It was an ill-fated trip to the drug store that convinced Jeff Raider that there had to be better alternatives for shaving.
"I was out of razor blades, so I bought a replacement and some shaving cream and ended up spending $20," said Raider, who is also a co-founder of eyewear company Warby Parker. "It wasn't the best experience in the world and the products didn't seem that great to me."
Raider and his friend Andy Katz-Mayfield set out to better the shaving business.
The result is Harry's, a new direct-to-consumer site that sells boutique-quality razors, replacement blades, and shaving cream at affordable prices.
The company wisely chose an under-served market segment.
Until now, men mostly had to choose between razors at the drug store and high-end boutique products.
The Art Of Shaving sells razors for between $175 and $200. Harry's cheapest set includes a razor, two replacement blades, and a tube of shaving cream for $15.
The exception is the Dollar Shave Club, a subscription service that sends men razors and replacement blades for under $10. Unlike that business, Harry's offers redesigned razors, as well as shaving cream.
The first thing the team did was improve the purchase experience. Customers can do all of their research online. Harry's also offers sets that have razors, shaving cream, and replacement blades all in one box.
"We were able to offer a level of convenience for our customers that they didn't necessarily have before," Katz-Mayfield told us.
Harry's razors also have a different design than what is widely available now.
The company uses blades from German producers who are located near the engineering hub of the Audi headquarters. Raider and Katz-Mayfield spent time developing the company's straight-blade product into a razor.
The company redesigned the razor handle to be more rounded than many of the current products on the market. This made it easier for the customer to rotate the handle, Raider said.
Finally, Harry's invested in more high-end shaving cream that also moisturizes the skin.
The Internet has resulted in business innovation like never before, Katz-Mayfield said.
"Even 15 years ago, this concept would have been difficult to pull off," he said. "But increasing comfort with online shopping makes it possible for consumers to have access to better products."
Here's a picture of one of Harry's razors:
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