Building a New Kind of Neck and Leg Shaver – Reid Simkovitz of The Scruffie

INTERVIEW VIDEO (Length – 39:26)

PODCAST AUDIO

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Intro

Reid Simkovitz of The Scruffie created a new kind of shaver for getting rid of neck hairs which many are finding useful for shaving legs quickly. Reid shares how he is using TikTok and Instagram to bring in new clients and grow his business.

People & Resources Mentioned in the Episode

Book: Shoe Dog by Phil Knight

What You’ll Learn

Interview with Reid Simkovitz of The Scruffie

00:00Introduction
01:01What is the business and product
03:40Market Research
09:04Business Model
10:24Preventing from getting copied
14:39Trademark as a protection mechanism
15:56Building Prototype
19:00Manufacturing
21:33Kickstarter
24:54TikTok Marketing
29:54Influencer Marketing
34:05Shipping Strategy
36:29Sales Channels
37:16Failures, Lessons Learned
38:40Rapid-Fire Segment

Rapid Fire

In this segment, the guest will answer a few questions quickly in one or two sentences.

Reid Simkovitz of The Scruffie

  1. One book that you would recommend to entrepreneurs/business professionals in 2021 and why? (Response: Shoe Dog by Phil Knight)
  2. An innovative product or idea and the current eCommerce, retail, or tech landscape that you feel excited about (Virtual Reality)
  3. A startup or business and eCommerce retailer tech that you think is currently doing great things (Tesla, Rivia, and lucid)
  4. A business or productivity tool or software that you would recommend (Response: Screentime on iPhone)
  5. A peer entrepreneur or business person whom you look up to or someone who inspires you (Nick Bare)
  6. Best business advice you ever received (Response: When things are good, we forget how things will be bad again. And when things are bad, we forget that things will be good again)

Interview Transcript

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

Hey there entrepreneurs My name is Deshawn and welcome to Dropbox. This is the show where I interview successful ecommerce entrepreneurs, business executives and thought leaders and ask them questions about their business story, and also dive deep into some of the strategies and tactics that they have used to start grow their businesses. And today, I’m really excited to welcome Reed Sim COVID. to the show. Reed is the founder and CEO of the scruffy, scruffy net groomer that allows individuals to shave the back of their necks. And today I want to ask you a few questions about his entrepreneurial story, and some of the strategies and the tactics and that he has used to start and grow his business. So thank you so much for joining me today. Trep talks.

Reid Simkovitz  

Thanks for having me.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

So yeah, very interesting product. Can you share a little bit about what your product is? What did the what problem is, it’s all solving for people?

Reid Simkovitz  

Sure. So. So basically, the scruffy I invented it to shave the back of my neck. And I did that while I was going to school at Louisiana State University, and I struggled shaving the back of my neck in between haircuts. So and then later on, it became a leg shaver, actually. So you got it partially correct there. When we launched the product, it became a lifesaver people started buying it to shave their legs, gave him a quicker leg shaved, and then it helped people shave the back of their necks as well. And we’re also testing it out as a head shave or currently.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

So basically, the use case started out the next year, and now it’s a luxury. Would that be more of a women product? Yeah, I would assume like most, most men probably don’t shave their legs. But

Reid Simkovitz  

yeah, that’s true. I mean, I’ve had to, since I’m selling it, I’ve had to shave my legs. So that’s been an interesting kind of a thing. But yeah, yeah. Well, I get you know, there’s swimmers that shave their legs, bodybuilders stuff like that. But yeah, mostly women are buying it.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

Okay, got it. Interesting. So you found that there are more cell sales for the leg? Rather than the neck?

Reid Simkovitz  

Yeah. As soon as we start posting content on Tik Tok, people started commenting that we post with that we start marketing it for legs. So we made a leg shape demo. And people just start Yeah, that’s kind of where it began, just consumers, people, you know, people in the comment section followers just started mentioning that we should start, you know, start selling as like shaver.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

I mean, that’s really interesting, really about, you know, pivoting a product. I mean, a lot of the times, you know, what, entrepreneurs or even business advisors, advisors, you know, when you’re creating a product to sell, you know, first try to look at the market and their market demand or something. So that’s one approach. But the other approaches, which I would assume that you took is you create a product. I don’t know what kind of research you did at that time. But, you know, once you had the product you basically pivoted, just to serve a different segment of the market. Can you share a little bit about you know, what, how you think about this? You know, you did you do any research to say, you know, you know, this is a problem that I’m having in terms of, you know, shaving my neck, but are there other people in the market that would actually pay to buy this product from me?

Reid Simkovitz  

Yes. So in the very, very beginning, so just to kind of go back for a second. So when I had the idea, I had mentioned it to my buddies back home, my five buddies, and four of them thought it was a great idea. So I was like, Okay, well, that’s a start. And then I started doing some market research. I use this platform called Survey Monkey. So I think it’s surveymonkey.com. And I put out some surveys out there in the country, and it got some interest. So so that’s just I pursued it from there. And when I realized it wasn’t just me, that’s when I realized that, you know, maybe there’s something here.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

But, but thank you launch the product, you have found that that’s actually a limited market that, of course you pivoted from there.

Reid Simkovitz  

Yeah, well, what happened was, you know, people start buying it for their legs, more people start buying it for the legs, so it just made more sense economically to pivot the product. Yeah. I mean, yeah, more people shave their legs, then trim up the back of their necks. That’s something we found. And, you know, we might eventually pivot this as a head shaver, we’re testing it as a head shaver now, so it might change even more from there. So but yeah, I mean a lot more people which shave their legs a lot. I mean, most women do. So yeah, mostly the sales are going to be higher on that end.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

And the idea of the product is actually really simple. If it’s kind of, you know, a round shaped thing with multiple razor razor attached to it. Do people have to, I’m assuming that once people buy this, they have to, you know, after one or two users or a few users, they will have to switch the reticle. So

Reid Simkovitz  

yeah, we’ve found that it’s like every eight shades or so. Just depending on on, you know how hard you’re shaving it or how often you’re shaving it, it’s around eight shaves or so you’d have to change out the blades. It’s, it’s right now, it’s 899 for a pack of five. So it’s actually cheaper than most razors. Most razors are at least $2 per per cartridge, which is a little less.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

So you’re telling the reader also, like people can go to a grocery store, buy the ratios that are available in the market and use that like their specific. The attachment in your product is specific to your razor only.

Reid Simkovitz  

Yeah, so we sell it on descriptor.com or you can go and go in the store and get it’s compatible with a Gillette Gillette Mach three, razor. Okay, yeah. So it’s compatible with the Gillette Mach three.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

And if that is the does that demotivate people from buying it? Because I would assume like you know buying the Gillette mark three pack of razors, it’s generally pretty expensive in the market, right? Do you think that people when they see that, you know, of course I want to shave my legs or something you know, why don’t I just go and buy like a regular you know shaver and use that that will be less expensive rather than using this Have you done any sort of like cost analysis to see if your product you know what kind of customer would actually buy this even for like a huge use case like shaving their legs?

Reid Simkovitz  

Well, for starters, I think most people are buying everything online anyways, so the retail stuff is just kind of like a side thing. So it’s not like it’s, it’s easier to buy everything online than to go out to a store and purchase over you know, expensive blades. So it would be cheaper in the long run to to buy the scrapie and the blades just the blades are a lot cheaper. So the retail side of things really doesn’t matter to me because it’s not I just don’t really see everyone’s buying stuff on Amazon or online so it doesn’t really make much sense to me for people to go in there anyways, but if they are in the store they can do it is one you know is is a plus. So but as far as like the scruffy goes it’s it is a quicker shave and it’s also it’s not you know it doesn’t shave everything so it’s you would still need a regular razor for other things.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

So basically the business model is on the line of you know printer and the cartridge and cartridge kind of a model where you know the person buys the printer once and then they have to buy the ink cartridge and that’s where they actually make the money is that your business model also where you know you have a higher profit margin on the river itself that that’s what people are going to buy again and again.

Reid Simkovitz  

Yeah, I mean Well, so actually there’s a higher profit margin on the scruffy itself and you know, this is something we’ve kind of gone back and forth with should we raise the price on the razors lower the price on the scruffy but the we are trying to get the cost down for the scruffy at least but as far as the razors go the profit margins aren’t as high on those so we are actually trying to move you know make a majority of the money on the scruff even though it is a one time product we still are trying to get because there’s a lot of people out there that still have not heard of the scruffy still have not purchased this crappy. So you know, I think that’s, that’s the main source right there.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

Now, the product itself I would say relatively simple, I guess, you know, once someone looks at the divine, it would be relatively easy to call copier um And I know that you have got, like, you know, patents on your product. Can you share a little bit about, you know, what, you know, what was that the rationale that, you know, I don’t want my product to be to be copied. So, you know, let’s invest in the front, I would assume that costume, you know, a good amount of money for you to get it. But

Reid Simkovitz  

yeah, that was the actually that was the initial cost. The initial cost was to get the so once we got the prototype, once I had the prototype in hand, I went over to the patent attorney, and he suggested we do a design any utility patent that costs like 16,000. And that’s what I used that that was out of my savings. So that’s kind of what I used in the very beginning to, you know, get everything going. So that yeah, that was the first major cost. And the reason that we did that was because, you know, not just, you don’t want people copying your product, you want to protect that, but also, it prevents other people from taking legal action against you and suing you, you know, they create a similar product in the market. You know, and you don’t have your protection on your product, they could sue you and put you out of business.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

Do you like do you find in the market, anyone coming up with like a similar kind of an idea, maybe the design is a little bit different. But or, or your pattern would be, you know, can can defend against that also, like, let’s say, someone creates, you know, a similar product, but it has, let’s say, a, you know, a handle, right? And maybe that enables it to, you know, people to shave their legs a little bit easier or something like that. Would your patent be able to defend against something like that? Yes.

Reid Simkovitz  

So, um, well, there’s, so there actually is a similar product out there in the market. And this, they launched two months after we launched. And they show we’re trying to figure out if we’re taking legal action against them. So you know, it’s, we’re just not sure yet. But, um, basically anything that is in the shape of the scrappy that you see in that band shaped anything to play anything over to two razors, we have patented, so it’s like two or more razors. So they are infringing on our patent. It’s just like a matter of like, how are we going to take legal action of what, you know, what exactly are we going to do? So it’s just like, we’re still talking about that.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

I think that’s a bit of a challenge with you know, with the pattern, right? Like, even if you have the pattern, you can identify someone copying your product, like just to fight that just the legal fees to fight that. It’s kind of a challenge, right? That Yeah.

Reid Simkovitz  

Yeah, it’s funny, you said that, because I was talking to the founder of puppet, you know, the toy buffet. And he told me, that’s exactly what he said. He said, You know, it’s like, having a really, if I can recall, this was a while ago, I think he said, it’s like having a really expensive bullet. But you don’t have like, done. And it’s like, it’s so it’s a it’s a you know, it’s yeah, okay, I have the patents design, utility patent, we have another design patent pending, but it’s like, okay, well, now, you know, you got to pay for the legal side of things. You want to take them to court? That’s expensive. So it’s like, ah, you know, so yeah, it’s, it’s it. That’s a bit challenging. You’re right, though.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

Actually, recently, I was talking to someone, another founder. And I was asking them, they took a little bit different approach to this. I don’t think I’ve posted that interview yet. But I think the approach that they took was, instead of getting their product patented, I think they got trademark. And the benefit of doing that was, you know, that I think I’m not completely remembering the law. But I think his logic was on Amazon. It’s much easier if you can show that a product is trademarked, too, to get Amazon to take take off other competitors products. Rather than, you know, if you go the patent route, the Amazon is going to ask you, Hey, submit the you know, submit, you know, fight the patent, get the ruling from the court. And once you have that ruling, then bring that to me, and then I’ll take some action. So I think they they took a little bit of a different approach, and which kind of made sense to me, I guess.

Reid Simkovitz  

Yeah, I’ve heard about that. Actually. I had a meeting recently with this. With this company that told me that they help to help you with taking other people’s listings out like if somebody’s copying your product and selling it on Alibaba or Amazon or something like that. They they have a way around it. One of those ways is the trademark. So it’s very interesting thing. That, you know, it’s I’ve never heard about somebody trademarking a product. But honestly, it’s from from the information that I’ve recently learned, it seems like it’s actually it’s, it’s not it’s cheaper. It’s a cheaper way of doing it. And it might actually work. Yeah. Yeah.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

So when you started, of course, you know, I think you had this idea, you, you had this aha moment to have this product. At first, you basically, you know, created some some very basic prototype, can you share a little bit about what that process was, like product development process? Where You Came to the current design? And are you still doing any any product development to improve the product or something along the line?

Reid Simkovitz  

Yeah, sure. So just to take you back, when I was in college, I struggled shave in the back of my neck. So my friend Andre would do it for me, because I couldn’t use a regular razor. And so he would do it. But the issue was, he wasn’t always around when I was around. And so I figured, you know, maybe there’s a way to create this back in the neck shaver somehow. So the first thing I did was I went to the local CVS on campus, glued together some razors. It didn’t work, but there was an there was something there. And then I took that I went to the student incubator on campus. So at the student incubator, they pair you up with some engineers. So I was paired up with two engineers, and we got, that’s how we got the process going. An engineer by the name of Jonah, drew up the design, the other engineer van, made the CAD drawing, the CAD drawing is what you need to print out the prototype. So we got the prototype in and then now this, this process took, like, over a year and a half, so it was a while. And then I took that I went and then I found my own manufacturer that way. And so but it was a series of multiple drawings, you know, several months, well over a year and a half. And as far as new product wealth, and so we actually have scruffy 2.0

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

So it seems seems like you got disconnected, scruffy 3.0

Reid Simkovitz  

If we can, you know, not to get too far ahead here, but we’ll probably we’ll have some changes to that as well. But as far as other products, you know, there’s things I’m thinking about shaving creams and lotions and different things like that. Yeah, I’m constantly thinking about how can I make the top can I improve just like a regular razor? You know, we’re different things like that the regular regular shaving accessories. So I’m always constantly thinking about those things.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

Okay. So when you were initially doing this prototype for these incubators, were they actually charging you anything? Did you have to pay anything for that? Or was completely pro bono? Yes. So

Reid Simkovitz  

they Well, I think what you sent it was in the tuition costs, but the first prototype was $92.10. So that was I had to pay for the prototype. And so that was actually technically the very first cost. Was that that prototype? So I believe though it was through tuition, I think maybe I had to pay extra a little bit wasn’t wasn’t that

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

expensive? Well, interesting. So how did you so you have the prototype? How did you go about finding the manufacturer? Are you getting this manufactured in China? And how did you you know, did you interview multiple manufacturers that you how do you come up, you know, to your, the manufacturer that you decided to go with? And yeah, can you share about that process?

Reid Simkovitz  

Yes, interesting thing. So I, I struggled during this. So I basically, I made a goal for myself to reach out to two manufacturers every single night. And it was it was tough. You know, you’re Googling things. Your call manufacturers, if they can’t help you, I always ask them, Well, who can so I would always get redirected to a different manufacturer. So but basically every night to manufacturers, sometimes three, sometimes four, out email them and more times than not, it was No, they weren’t interested. They laughed at the idea. It wasn’t until I was sitting at work

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

book club in China, by the way or Google. Yeah.

Reid Simkovitz  

Yeah. So no, so it’s a so I’ll get there in a sec. So So basically, I was sitting so I couldn’t get any I couldn’t find any manufacturers. And it wasn’t until I was sitting at work one day and a buddy of mine just called me to catch up and and it just happened that he was working at a co Packer. And he, they work directly with a manufacturer. So just like that I got a manufacturer and a co packer, they were in there in China. That was the first manufacturer second manufacturer is also in China, but they’re also based out of the UK. And that’s who we’re currently using right now.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

Okay. And so you basically got this manufacturer through a reference. So you know, there was some, you You knew that they were a good manufacturer, or they’re not going to, you know, send you broken product to consumers. Yeah,

Reid Simkovitz  

yeah, well, well, the first product, the first graphy had some issues. So that was not a perfect thing. And they could not fix those issues. So that’s when we had to change manufacturers redesign the scruffy. But it, it, it worked. It worked. Okay, it didn’t work that great. But scruffy 2.0 works a lot better.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

So when you ordered your first batch, like how many because you’ve manufactured to usually have like a minimum order quantity kind of thing? Yeah. Did they say you know, you have to order 1000 or 2000 or something like that?

Reid Simkovitz  

Yeah, it was. It was 1000 units for the first. Yeah, first round of manufacturing. Okay.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

And the cost was not prohibitive, like the cost was not too high, where you would say, you know, no, I don’t want to do this. Because, yeah,

Reid Simkovitz  

well, by that point, I was already so deep into it. So I had so so basically, it was I had to come up with it was like $17,000. And I got 5000. That’s when we got we’ve made a Kickstarter. So we made 5000, from the Kickstarter, that was on this shark tank show that Barstool Sports hosted. That was another five grand. And my grandfather gave me another five grand. And then I got then I use the 2000 for my savings. So that was how we came up with the it was it was it was hard to come up with the money, but it kind of all worked out. But it wasn’t exactly cheap like that, you know, it was a lot of money. Back then still is.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

And looking back, do you think? Are you still happy with your decision of moving forward with the business? I mean, of course, I think all in all, it’s a great. I mean, even if in the long term, you know, it’s a great learning experience.

Reid Simkovitz  

Yeah, yeah, no, I mean, no, I’m glad I did it. I wish I had gotten the product correctly the first time instead of kind of rushing it. But that was one of the mistakes that probably I learned early on. But I am learning a hell of a lot. It’s crazy. It really is.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

Any tips on how you ran the Kickstarter campaign? Of course, it was successful for you. What can other founders learn from your experience?

Reid Simkovitz  

Well, so yeah, so we got the Kickstarter funded out, that was a bit of a struggle as well, because I didn’t, I didn’t collect any sort of email list, I didn’t really have anything. In the very beginning, I just launched the Kickstarter, and then posted it on social media, with my friends and family. So I would say honestly, honestly, looking back and for the scrappy 2.0. You know, we had to raise some money. But I didn’t use we didn’t use a Kickstarter back after the 2.0. So what we did was we use Tiktok. And just our website, we directed people to the website, and that’s how we got the pre orders. So I would actually suggest people do that, go that route, make a tic tock account, YouTube, something like that direct people to your website that way, because Kickstarter, and those crowdfunding campaigns take a percentage. But I would, I would just say like come at, you got to come up with creative content. And that’s kind of what I spend my day doing is coming up with organic, creative content. And that helps drive the revenue that that’s what drives all the sales. And that’s what helped me with the Kickstarter, initially was basically it was a series of things, but it was me just reaching out to friends and family. So I didn’t do it, probably the best way. But the second time I crowdfunded was the right way that was through organic creative content, directing people to the website and we got we made like almost $17,000 for the 2.0 Whoa,

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

so it seems like tick tock is working really well for you in terms of like a sales channel. It is really just tick tock or other like in the window. Instagram work.

Reid Simkovitz  

Yeah, Instagram does the reels work, but it’s hard to it’s easier to go viral on tick tock like to under 44,000 followers last time I checked as of what is this March 21. So that’s where, you know, over 150 million views spend no money doing just time and effort. That’s where all of the business comes from just tick tock. There’s no ads or anything.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

So what is your approach? I haven’t seen your tick tock channel, but seems like you’re doing really well. Can you share? You know, you said, you spent a lot of time trying to figure out coming up with like, creative content for tick tock, can you share maybe one or two examples of what you’ve done? Or maybe one or two posts that have done really well? And what kind of time and effort went into planning that and executing?

Reid Simkovitz  

Well, we the ones that do really, really well, like, are they like shaved demos, or the demos themselves? Those are, you know, 22 million, 20 million, you know, 10 plus million, though, that’s the leg shape demo. Then there’s, I make. Then I just tell stories. So I tell stories, and those get one just one’s about to get 11 million views. And those do really well, the stories. And then I also do skits. I haven’t done them in a while. But I did this did them more. So in the beginning, just skits funny skits. I was talking about doing another one actually recently. I might do today, actually. So those work to q&a ways. That works as well. Just answering people’s questions, telling the stories in a in, you know, getting the people’s attention right off the bat. And then making it you know, quick and informative and entertaining. That’s that’s all I tried

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

to do. When you do the demo, like do you find your friends to shave their legs? How do you how do you get the models?

Reid Simkovitz  

Well, my friend’s girlfriend was helping me out for a while. And so she she’s Yeah, she really helped me out. I shaved my legs, my own legs. Like I just posted a demo yesterday. That was my leg. And I think he got I think he has like 20,000 views. But you know, it’s that’s it’s, it’s it’s a bit. It’s just so interesting, right? Because I didn’t think this would become a leg shaver. I didn’t think this would pivot into this. And yeah, I just get my my friend’s girlfriend, or my friend’s sister, just friends and family. You know?

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

Well, interesting.

Reid Simkovitz  

Actually. I gotta give credit my stepmom she was the one that that actually, that was the very first demo once that once that went viral. That was the first flagship demo that went viral 2 million views. I was like, that’s when things started taking off. And we eventually sold out of inventory. But that yeah, I gotta give credit to my stepmom for that. Okay.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

So basically, social media drives the traffic to your website. And then I’m assuming on your website, you capture email addresses, and those kinds of things. Can you share a little bit about? You know, what do you do when people come to your website? How do you do you send out emails for anyone who doesn’t buy? And do you find that the, you know, the conversion rate for those? Those those kinds of customers?

Reid Simkovitz  

Yeah, so we’ve experimented a little bit with this. They’re there. So when you have a Shopify store, you know, they have that app store. And you can kind of experiment through different apps. So in the beginning, we used like, if people didn’t buy or something, we would send them a text or an email, like, I don’t know, an hour later. And then I changed it to like six hours later, you kind of experiment with the timing there. 10 hours later, stuff like that. So it’s generally I think we stuck with the 10 hour rule that that helps. You know, we send out emails not as frequently as we used to, just because the focus is so much on tick tock, but sending out mass emails helps a lot. We’ve gotten a lot of sales from mass emails. And so we try to send those out once a week. Not you know, a few times a month. Yeah, I’m just trying to think what else we do. There is a pop up in the very beginning, when you get to the website, we send out a free scruffy once a once a month, and we pick a random subscriber. That helps a lot. And a lot of people sign up through that.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

Do you also invite like when you’re sending out these free products, do you invite those customers to like send you a quick video using the product or something like that?

Reid Simkovitz  

Now that’s a good idea, though. That’s good idea. I haven’t thought about that. I think

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

I read somewhere. An influencer, posted your product somewhere and To give you some traction do you do more influencer marketing?

Reid Simkovitz  

You know, it’s funny you mentioned that so in the very beginning before Tik Tok, I sent out 1000 messages 1000 direct messages to influencers. And it, it didn’t really work as much as I probably it probably should have, but a few people posted about it and one person posted it. His name is Alex caster, he posted a neck shape demo on Tik Tok in the very beginning. That’s what inspired me to kind of go to use Tiktok more. So he posted on Tiktok channel, we got more sales and like ever, like, I don’t know, I remember what it was. But uh,

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

and then another you didn’t we didn’t charge you anything for that now.

Reid Simkovitz  

And he has millions of subscribers. And then two other people Natalie’s Alad and Taylor are they also have million subscribers, or an Ally’s like 8 million. And they didn’t charge either. And that was pretty cool. It’s really cool. So yeah, but that helps, too. But it’s really, really comes down to just coming up with creative organic content. And that’s something early on, I just, I just was expecting everybody, all these other influencers to kind of do it for me. Now, steak, it was like, No, that helps. But you really got to put in the work and you got to be creative. And it worked. It’s been working so far.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

I mean, it’s really interesting, like, business, the definition of business has really changed, I would say in the last 1015 20 years, it’s it’s no longer just this, you know, a logical exercise. It’s I mean, these days, you almost have to have a creative person, Team person or a co founder, who’s there to, you know, really, really get your brand message out there in a creative, entertaining way. Rather than, you know, just spending money on ads or you know, things like that, I guess that has its place also. So that brings me to this question like, your team? Are you doing everything? Do you have any help? Do you have co founders? Do you have any team members that help you out?

Reid Simkovitz  

Technically, as far as employees go, it’s just me, but I mean, I get I do get help from friends and family with marketing and logistics, shipping stuff like that accounting, my brother does accounting. But yeah, as far as employees, it’s just me, I’m doing all the content and everything like that.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

So, right now, do you really see most of your role, you know, 60 70% of your role in your business, really just the creative marketer really just coming up with creative ways of promoting your product and driving sales that way? Yeah,

Reid Simkovitz  

pretty much. I’m like the influencer behind my brand here. And it’s just like, I Yeah, it’s like, I drive all the sales. It’s, I’m the marketing guy. But you know, it’s like, then there’s the other things you got to think about, too, that I do. And it’s like, worrying about, you know, we’re like, we’re putting together this head shave testing program. And, you know, these are so I got, I have all these different things that that I have to do during the day. The main thing is that marketing role, and that’s, that’s what I thrive in, and I enjoy it. I really enjoy making videos. It’s fun to me.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

I think your shipping strategy, can you share a little bit about your fulfillment in shipping? I think your website says Free Shipping within the US? Where do you warehouse your products? I’m assuming your products because they’re small. They don’t require a huge warehousing space. And then how do you fulfill them? Do you google them yourself? Yeah.

Reid Simkovitz  

film out of here out of this apartment, actually. And yeah, so I do all the fulfillment. And

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

in all your products that are all your products are stored here also in this department?

Reid Simkovitz  

Yeah, yeah. Okay. Yeah, everything’s stored here. And there was a shipbob things called shipbob. When they I had a few meetings with them early on, but it was just, it was too expensive. It was too much money. They, you know, basically they would be these third party, these three pls. They call them these third party logistics. Firms will ship out your product. It’s just too expensive. I figured, yeah. I’m going to do it myself. And you have more control over it. So that’s something that I actually enjoyed doing. Now. I just came back from the post office and I shipped you know, I forget how The ship today 15, something like that. And yeah, and free shipping in the US and free returns and Urban Outfitters. We weren’t doing international orders for a while. But it made more sense for customers to go to Urban Outfitters because it was cheaper and they do a better job.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

Okay. So how, of course you’re building in the cost of the shipping and return from the product itself, right. Are you I’m assuming it’s all ground shipping Do you? Are you working with like? USPS?

Reid Simkovitz  

Yeah, it’s just, yeah, just regular ground shipping. Sometimes if there’s like somebody, five minutes from me, I’ll just drop it off, save a shipping label. But other than that, just USPS is is the main go to once in a while fed once in a while ups but mostly USPS,

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

but you don’t. You don’t offer a paid option on the website. Like if someone wants to get it next day or something like that. You have the auction that they can pay?

Reid Simkovitz  

No, no. Okay.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

Um, so, I guess I’ll be wrapping up now.

Reid Simkovitz  

We’ll say through Amazon sell through Amazon. You can though, just not through our

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

website. Okay, so you do sell on Amazon?

Reid Simkovitz  

Yeah, yeah. So we sell scrappy.com. Amazon and Urban Outfitters are the three.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

And the best channel is your website because you’re able to drive direct traffic traffic from Tik Tok? Yeah,

Reid Simkovitz  

yeah. Yeah.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

Okay. So, you know, in every entrepreneurs journey, there’s always failures, lessons learned, you know, in their journey, can you share a couple, one or two big failures that, you know, you think, if you had avoided, maybe had given you look sooner, and what kind of other entrepreneurs learn from it?

Reid Simkovitz  

Yeah, and I touched on this a little bit earlier, it was rushing through the r&d process, the scrapping 1.0 just wasn’t as good as it should have been. And, in the process, there was a lot of, or because of it, there was a lot of returns, there was a lot of just bad feedback, changing manufacturers and just, you know, even the patents, you know, we got to get all new patents. So it was because, you know, rushing it, you know, the manufacturer wanted to, to rush me, and at the end of the day, you know, it’s my fault, but I should have just got it done. Right, you know, it’s best to get it done, right. Even though if even if it takes longer, it’s better to get it. Right. thing quickly. So doesn’t it’s like, you know, how like, the people, it’s not necessarily about making shorts, perfect. That’s not really what I’m talking about. It’s just making sure you get it right. You make sure it’s, it functions the way it should. And that that can kind of take some, you got to stand your ground a little bit. So something I wish I did early on. Okay.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

So now we’re going to move on to our rapid fire segment. In this segment, I’m going to ask you a quick, a few quick questions. And you can answer them in like one or two, few words for sentence, a book recommendation that you would have for entrepreneurs or business professionals.

Reid Simkovitz  

Shoe Dog by Phil Knight, founder of Nike. Great book. It’s my favorite book because he shows you he takes you through the entire his entire journey from selling shoes out of his parents basement to what Nike is today. And I think it’s just his storytelling is amazing. And it’s it gives you some really good insight on what the entrepreneurial entrepreneurial journey is.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

An innovative product or idea and the current ecommerce, retail or tech landscape, but you feel excited about

Reid Simkovitz  

virtual reality in terms of job training, like the other day I saw truck drivers were training through VR. I’m like, you know, there’s something to this that other industries have not like we haven’t even seen yet. Other industries haven’t even touched on yet. So I’m really curious to see what that looks like.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

Definitely a business or productivity tool or software that you would recommend or productivity

Reid Simkovitz  

do. You might laugh, but there’s a app on the iPhone called screen time, and it shows you your screen time. It’s brilliant, because it’s simple, but it’s brilliant because it, you know, even if you cut, it shows you how, what how much time you’re spending on different apps. So if you’ve gotten 30 minutes off YouTube or something like that, and put it towards something more useful. That’s pretty that’s pretty darn good. Yeah.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

I’ll start over business, an E commerce retailer tech that you think is currently doing great things.

Reid Simkovitz  

I think any of the electrical, the electric car companies, Tesla, Rivia, and lucid. The future is electric cars. And I know it’s not it’s kind of different than shaving and stuff like that. But in the next 25 years, there’s gonna be no gas powered cars. That’s crazy to me. So they’re doing they’re way ahead of the curve. And they’re doing great things definitely

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

appear entrepreneur or business person whom you look up to, or someone who inspired you.

Reid Simkovitz  

Nick Baer, founder of bare performance, nutrition, I just, I love the way he leveraged you to, to. To get his business going. I did the same thing with tick tock.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

And final question, best business advice you ever received, or you would give to other entrepreneurs?

Reid Simkovitz  

There’s a book called shut up and listen by Tillman Fertitta. And he talks about he said, when things are good, we forget how things will be bad again. And when things are bad, we forget that things will be good again. And I think that what that does is that keeps me level headed, and neutral minded. You know, when things are going great, don’t get so high and when things are getting, you know, when things are bad. You know, don’t get so hard on yourself. Be neutral minded.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

Perfect. So thank you, Reid. Those were all the questions that I had really appreciate your time today. sharing your story and your business strategies and tactics really appreciated. If people want to buy your product or get in touch with you what is the best way to reach out?

Reid Simkovitz  

Yeah, so you can go to the scruffy.com th e the scruffy ser you FFI e.com Amazon Urban Outfitters or at the scruffy on social media tick tock Instagram Tik Tok. So usually where you’ll see me that’s, that’s where the content is. So you can catch me there.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

Perfect. Thank you. Thank you so much, Reed. Really appreciate your time today. And thank you again for joining us today.

Reid Simkovitz  

Thanks. Thanks for having me. It was a pleasure.

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