A Lesson Learned
Yesterday I bought one of those old style safety razors, the ones you twist the bottom of the handle, the top opens up like a butterfly and you can replace the blade. Neat!
I was excited, it was the same razor my dad used in the 60's and 70's. It was "retro" and a bit of nostalgia, I was curious to see what my father went through to get rid of stubble. With a lathered face, while holding a shaving tool from another era, I was thinking it was going to be a breeze. Less razor bumps, they said on the box. A smoother shave, they said. Sure, let's do this.
15 seconds into it, while carefully trying to reach those pesky mustache hairs close to your nostrils (a move that I'm used to do effortlessly and safely with my modern shaver), I accidentally sliced my nose and it was a bloody mess, Carrie-style.
OK, then, I thought. I will try again more carefully this time. Of course familiarity with the tool plays a role, but after the second chunk of skin was cut off my face, it became clear that in life as in shaving, retro is cool but to get the job done, always use the right tool.
I believe using the right underwear will make you better at what you do. Even if "what you do" is to sit on the couch chillin' all day. Or fighting forest fires. Or performing brain surgery. Or strapping yourself inside of a metal capsule and hurling your ass to space. Or kicking ass in Jiu-Jitsu. It doesn't matter what you do, the right tool is what you need.
I receive so many e-mails and messages from guys thanking me for making Krakatoa. The messages are heartfelt. They are also amusing, sometimes funny, but always sincere. But messages that tell stories of lives changed are the ones that hit me the hardest. One literally drove me to tears. Sounds a bit far-fetched, right? I thought so too, but bear with me here.
This young customer told me once, "Alex, you just made my life 50% better".
I chuckled, and replied, "Oh, thanks! These are some really good underwear, uh?"
But he looked at me, and with pained eyes, said "You don't understand. I'm quite overweight, and I don't have a car, but I need to walk to school everyday"
I was looking at him, thinking he was joking. But what he said after this, broke my heart:
"My regular undies used to fall apart in a couple weeks from walking in the California heat, and because they would drench from sweat, they would give me severe chafing. I'd have to take my pants off and lay on the couch after school, the skin raw between my legs, until I could recover. Now with my Krakatoa, Alex, I don't chafe anymore. I can walk now! I can be a normal guy. So thank you!".
That hit me like a ton of bricks.
In my naiveté I was just making a great pair of underwear for us guys. But his story showed me that sometimes our acts have unintended consequences, and we can change lives doing what we do. And I'm happy to have created something that touched someone's life in a way I could never imagine.
I made Krakatoa thinking of our needs as men, not to impress others. You will impress yourself every time, though, when you wear yours. Guaranteed.