Shower Pill entered the Shark Tank with body wipes designed to remove sweat, dirt and body odor. Four times thicker than a baby wipe, they contain Aloe Vera and Vitamin E, are FDA approved and proven to kill 99.9 percent of germs. Individually wrapped, they were created by a trio of college football players, who wanted an on-the-go solution for their bouts with sweating.
We interviewed cofounder Wendell Hunter, who started the company with his University of California Berkeley teammates Wale Forrester and now-retired NFL player Justin Forsett. It took them six months to create the first prototype, which involved collaborating with contract manufacturers, chemists, scientists, team doctors, athletic trainers and pro athletes.
The product launched in 2014 and to date, they’ve enjoyed more than $1 million in sales. Besides their site and Amazon, you can find the wipes at Crunch Fitness, Pharmaca and select UFC gyms.
As for their future plans, Hunter said they include expanding distribution, introducing new products and growing the team. Being a household name also ranks high on the list. “Since day one, we set out to become the Gatorade of hygiene, and that remains our ultimate goal,” he said.
Here’s what else he told us about…
How the Idea Came About From Sweat
It all started in the locker room when we -three college football teammates at Cal-Berkeley- found that showering every time we broke a sweat just wasn’t a realistic option. Our teammates were dealing with the same problem, which was more than just a body odor issue. The health implications were real; guys were getting sidelined with sweat-related infections. So we wanted to find a realistic way to manage this problem.
What Makes Their Wipes Stand Out From the Competition
Where do I begin? First, you would need about 10 baby wipes to do the job of one Shower Pill wipe. Our product is extra-thick and dual-textured, with a similar feel to a washcloth. Plus, our wipes contain the highest quality ingredients and a special formulation created to kill germs on the body, as well as remove dirt, sweat and body odor. Not to mention each wipe is individually wrapped for on-the-go use and dry-out prevention.
The Athletic Joke Behind the Brand Name
To this day, it’s an inside joke among athletes that a teammate who skips a shower is taking a shower pill. We had supplements for everything else – nutrition, muscles, recovery – but nothing for hygiene. And that’s why we set out to turn the shower pill joke into a hygiene supplement solution.
Partnership with Amazon a ‘Vital Part’ of Their Success
They have an amazing customer base looking for hot products, and we have a hot product looking for new customers. It’s a win-win. In a way, we look at our Amazon business as a business in itself, a trusted third-party vendor that customers look to for honest customer reviews/feedback and a seamless transaction process. We are a highly rated product on the platform and see Amazon as a vital part of our continued success.
Lessons Learned on the Football Field That Helps Them Run a Business
We learned a lot of relevant lessons from our college football experience that were/are transferrable to entrepreneurship. We each experienced rejection in its various forms on the football field, which gave us a competitive advantage in life and business. We know how to overcome rejection, persist, conquer obstacles and problem solve, regardless of the circumstances. As teammates, and now partners, we understand the importance of teamwork and working together toward a common goal. While the obstacles you face in athletics are obviously very different from business, we take them on with the same tenacity and mentality as we did in college. And I think that has really helped our business stay the course.
Advice to Future Contestants on the ‘Tank’
Apply, go through the application process and then get back to running your business. Focus on the fundamentals and getting one percent better every single day. If the Sharks come calling, just look at it as an opportunity to share what you’ve already been doing. Shark Tank is looking for interesting people and stories, so be interesting and build something amazing and you might get a shot at the sharks.
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