The Shaving Mirror www.muehle-pinsel.com Hundshübel, November 2005 Published by Hans-Jürgen Müller KG 1st Issue Global Village Editorial W ell lit, perfectly polished, on the wall or in your hand: a mirror reflects the familiar – and it offers new perspectives. Today we present the first issue of The Shaving Mirror. No, we are not switching over to publishing, but three times a year we are going to take you behind the scenes, have a look into the future and reflect on the culture of shaving in its many facets. Our magazine combines the urbane and the personal: from the global village to the hall of mirrors. 2005 marks six decades of MÜHLE. In 1945, when Otto Johannes Müller founded our company, the first products were transported away by horse and cart. Today, our activities are governed by the laws of global goods traffic. Think local – a motto we have been faithful to for decades; act global – the goal that will determine our future. But it is not so much the past as the future that determines our dialogue with you, our partners. The new bilingual website Photo Jo Zarth www.muehle-pinsel.com caters for your wishes and needs. The three sections PRODUCTS, COM- O ur location – Hundshübel, Stützengrün sub- district, in the municipality of Aue-Schwar- zenberg - is in the Saxon Erz (Ore) Mountains. Yes, and toys established itself gradually – the toys PANY and SHAVING CULTURE focus on the brand, are still iconic for the Erz Mountains and popu- aesthetics and application. lar throughout the world. The clock industry is we are surrounded by thousands of conifers, but this does not mean we cannot see the wood for the trees or that we are behind the times. But then centred in Glashütte, going back to 1845 when Ferdinand Adolf Lange founded the first factory for the manufacture of mechanical chronome- W e hope you will enjoy these two gifts in our anniversary year! that would never have occurred to you. And yet ters. The craft of brush-making also has its home Hans-Jürgen and Christian Müller the incense smoke man, the Christmas pyramid here: brushes of all kinds were already made and and decorative carvings dominate the general pic- sold in the Erz Mountain region 150 years ago. Our company has this tradition to thank for its ture that people have of our region, which is full of treasures, in some cases hidden. True, the climate existence: in 1945, the year of our foundation, we began to boil bristles in a wash-house for the Hans-Jürgen Müller here is sometimes a little rough, as indicated by the Chri- nickname „Saxon Siberia“. The good thing about it manufacture of brushes. This was followed by the stian Müller is that the ridges and slopes of the Erz Mountains production of shaving brushes. The first finished have one of the most reliable snow guarantees in articles were taken away by horse and cart; in the these uplands. It is no coincidence that Germany‘s days of Otto Johannes Müller, lorries as a means most successful ski-jumper, Jens Weißflog, hails from of transport were in short supply. this region. And the fine arts are also deeply rooted here, with Bauhaus designer Marianne Brandt, the painter Ernst Hecker and wood sculptor Professor Hans Brockhage just a few examples. C hanging political conditions brought about a decline in the climate that was due less to geography than a new zeitgeist: the MÜHLE com- Photo Jo Zarth pany was nationalised and merged with a large cor- Contents T he extraction of ores 800 years ago ensured poration. Many other firms suffered a similar fate. that settlement in the Erz Mountains increa- Since 1990, Hans-Jürgen Müller KG has once again sed: silver and tin ore contributed to the growing been run as a family business. The Hundshübel Brush Up Rituals Require Care Company news Sandalwood wealth of Saxony. Silver was worked locally as a location is our home – and that of 22 employees Hall of Mirrors Deceleration coin metal in the mining towns. When ore mining and their families. And that is not going to change Close Up Christian Müller came to a halt in the 17th century, the local people in the future. This commitment puts us in excel- Rear-View Mirror Water sought new livelihoods. Many already worked in lent company, as Saxony has many good citizens: Speakers Corner Gentle fibres textile production 400 years ago, and in the east BMW, Porsche and VW in the automobile industry, Wing mirror Herrlich in Berlin in particular the manufacture of wooden articles and AMD, Infineon and ZMD in microelectronics. Page 2 The Shaving Mirror November 2005 Brush Up Insight Company news Hunter and Gatherer T his title is not intended as a call to brush up your foreign languages (although we at MÜHLE do so regularly in order to communicate perfectly is familiar with everyone else‘s work processes and we all support each other. These short paths ensure that orders are implemented conscientiously and F or many years now, Hans-Jürgen Müller has been travelling through time, constantly follow- ing the trail of shaving culture. He visits collectors, and appropriately with our partners abroad, near that any complaints are dealt with quickly. Despite dealers, experts and colleagues in both Germany and far). The idea behind this section is to give you working at speed, we still take the time to talk to and abroad. The result of his inquiries is an impres- an opportunity to get to know us better, to gain an each other at length and to listen to the advice sive catch – historic finds from two centuries of insight into our company and to be kept up to date of colleagues who are experts in their respective the art of hairdressing and shaving, on show in the about the things that concern us. Our anniversary fields. This has led us in management to maintain MÜHLE COLLECTION. The stronger sex has expe- year, 2005, had few calendar entries reserved for the high proportion of manual production in our rienced, in some cases suffered, and most definitely celebrating or relaxing. We used the „Brush up“ manufacturing process – and to gauge the value of undertaken much in order to master his head and motto to determine jointly with our employees human capital in terms of individuals, not in terms facial hair. In the course of evolution, many devices how we can cater even better for our customers‘ of the quantities they produce. That said, we invest – some economic, some less so – have helped him, needs, streamline our product portfolio and improve continuously in industrial manufacturing in order to such as the razor-blade sharpener. In the 1930s, the the advice and service we offer. remain competitive in the years to come. patented Be-Be-Strop was even recommended by a certain Professor A. Einstein from Berlin. I n this context, mention should also be made of the careful thought we give to our target groups: people who use our products on a daily basis and who profit from them, or people whose enthusiasm we want to gain for the MÜHLE brand, particu- larly young people. We believe that many of our competitors have not yet discovered an additional group of experts to whom we started paying a great deal more attention in 2005 – women. How well or how badly a man is shaved and whether he smells attractive or not is a decisive factor for partnerships in the 21st century. Bathroom-shy, reluctant shavers with stubbly faces have long ceased to be favoured by the fairer sex, and real men are these days cha- racterised by neither lumberjack shirts nor three-day beards. We therefore direct our communication W hen heading for new shores it is advisable not to take an entire fleet, but one ship with a crew that has been working together for many equally at men and women with a fondness for personal care rituals and exquisite accessories. Our PR activities, with which we successfully trod years. At MÜHLE, there are 22 „crewmen“, of whom new ground in 2005, have been rewarded by a 15 are women, sitting in one boat. Whether it is in lively media response in daily newspapers, general administration, production or shipping – everyone interest magazines and even television coverage. Photo Jo Zarth Rituals Require Care G etting into a lather is actually a pleasant experience for any man who shaves wet and succeeds in extracting creamy lather from S andalwood was already used as incense and perfume in ancient times. In Hinduism, it plays a prominent role in meditative rituals, fragrant soap. In daily shaving practice, soap and in China it also serves as a remedy. The dissolves the outer greasy layer of the facial hair 8-12 metre high, evergreen tree has its origins which absorbs water and swells, as does the skin. in south-east India. Its ethereal oil is extracted The individual bristles stand up, extending far from the heartwood of the trunk and branches out of the hair follicles and now in the optimal by distillation using steam. It is pale yellow in condition for a thorough, gentle shave that will colour and emanates a sweet-balsamic, spicy- hold for many hours. As the days grow shorter woody fragrance. Perhaps this is why the Indians at this time of year and the temperatures drop, also attribute a protective energy to sandalwood a nurturing shaving soap with sandalwood oil oil. The scent is said to have a cooling effect on is the ideal companion. The precious ingredient headaches and to support the path to inner extracted under controlled conditions from the peace and equilibrium. It is also said to possess sandalwood tree produces a fragrant lather relaxing qualities – making it an ideal fragrant that delights both the nose and the soul. Photo Jo Zarth companion for people suffering from stress. November 2005 The Shaving Mirror Page 3 Hall of Mirrors Close Up Deceleration Christian Müller T he word is on everyone‘s lips – yet it is somehow not quite at home in the English language. We can conjugate its speedy prede- F ortunately, there is evidence of resistance. Deceleration is now by no means univer- sally regarded as an evil, but as a remedy for cessor with ease: „I accelerate; he, she, it accel- the hustle and bustle that is destroying the erates...“. And the noun also trips lightly off the natural life rhythm of the human race. The tongue: „Acceleration is the motor of progress.“ motives of the high-speed opponents are But „I decelerate“ or „Deceleration is the root of not new: Zen Buddhists, Taoists, the preacher all evil“ still sound rather strange. But let us trust Solomon in the Old Testament, primitive races, the normative power of common speech and even the flaneurs of past centuries provide concentrate on content. the best arguments that humans must sub- vert themselves to neither tireless machines T he maxim „Acceleration is the motor of progress“ should set the alarm bells ring- ing: people who accelerate put themselves in nor unrelenting global data streams. And their numbers are growing. The time ecolo- gists may not yet have their own political Photo Jo Zarth danger – and not only during approach flights, on the motorway or in the icy waters of the Arctic. Amazingly, the global conscience is by no means party, but there is a small but special com- munity that stands firm against acceleration: „Slow Food“, founded in Rome in 1986, now T he generation change in companies does not always take place without breaks in continuity – at MÜHLE this has succeeded. The head of the ready for this simple truth: resources are being has several thousand members in Europe. In family, Hans-Jürgen Müller, secures the tradition of used more and more quickly – virgin forest, fish its manifesto, it says: „A firm defence of quiet the brand with his experience, while his 32-year-old stocks, drinking water, none of which are given material pleasure is the only way to opposeson Christian has everything it takes to further the time to recover from human greed. Non-renew- the universal folly of Fast Life.“ development of the company. Christian Müller has able sources of energy are also exploited as if been actively involved in everyday business since there were no next generation. So it is hardly surprising that some oil seekers are pleased at the prospect of global warming: the melting of B eginning with ourselves, each one of us 1994, moving around all areas of the company, nego- can measure our wealth first and fore- tiating with partners and suppliers, and participating most in terms of whether we „possess“ the in trade fairs and exhibitions as far afield as the USA. the Arctic ice cap makes it much easier to exploit time to enjoy life. Waking up, day dreaming, the oil fields thought to be there. The bottom line is quite clear: the planet can no longer take our pace; a rethink is needed. bathing, whisking up a shaving lather, smell- ing good – not the worst way to get the day off to a relaxing start. C hristian Müller knows what he is talking and deciding about, having himself learned the trade of brush-maker – an art that only a few people in Germany still master today. His one-year stay abroad in Canada has proved a bonus for contacts with „critical but loyal customers“ in English-speak- ing countries. The links across the continents are close and personal – the Müller family entered into international partnerships long before the term „joint venture“ became fashionable. T he young entrepreneur is an enthusiastic cyclist. Whenever his busy timetable allows, he tours around the region. His partner Ivonne accompanies him, but their small son Moritz cannot quite reach the pedals yet. After a long day at work he also occasionally likes to doze off in front of the television. It‘s a good job he doesn‘t have far to go to bed because the next day is waiting – and it‘s going to be long. H is personal motto: always be prepared to learn new things and put them to use. This is what guides him as he continues to develop the MÜHLE brand and takes the helm to keep the company on course in these fast-changing times. New routes and an advance into new terrain – Hans-Jürgen Müller KG is soon to launch its own design edition – are part of the process. Chris- tian Müller only remains a traditionalist when it comes to his favourite dish: Erzgebirgischer Sau- erbraten, a local marinated pot roast speciality. Photo Helga Sonntag-Kunst Page 4 The Shaving Mirror November 2005 Rear-View Mirror Wing Mirror Water Herrlich T here is not much that Gundula Hoburg and Michael Becker, who have succeeded in making HERRLICH in Berlin-Kreuzberg a special address for men‘s gifts, do not know about the child inside the man. And after four years of advising customers, while constantly in search of treasures both large and small, reflected in a lovingly designed collection that ranges from model aeroplanes to razors, they probably know even more about part- nerships. There are two sides to giving presents: motive and occasion result in a choice that is then supposed to give pleasure to the recipient. How to get from A to B, and how to find the right gift? Knowledge of human nature and good powers of observation are helpful: a walking stick for the stroller, a construction set for the tinkerer, a knife for the adventurer, fine fragrances for the aesthete, a compass and sailing ship for the explorer. The high art of wet shaving has a committed trustee in Gundula Hoberg, who can explain beautifully how to handle brush, lather and blade. Perhaps Photo froodmat photocase.com it is due to their fine feeling for people that the couple has been linked to Hans-Jürgen Müller KG T here is only one good reason for a man to shave with an electric razor: when he is in a place where there is no fresh water. Even then, two or possibly even three times a day in order for several years. Both manufacturer and proprietor to look reasonably well groomed. And that is know that a carefully manufactured product as a time-consuming... gift delights not only the senses, but also the soul. there is still an alternative: he can grow a beard. Fa. Herrlich, Bergmannstraße 3, 10961 Berlin Having returned to civilisation, it is then a joy to tackle it again with water, soap, brush and blade. Today, the majority of German men treat them- T here is another reason why wet shaving is preferable to the dry version: who wants to have his morning ritual disturbed by the dron- www.herrlich-online.de selves to the pleasure of a wet shave. Yet some ing buzz of a motor and the noise of stubble still swear by their electric razor. Advocates of being shredded? But perhaps precisely this is the this method offer two arguments: shaving with true reason for the doggedness of some electric a blade can lead to injury, and electric shaving enthusiasts: they regard shaving as a man‘s job is quicker. Both arguments are soon invalidated. that must be performed using „modern“ equip- With properly kept equipment and an easily learnt ment. However, even though electric razors have technique the skin is undamaged, gleaming and become more refined in terms of technology and smooth. And as the cutting heads of the elec- appearance since their introduction over 70 years tric razor do not come into direct contact with ago, they have never been modern. It is fair to the skin, they cannot reach the full length of assume that they will go down in the thousands the bristles. Consequently, a man must shave of years of shaving culture history as an aberration. Speakers Corner Gentle Fibres Photo Helga Sonntag-Kunst O n the MÜHLE website I noticed that you also use vegan fibres to manufacture high-quality shav- ing brushes. How does this quality differ from hair or However, some people look for alternatives to hair or bristles because they tolerate other materials better. For this reason we have for several years been Publisher Hans-Jürgen Müller KG Hundshübel Hauptstraße 18 D 08328 Stützengrün bristle, and for whom is the synthetic material suitable? manufacturing brushes using synthetic or „vegan“ Fon +49.37462 652-0 Fax +49.37462 652-18 E.N., Hamburg, by e-mail fibres which are similar to natural badger hair in email@example.com terms of their softness and colouring. The material is www.muehle-pinsel.com a polyamide-based fibre called Toray. The upper end Concept hsk communications Authors Helga Sonntag-Kunst I n principle, the „Silver-Tip Badger Hair“, hand- crafted in small numbers and with its marked performance characteristics, is still regarded as the of this fibre is split, guaranteeing good water absorp- tion, which is required to whisk up the lather. When it comes to your daily shaving ritual, these vegan fibres Translation Design Renè Wagner Ian McCaughtrie Jo Zarth Print Thomas Druck Leipzig most suitable brush to achieve a perfect wet shave. are certainly a worthy substitute for badger hair.