Ben Caspary founder of booheads shares his story of taking local inspiration for a simple global sustainable swap in the form of bamboo electric toothbrush heads.
Inspiration, under your nose
Running a consultancy and already developing businesses as my main job, I always had this feeling of wanting to do a small solo business.
With an impending second lockdown on the horizon and determined not to complete Netflix for a second time I was determined to 'come up with something'. After drawing another one of many blanks - products that had been done already (nobody needs anymore fidget spinners), I closed my laptop and finished my coffee whilst I was in Holly’s Cafe.
Surveilling my surroundings, my eyes stopped on a mother who in that moment pulled an electric toothbrush out of her shopping bag.
Why my eyes stopped on the toothbrush, I cannot remember – however, just like that an idea formed and there and then - booheads - the world's first bamboo, biodegradable electric toothbrush heads was born.
Locally born - serving the globe
Here comes the research: what I discovered was, that well over 50% of people now use an electric toothbrush, where they would change their plastic head 3 to 5 times a year. You do not need to be a mathematician to figure out that plastic adds up.
To add to that, every single plastic toothbrush or plastic head you have ever used still exists somewhere on this planet today…
Sustainability is high on most agendas however I noticed that eco products either compromised on functionality or typically came at a high price. Furthermore, the road to full sustainability is longer and not linear, both for businesses and consumers.
It was worlds away from anything I had been involved in, however, I wanted to make it possible to maintain both your dental health and your eco ethics, without compromise.
Having a digital background and being an E-commerce business tendencies are around pace and scale. However, there were hurdles due to restrictive pandemic measures. Fortunately, due to the progressiveness of area I did not have to travel far to 'touch' this new world I was trying to break into.
You can find a whole new world right on your doorstep... for me, this was meeting small business owners, eco-focused businesses, independent retailers, speaking with future consumers and a network of purpose-focused businesses.
Top three tips for business owners
My advice for business owners:
- Get going: You can theorise all you like but just get going. By far the biggest component to any business is momentum. For every three failures/hurdles you face, one big win will come - failures are merely lessons. The more you learn the better things will become over time. Join a local business network and surround yourself with like-minded business owners like I did through the Phoenix Enterprise programme.
- Reach out: You will be surprised at what you will find just by reaching out to people - introductions, information and ideas can start flowing. This also ties into point 1.
If you are doing it alone, you need support even if it is a sounding board - you will be surprised even if fellow businesses are not in your same space they can be going through the same processes.
So, join a local business network and surround yourself with like-minded business owners like I did through the Phoenix Enterprise programme.
- Keep going: For every three failures/hurdles you face, one big win will come - failures can merely be lessons.