Building a Brand- The Birth of Brushette
From a catalyst of an idea to developing a product Brushette’s founder, Mihran Papazian talks us through the various stages of bringing our unique product to your bathroom.
How did you get the idea for Brushette?
It began when I was watching my son toy with his electric toothbrush. He was playing with it as though it was a gadget and I noticed the bristles showed greater wear and tear. I told him it was time for a replacement and I noticed that his instinct was to try to pull off the bristles. A light bulb went off in my head and I thought what if we could make it possible to replace just that part. That’s how the idea was born.
Lots of entrepreneurs have great ideas, how do you begin to turn that into something meaningful?
I was already working within the dental product market which helped. I spoke with a manufacturing director I knew and I already had a factory and supply chain. Everyone’s reactions were super positive to the product. I think it resonates because it’s a very simple hack that people could easily understand and see the need for.
What have been the biggest challenges in creating Brushette?
To make a durable neck, because now you’re just buying it once. It needs to be more solid than typical heads because you won’t replace it as often. There’s also a mechanism inside that allows you to swap the heads which means there’s more complexity to the design. We have to do some pretty rigorous testing. We have machines that simulate pulling the heads on and off so we can calculate how durable the product is.
Sustainability is also a big part of the business and you developed a unique recycling program too- can you tell us more about that?
These days you can’t make products that don’t respect the environment, so that was important to us. Our mission is to wake people up about dental hygiene and how replacing their brush head more regularly will benefit them. However, we don’t want hygiene to be at the expense of the environment and we don’t want consumers to have to choose between the two. This is why we developed Recyclette to give subscribers pre-addressed envelopes to return their products for recycling so this won’t be a factor.
You also have a charitable part of Brushette, why was it important to you to have this?
Outside of western EU and US, there are many countries that can potentially afford to replace their toothbrush more often than once every 3 months but don't do so because of an education problem. That is they don’t understand the importance of good dental hygiene for health. We want to help raise awareness of this and help improve everyone’s health. We started in Armenia but plan to visit other countries in the future and take this around the world.
How did you come to start a business based around dental hygiene?
The simple answer is that good dental hygiene prevents you from getting sick, everything starts from the mouth. I became much more aware of hygiene when I moved to the US and my kids went to school and at parents meeting, you hear a lot about helicopter parenting and the importance of sanitizing. From that, I understood how society evolves and how vital good dental hygiene is for optimum health and it inspired me to create products to help people look after their health.
What’s your ultimate goal for Brushette?
Next step for us is a soft launch on Indiegogo to share details of our subscription service. I’m excited to get people signed up and start to get Brushette in their bathrooms too.
What are you most excited about for Brushette?
To fulfill our mission, we’re dedicated to making dental hygiene more affordable for everyone.
Brushette is our first product but we have more in the pipeline which I’m really excited about too.
Finally, how about your son, what does he think of Brushette?
He’s a big fan and changes his toothbrush head every day now- sometimes even 3 times a day now!