Morgan Nordstrom is sharp in more ways than one. A third-year Science student, the 20-year-old also caters to a niche market of razor users.
“My grandpa taught me how to shave with one (straight razor) when I was 16, and that’s when I inherited my great-great-grandfather’s straight razors,” Nordstrom said, of his centuries-old razors. “They were beautiful things, but they were broken and rusted. So, I polished them up, got new handles and fixed them up in order to keep them.
“I thought being able to use something that’s 200 years old, and that belonged to my family for five generations, was kind of cool.”
Thinking he could bring the life back to other straight razors, Nordstrom began his own business, selling straight razors and other related products. The Ottawa native put together suppliers in the United States, Pakistan, Germany and France and began filling orders anywhere from $100 to $1,000.
“I decided to put them online and figured, what’s the worst that could happen? I sold out immediately,” he said. “I said, ‘Hey, this is a lot of fun and I’m making money at it, let’s keep doing it.”
Interest in his business increased to the point where Nordstrom incorporated his business.
“I’m not a business student, so I didn’t know what I was doing at first, and whether or not it would be right or wrong. I learned a lot because it’s so far astray from what I’m ever done before,” he said. “I had made enough money when I started up, I really didn’t have to put any of my own money in. I figured I could take this money and pay for a textbook or start up my own company. It’s been spectacular.”
There is now even more interest in Nordstrom’s start-up business. After meeting with Perma Brands, the largest distributor of classic shaving products in North America, the company decided to purchased all his straight razor stock. Today, Nordstrom has moved into the business of double-edge safety razors.
“I just filed a patent for a new, double-edge safety razor. Manufacturing began at the beginning of August; there’ll be a KickStarter in September; we start shipping en masse through Perma, who distributes to a few thousand specialized retailers across the continent, in November,” Nordstrom said. “It’s been a bit of a change, but incredible so far.”
Story originally appeared in the Aug. 21 edition of Western News.