Shaving with a straight razor is a great ego booster, "...look what I can do!"
As a habit; yes, once mastered, it is a way of morning or special occasion preparation. And; Oh yes it does become a ritual. Certain things done in certain ways do become rituals with only the style of the ritual objects changed from time to time.

And surely the part of razor restoration, honing, and stropping are varieties of craft.

But; more toward your point of view, The honing of blades becomes a zen like space in which we spent untold hours. I enjoy the whispering of blade on hone and the focus upon the sound and feel of the process. When I buy an old, abused, straight razor, it often looks like it has been buried for the last century. After hours of work it is renewed and ready to hone. It may take hours for a person to rectify previous damage and properly re-hone a blade. That is the beauty of the honing process, The blade may then never need but a touch-up for years. Each hone in my meager assemblage has a different personality. I have hone teachers who have given names to their hones..Yup, a bit over the top, but that gives an idea of the wondrous nature of the tools! It is my poor observation of the many folks in the hobby/life style, that Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is quite prevalent among straight razor shavers and restorers and adds to their attention to, and enjoyment of, all parts of the shaving.

Respectfully submitted
~Richard
"Life is a journey between birth and death, preferably undertaken with panache!""
2011-04-28 17:01
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Anne-Katrien
Posts:
Hello everyone,

Thank you for the replies on my latest question,
They helped me a lot!

Kind regards,
Anne-Katrien
2011-05-04 09:32
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Anne-Katrien
Posts:
Hello,

I finally finished with my master-thesis. Yesterday was the big day, I had to give a presentation about it...
And I can announce, I passed! so I'm no graduated and have my masters in Retail design.

I have to acknowledge that this project wouldn't be possible with out you guys!
So, now I will make a short version of my thesis and post it online. I will leave the boring parts out...

So again,
Thank you!

Anne-Katrien
2011-07-08 08:59