Breaking onto the scene with a bro-tastic 2012 ad, Dollar Shave Club built a billion-dollar company on delivering men’s razors directly to their doorsteps. Chicago’s newest e-commerce startup, Oars + Alps, wants to bring the same level of convenience to men’s skincare products.
Officially launching on Tuesday, the company’s first offering will be a lineup of three products: a face moisturizer, an all-natural deodorant and a face wash in stick form. Saini is particularly excited about the face wash stick, which she said is the only men’s product of its kind on the market and is designed with portability in mind. Thanks to its solid form, the product can easily be brought on an airplane, and there is no risk of it spilling in gym bags and luggage.
The two-person team has been working out of 1871 since April.
“We like it because we are a men’s grooming company, and our target population is the athleisure guy on the go, who is a 22- to 40-year-old guy,” said co-founder and CEO Mia Saini. “Our target market is walking all over 1871. So we love it because we can do focus groups, which makes it very easy.”
The idea for the company came about because Saini’s husband kept using her skincare products, which were expensive and not particularly well-suited for his skin — men’s skin tends to be coarser and more oily than women’s, she said. But when she tried to get him his own products, he would use them until they ran out and go back to using hers. After talking to her friends, she discovered that her situation resonated with them.
Saini wants to circumvent that problem by offering her products on a subscription basis. A combo kit containing the face bar and the moisturizer costs $32, while a box with the full lineup retails at $44. Monthly subscribers get a 10 percent discount.
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