When the four young men responsible for Brush Thirty Two sat down in a Business Incubator class at Barrington High School (BHS), they knew exactly what kind of business they wanted to start.
“At the time, Dollar Shave Club had just sold for like a billion dollars,” says Brush Thirty Two Co-founder Andrew Scheffler.
Dollar Shave Club is just one of the many industries that have found a great niche market in delivering specific necessities to subscribers homes so they never have to go to the store to pick up supplies. In the case of Dollar Shave Club, a curated selection of shaving accoutrements—including a razor, replacement blades, and shaving lotion—is nicely packaged and delivered to your door once a month or every other month.
So the four high school juniors thought about what type of subscription service they could provide.
“We thought, hey, we always run out of dental products,” says Brush Thirty Two’s Chief Administrative Officer Michael Gear. “This is an actual problem that I experience. So I thought it would be a great way to start a business related to a problem that I actually experience.”
Brush Thirty Two is a monthly dental subscription box that includes an Oral B toothbrush; two travel size toothpastes, one whitening, and one for sensitive teeth; and two containers of floss. The service costs $7 and a new box arrives every month so you never run out of toothpaste or run your toothbrush into the ground.
“Currently we’re offering names that you can trust and we put all the dental necessities,” says Brush Thirty Two Chief Operating Officer Matt Malters. “We’re going to revamp our website and make it so the customer can customize what they want, but right now we’re offering good products so people don’t have to worry about going to the store.”
It wasn’t long after the idea was on its feet that the Brush Thirty Two team got serious about it. They figured the best way to get the word out was to go straight to the professionals responsible for reminding the populace to regularly replace their toothbrushes, using some of their start-up capital to get a booth at the Chicago Dental Society Midwinter Meeting—an annual dental conference that takes place in McCormick Center.
“Going there opened all of our eyes,” says Brush Thirty Two Chief Marketing Officer Alec Gibas. “All the dentists that we talked to loved our idea. The first day we were there, someone came up and told us that all the bigger booths on the inside were talking about us, and how young we are, and what a good idea our company was.”
They started presenting their service to dental practices in the Barrington area, currently have displays in two offices, and are in talks with two more.
Although this is the first time the four Brush Thirty Two members are all tackling a business together, they’ve all maintained interests in business and entrepreneurship going back years. In addition to the incubator, several of them have been part of the BHS business club Business Professionals of America since their freshman year.
Malters has been capitalizing on niche markets since middle school, keeping abreast of high profile releases in the fashion and shoe industries, and flipping them for profit online.
“Supply and demand,” he says. “There’s a low supply of the sneakers and because there’s such a high demand and so much hype toward it, people are willing to pay three or four times the amount. There was a shoe about a year ago. I got four pairs, retail was $350, I sold each of them individually for $2,000. It was the Adidas Yeezy, Kanye West’s shoe. I’ve always had this entrepreneurial background. I really like it and it’s something that I’m really savvy in.”
Brush Thirty Two joins several other oral hygiene subscription box services, each that focuses on specific dental niches. Boka emphasizes their natural dental products. Quip is much more expensive because of the initial cost of an electronic toothbrush and the subsequent deliveries are replacement toothbrush heads. Some subscriptions pare things down to single products, Cocofloss specializes in flavored dental floss and OralCare365 sticks to solely toothbrushes for $2 a month.
Even though the incubator class ended with the school year, the team is still highly committed to growing their company and is looking for interested investors so they can revamp their website and open up their range of product offerings.
“This was one of the most interesting classes I’ve ever taken,” says Gear. “It’s more about what you actually learn instead of just about the grade. I’m going to take these lessons into my future.”
For more information, visit brushthirtytwo.com.