Some of the gaps that women-owned businesses uncover in a market aren’t just appealing to women they are opportunities for everyone. And then when you layer on taboo subjects…well… leave it to us women to address those with particular zest. Of course, talking honestly about our bodies shouldn’t be taboo and is often just another way women are marginalized. So we love stories of breaking norms and creating new categories of product.
Aptly named, Fur is a line of beauty products for your body hair and skin around it. The products are all facial-grade, vegan, cruelty free and non-toxic. The ingredients are also dermatologically and gynecologically tested.
We first heard about Fur from our friend Hal’s podcast, New York Launch Pod, and loved the idea, focus and name. So we needed to know more…
Founders Laura Schubert and Lillian Tung started the business in 2015. The duo, best friends since youth, were ready to take on the world of entrepreneurship after finishing grad school. The journey to start Fur was not just about addressing the taboo of body hair; but really questioning why the taboo exists at all. Consumers needed another grooming option and Laura and Lillian were ready to meet that need.
We had a chance to ask the founders about the business and what the future of Fur looks like. And we were even more excited to hear about their plans after the entrepreneurs appeared on Shark Tank recently; securing funding from Shark Lori Greiner.
Laura and Lillian tell us about Fur
You’ve now been in business for about 5 years, has the business evolved in a way you expected?
While we knew that people needed better products for body hair and skin, I don’t think even we could have predicted how big the brand would grow. We’re in thousands of retailers, some of whom wouldn’t stock us at first because of the nature of our product. Now we are surrounded by an amazing community of people who have with our original mission of destigmatizing body hair. It’s been so amazing to start as an underdog tackling a huge taboo, and become a brand that truly stands at the forefront of an ever-growing movement.
What has been the biggest challenge?
The biggest challenge has been changing people’s perceptions of themselves, specifically in regards to body hair. As a society, we carry a lot of unnecessary shame around our body hair, to the point that even waxing or shaving was a secret necessity women had to perform out of sight. Challenging that worldview was definitely met with pushback at first. People were actually grossed out by the idea of a product for their pubic hair, despite the fact that 99% of people have a routine around it. Fortunately, by being nonjudgmental and educational, we were able to welcome people into the brand. Slowly but surely, four years later people are actually excited about Fur. And the vision we started with is starting to become a reality.
There is talking about body hair and then talking about pubic hair…has the boldness of your mission created any obstacles or any opportunities you wouldn’t have had otherwise?
When we started, we were the absolute only brand that would use the word “pubic” on our packaging and in our branding. Everyone else was using outdated euphemisms like “down there” or “lady garden”. These not only felt demeaning but also gendered pubic hair to be a women-only experience, which further stigmatizes it. But because we used the word pubic, some retailers refused to stock us at first. On the flip side, this boldness definitely attracted a community that found our honesty refreshing. And we’ve continued to build on those people to become a platform that stands for inclusivity.
How has your relationship evolved from friends to classmates and then co-founders? How has it affected bringing on board new leaders?
We’ve always worked well together beyond being friends. Even in high school we were captains of the gymnastics team together. While we are very close friends, we are also very different personalities. And this has helped us work together and build a company because we think about things in a different way. No matter what, we’re very open and honest with each other which is so important in a partnership.
Want to try Fur? Head over to the website to get 10% off your first order of their great products. And we’ll look forward to seeing how the Shark Tank investment and Shark Lori Greiner’s involvement helps to take the business to the next level.