Long hair don’t care! When it comes to body hair, start-ups in the beauty space are tackling stigmas head-on by inventing their own category. Pubic hair has been shunned from our vocabulary for years. However, Fur launched to cater to those with the bush or bare look.
We first spotted Fur when we entered a Free People store in SoHo, NYC. The elevated packaging and brand name caught our attention and made us think twice about our yoni and society’s advice. To shave or not to shave….that was the question.
Rewind to 2014 when the seeds were planted for Fur. Co-Founder, Laura Schubert tells us how “I was talking to my sister about body hair and what we do in between waxing sessions and realized that there was a big expectation in society to be fully waxed at all times and this never sat well with me. When I started googling pubic hair, it always showed products for removal. There was nothing that celebrated body hair.”
“I decided to create a product that I would want for myself, one that was natural, had safe effective ingredients and elevated packaging to destigmatize the category.”
Fur essentially created their own category of pubic body hair care when they launched in 2016. “Our products soften pubic hair and clear pores for ingrowns.” The brand mainly targets women, but 30% of its customers are men. When creating the product it took Laura two years to develop the perfect formulation and organize local manufacturing. Fun fact: Fur is completely bootstrapped and loved by celebrity, Emma Watson.
“Emma Watson was an organic user of our product and mentioned it in Into The Gloss. We sold out 1 years worth of product in three weeks due to the shoutout and it was really magical!”
When it comes to marketing, beauty is all about the peer-to-peer network, AKA influencers and word of mouth. We would recommend strategizing your marketing plan to include organic press, influencer events or brand activations and tradeshows. You actually don’t need to spend a lot of money on online acquisition (depending on your distribution model and if you are only D2C) and can engage in a lot of free marketing by hiring a good social media manager for content creation. The goal is to always create a campaign that can go viral or stir up a conversation.
Laura tells us how in the early days everything was being shipped out of her co-founder's apartment until they eventually outgrew this problem and moved over to a professional 3PL system. They launched with 1,000 units per SKU and two products: oil and cream for ingrown hair. Laura forewent the margins on her first order to keep the price point within reason and relied on economies of scale for growth.
“We got the door slammed in our face a lot! I had the head of retail companies saying they didn’t know women had pubic hair anymore or would take our product as a joke. It was due to my persistence and ability to always keep the conversation open, never taking no as an answer that landed us in stores such as Shen Beauty, Dermstore and Credo.”
“I always thought it would be very cool to be my own boss one day.” Laura grew up in a family where her father was a small business owner, a surgeon. While he was slicing flesh, she would later end up slicing taboos (you go girl!). Her first job out of Harvard University was in finance, followed by consulting. Yup, you guessed it. Like many of our RADICHE Maker’s, Laura had absolutely no background in beauty before setting up Fur.
When launching a beauty brand, we asked Laura for her advice and she shared the following with us:
There is no right way for growing a company! Everyone has their own voice, path, etc and it’s really about figuring out what works for you and how you can do it with your particular situation in that particular time.
Make sure that you create a brand vision that is right. The industry is extremely saturated and you need to have a unique positioning with authenticity.
Be very careful with every dollar you spend, especially if you are bootstrapping it yourself. (Laura is a big critic of working with agencies and believes it is best to hire freelancers when needed).
When hiring folks, always look to see if they treat you as a true partner.
When finding a manufacturer or a vendor in the supply chain, call the big guys to ask for recommendations for intros to the smaller guys. Beauty is a small industry where everyone knows everyone!
When not running her business, Laura can be found attending the Opera, spending time with her little baby and mentoring young entrepreneurs. If you’re thinking about growing out your bush, experimenting with a landing strip or continuing to keep it bare, Fur is for you! Shop their products here.
Photo courtesy of Fur.