For Billy co-founder Georgina Gooley launched the model “the internet’s favorite razor,” she was one among many ladies who struggled to discover a razor that will get the job achieved proper—with no pink tax, which usually marks merchandise made for ladies are made by 7% common.
Gooley was bored with utilizing razors marketed to males that did not meet ladies’s distinctive shaving wants — eradicating hair from the legs as an alternative of the face, for instance — so she started to surprise how a razor model may made particularly for ladies would appear like.
“I realized that the category was very male-dominated,” says Gooley. “So whether it was the old brand that was around forever or the newcomers at the time, the other startups, they were all very focused on giving men a better or more affordable shaving experience. No one really focused on the women’s shaving experience. “
On a mission to stop ladies from changing into an “afterthought” in terms of shaving merchandise, Gooley and her co-founder Jason Bravman launched Billie in 2017.
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“I wanted to come in and be a proud women’s brand and champion woman,” says Gooley.
Based on the idea that ladies ought to have an reasonably priced razor designed with their wants in thoughts And attending to resolve whether or not to take away their physique hair in any respect, Billie acquired widespread help and shortly noticed viral success.
The firm, which was acquired by Edgewell Personal Care Company for $310 million in 2021, celebrated its fifth anniversary in November 2022. Today, Billie is a full-fledged physique care model with greater than 10 best-selling merchandise in its classes.
Entrepreneur sat down with Gooley to be taught extra about Billie’s rise to web stardom and the way it’s fueling the physique hair acceptance motion as we speak.
“We Felt There Was An Opportunity To Come In With A Product Designed Specifically For The Way Women Shave.”
It was the early twentieth century when manufacturers began focusing on American ladies with hair removing campaigns. In 1904, Gillette patented its first security razor, making it simpler for males to shave at dwelling; Soon, in an effort to broaden their market, security razor producers unfold the concept physique hair on ladies was “inherently masculine, “undelicate,” and “unhygienic.” The Smithsonian.
In 1915, Gillette launched the primary razor marketed particularly for ladies: the Milady Decollete. But it was the beginning of a 100+ yr historical past of manufacturers promoting razors to ladies with out essentially tailoring them to their wants, whereas charging a premium and emphasizing the agenda that shaving was not a selection, however a requirement. when it got here to private care.
“We felt there was an opportunity to come up with a product designed specifically for the way women shave, [to] create a brand that speaks to them,” explains Gooley.
Gooley acknowledged the empty area out there, however she confronted some skepticism in these early days. “When we talked to investors,” Gooley remembers, “men in particular, they questioned it a little bit, ‘Well, I know men care about their razors, but do women?'”
Gooley knew the reply was sure – and he or she got here up with a product to place it to the take a look at.
Billie’s razor has 5 nickel-free blades for a easy, shut shave that will not irritate delicate pores and skin. Aloe moisturizer additionally surrounds the blades for added consolation, and an ergonomic deal with and magnetic holder make it straightforward to make use of and retailer (no slipping).
The model’s subscription service additionally retains the buying course of easy, permitting clients to decide on an possibility that most accurately fits their shaving frequency.
Image credit score: Courtesy of Billie
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“We Wanted To Be A Brand That Is About Choice, Not Pressure.”
In addition to her dedication to cautious product design at an reasonably priced worth, Billie strives to dismantle concepts about what ladies ought to or should not do with their physique hair.
“For us, that meant never pressuring women to look a certain way or feel like they have to remove their body hair,” explains Gooley. “It always positioned shaving as a choice – we wanted to be a brand that was about more choice, not pressure.”
When Billie launched in 2017, the model’s dedication to design and physique hair positivity appealed to ladies throughout the US. Just three days later, Billie’s razors had been offered to clients in all 50 states, and 6 months later, the model’s Project Body Hair marketing campaign kicked in, too.
The marketing campaign celebrated physique hair and emphasised that shaving is a selection. It wasn’t a one-time push both, says Gooley, however the best way they got down to signify ladies — and nonetheless do. That viral marketing campaign earned Billie billions of impressions and worldwide consideration.
“We literally had people from all over the world writing to us,” Gooley remembers, “saying, ‘I’ve never seen body hair [in a campaign]. I can’t believe all these shaver manufacturers had shaved legs. I didn’t even know I didn’t see [body hair] until you put it there.'”
“Even A Small Underdog Brand Can Make A Big Impact And Change A Category That Is A Century Old.”
Billie’s fast development “was a really exciting wave to ride,” notes Gooley. It additionally meant making an attempt to maintain monitor of every part, together with having sufficient stock available to fulfill that demand — “all amazing problems to have,” says Gooley.
But regardless of sturdy help at launch, some skeptics, notably social media trolls, had been postpone by Billie’s acceptance of physique hair.
“I’m always pretty surprised when people have such strong opinions about what other people look like,” says Gooley.
Fortunately, the model did not should intervene a lot in these conversations; his evangelists had been already on it. “We had so much support from women all over the world that people would always say ‘body hair is disgusting and women are supposed to look a certain way’. [supporters] would just come in and defend our position, which is the same as their position,” says Gooley.
Another fascinating growth got here from Billie’s drive to normalize physique hair as properly.
All of a sudden, older manufacturers began that includes physique hair of their campaigns as properly, says Gooley: “That was probably the biggest win for us, because even a small underdog brand can make a big impact and change a category that’s a century old.”
Image credit score: Courtesy of Billie
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“We Want To Celebrate The Full Spectrum Of Women…there Are Many Beautiful Ways Women Can Exist.”
The dialog about physique hair has grown within the years since Billie rose to web fame. “That’s the problem with representation,” says Gooley. “When you see it, it becomes more normalized and less of a surprise.”
“We always make sure that every shoot we do features women with and without body hair so we normalize both sides of the coin,” she provides.
According to Google Trends, searches for “female body hair” have elevated 319% since Billie launched 5 years in the past. Plus, Gooley factors out you can “walk past a billboard in Soho” and see ladies’s physique hair in full as we speak — a sight that will have been a lot much less possible a couple of years in the past.
Through her campaigns, Billie continues to push for physique hair positivity, embracing the other ways ladies select to signify themselves and their contributions.
“We need to rejoice the total spectrum of ladies and present that we do not have to slot in all [society’s] very particular field,” says Gooley. “Body hair was form of the primary try to point out that there are lots of lovely methods ladies can exist.”