Charles Bocar, a local retired firefighter turned inventor, is trying to make his patented razor extender available at stores near you.
“In the scheme of things I’m just a little guy in a gigantic industrial arena, so getting to that point would be the American dream and I’m right there,” Bocar said. ”I’m 16 years in, and it’s almost come to fruition.”
The Ape Scrape, a razor extender/extension handle made to hold any size or style of razor, is currently available on Amazon, but now Bocar wants to get his invention on the shelves of major stores.
According to the local inventor, he got the inspiration for his idea during an annual fire department canoe trip 16 years ago, when Bocar’s late brother commented on his hairy back from the canoe behind him.
“He says, ‘Look at your back, you hairy sasquatch!’” Bocar said.
So, when Bocar got home he started experimenting with a coat hanger as a razor extender before he made a stick version, which he says was the original prototype for The Ape Scrape.
He showed his invention to his brother, who said he loved it and told him he should make more of them.
Bocar also credits his brother with coming up with the name The Ape Scrape as he initially thought of calling it The Sasquatch Begone.
His brother’s advice eventually led Bocar to seek out a design company to help him come up with the perfect design.
“There are other (razor extenders),” Bocar said. “But mine’s different. Mine holds any razor.”
It was these differences and variations that, according to Bocar, eventually allowed him to get his design patented after several unsuccessful attempts.
Once he had the design in place, Bocar said the next step was to get it mass produced, so he invested in an aluminum casting mold and found a plastic company in Clifton that could do the mass production.
From there, he approached a packaging company and was told he needed to find a buyer first, which is what led him to selling The Ape Scrape on Amazon, but Bocar doesn’t want to stop there.
“I’m thinking big,” he said. “Gillette, Schick, any store, supermarket, CVS, Walgreens, anywhere they sell all the razors. If (The Ape Scrape) were to be laying next to it, that’s the American dream.”
Bocar, who comes from a family of firefighters, was a Clifton firefighter for 25 years before retiring.
He also studied art and says that, while with the department, he always did artwork on the side.
He even designed the visual instructions on The Ape Scrape’s packaging.
Beyond getting his product in major stores, Bocar says his invention is also about his legacy as well.
“I never married, no children,” he said. “It would be nice to say, ‘I’ve been here, I’ve done something.’”