The Dollar Shave Club is a new start up that solves a simple but overlooked problem; disposable razor blades are overpriced. Michael Dubin decided to solve this problem. Dollar Shave Club is a online service that delivers high quality disposable razor blades for a low price. For as little as $1 a month, Dollar Shave Club will deliver a cassette of 5 Ninja Blades to your home. I had the chance to speak with Michael about how he came up with the idea of Dollar Shave Club.
What was your motivation to start the service?
First, there were the years of sticker-shock from brand-name (read: Gillette) razor blades. Back in my 20s (I’m now 33) and living on rice-and-beans in NYC, I remember getting to the checkout counter and thinking “I can’t believe I’m about to drop $20 on razors”. I felt like such a sucker. Gillette does a great job keeping you in the fear cage; making you think you’ll slice your face off if you use anything less than their premium blades.
Then, at my friend’s housewarming party last fall I met his girlfriend’s father, Mark. Mark is an old school manufacturing guy from South Africa, with a ton of connections in the industrial world. Somehow we got on the subject of shaving, and we shared our mutual frustrations with the shave game. He mentioned that he could get us great blades at an affordable price. I’d been looking for another startup venture opportunity, so we agreed to partner up.
With 10 years experience in media/digital marketing, I saw the growing trend/enthusiasm for having Consumer Packaged Goods shipped directly to the home (Diapers.com, etc). But I wanted to take it one-step further and introduce a “shave club” model to meet another critical need: Men (and women, as we’re learning) are always forgetting to buy razors. Sometimes even subconsciously the high-cost almost has them in a state of denial and they milk their old blades for another two weeks! Well, our shave club would send members blades once a month so they would never have to think about buying blades again. There are are tons of places to buy razor blades on the internet, but no one offers the convenience of shipping the blades automatically once a month like the Dollar Shave Club.
We are the first.
How long has the Dollar Shave Club been operating?
Dollar Shave Club launched publicly on July 6th, 2011. The response has been terrific.
How did you start your business? Did you seek out venture capital or did you start using your own money?
The Dollar Shave Club is 100% self-funded. However, we are looking to raise approximately $250k within the next few months.
I’ve already signed up for the service because for me, the high price of replacement cartridges forced me to prolong the life of my razor blades longer than they were probably designed to last. Dollar Shave Club solves these problems for me: fresh blades at a low price that gets delivered to my door. You can’t ask for anything better than that. You can sign up for a membership at www.dollarshaveclub.com. Let us know what you think of the service in the comments.