Crown King/Pheonix Artisan Accoutrements concern?

Discussion in 'Shaving Brushes' started by lucdj3, Jan 5, 2016.

    **Not directly about brushes, just I was looking at brushes from these/this seller and this is how I came across the concern. If this thread should be elsewhere, please let me know**

    I've been looking at a couple of the brushes from Crown King, probably going to pull the trigger on one soon, but recently read vague posts here and on other sites like reddit that were concerning. All of the posts were very vague, but made it sound like PAA and CrownKing are owned by the same guy who has had issues or been shady in the past? Really don't know what it is, but here is one of the exchanges I read causing concern:

    Person 1: Isn't Crown King the guy from PAA's new company?
    Person 2: Yes
    Person 3:
    Another name change? Did they get caught in new lies? (my bold)
    Person 1:
    They want to get in to Whole Foods. Good that wet shaving is getting bigger just sucks its through him.

    Can anyone fill me in on this?
  1. if you bothered to look at the About Us on the CrownKing website you would see:
    Crown King Shaving is a subdivision of Phoenix Artisan Accoutrements
  2. The was some weird drama about that guy. I won't bother getting into it, but it was about some business practices that seemed underhanded and not in the spirit of fair dealing.

    That being said, from my recollection it had nothing to do with the quality of his products etc.

    I've looked at a few of his brushes before. I like the rubberset 400 clone. Not a bad deal at $50, though I think it's zamak.

    If you get one of the brushes, please post a review!
  3. Apologies, the way I wrote it did seem like I was asking if they are together, though this was not my focus, I actually do know they are connected, not sure why I phrased it that way.

    Thanks for the info, my primary concern definitely was product issues. The two I'm between are the Tali Long Rider and the Switchback 400 (rubberset clone), will be sure to post thoughts here if I do
  4. Paa formally htgam makes great products. They had some bumps in the road and some other issues but still good products
  5. I think the drama had more to do with how he represented himself, failing to do a full disclosure, that sort of thing. The heart may be in the right place but sometimes the brain can take us down the wrong path. In any case, I think he's acknowledged the issues and moved on. Nothing wrong and a lot right with PAA products.
  6. I can report back to you about the concerns. I just purchased some Crown King soap samples, and I also bought their Crown King Steeplechase scent this past Monday, so its all on the way. Along with these, I purchased a few PAA soaps (Deja Fougere, Briar along with the matching after shaves) as well.

    So far, I have only the CaD soap/AS and both the soap and aftershave are of fantastic quality in my opinion.

    I have also personally dealt with Douglas numerous times and he has always provided me with quick responses, excellent advice and the utmost in professionalism. This is anecdotal I know but all I can say, is I have had nothing but positive experiences with this artisan, every bit as much so as my favorites Soap Commander, Reef Point, CRSW and Beaver Woodwright.

    EDIT: I have also read and watched good reviews of the Crown King brushes, but I'll admit I have no experience there, only providing what I've experienced with fast shipping, correspondence, and performance of soap/aftershaves.
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2016
  7. I have the Switchback 400 and like it. It has good heft and the changeable knots is an interesting idea. I have some PAA and Crown King soaps and they are good.

    As had been already posted in this thread, Douglas has had a few bumps in the road, but has put all that behind him. I've met him twice at wet shaving events and he's a very nice guy. I have no problem buying from him.
  8. Thanks for the links to these B&B threads. Both were very interesting reads. As someone who is relatively new to wet shaving, I found myself relying on the honest feedback from the good folks at this forum, as well as other shaving forums, before I made my first purchases (soaps, brush, razor and so on). As it happens, I got into to this hobby after this particular incident. The comments and questions certainly influenced my purchases. In regards to shaving soaps, I picked up Mike's Naturals and Arko. I've been very happy with both.
  9. I don't know why he apparently needs to come up with as many terrible brand names as possible, but the quality of the products are quite good. It's quite cool to see a 400 clone (something I had toyed with doing for myself a year or so ago).

    I'll leave it at that.
  10. beginish

    beginish Moderator Emeritus

    You couldn't pay me to buy this company's products.
  11. But Bob what do you ​really think :w00t:
  12. Mike's and Arko are great choices. In fact, my first three soap purchased were Mike's, Mystic Water and Arko .
  13. I guess I feel like there are enough real vets out there, working hard to build their businesses, that I don't need to give my money to a fake one who keeps starting up new businesses under new names.
  14. The more I read about the HTGAM scandal, the stranger it seems. Messy and unfortunate. I would think that all small batch artisans serving the wet shaving industry desperately need the support of these communities (Badger & Blade, Reddit, etc.). What happens when that support goes away or worse yet, when it turns negative?

    Incidentally, the ongoing obfuscation is no surprise, e.g. Philip Morris to Altria.
  15. You start up a new company with a different name, and figure that with each new incarnation, fewer people will know who you are, and even less will care.
  16. I just read an interesting article about why companies change their names. A telling quote from the article reads:

  17. i have no problems with there products i love al fin after shave and speak easy. but i did notice there prices on shave soaps went up by 5 bucks i thought it was around 10 dollars for there shave soaps when i bought a few 6 months ago
  18. beginish

    beginish Moderator Emeritus

    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 6, 2017

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