The inspiration for Joe Doucett’s online company came while he was in his bathroom. At the sink.
The busy Phoenix commercial real estate professional was able to squeeze out just enough toothpaste on his toothbrush that morning. And as he prepared to go to bed and picked up the empty tube, he remembered what he forgot to pick up on the way home.
Doucett wished there was a way to avoid going empty on not just toothpaste but also basic bathroom and hygiene products that are used regularly but easy to forget to replenish. Also, some of the products he used were available at specific drugstores and he’d get frustrated looking for them at the wrong one.
He knew he was not alone in this predicament. He discussed possible solutions with his wife.
“I saw a need in my life for this. I was thinking, there’s got to be a better way to do this,” Doucett said.
That better way became the aptly named the Bathroom Sink, the online toiletry concierge business Doucett launched in 2014 with his sister Jenna Rutschman, his co-founder and marketing and product development director.
Users are reminded
by email 3 to 5 days
The popularity of online shopping has brought a number of subscription and refill services that work on a time-set schedule.
Between 2015 to 2020, bath product online sales are expected to grow annually by 13 percent, a much faster rate than traditional drugstore sales, according to Business Insider.
Doucett, the company CEO, and Rutschman, an avid online shopper herself, wanted to take it a step further. In doing so, they, along with a team of technology pros and web designers, crafted an intuitive tool that operates on an algorithm based on how much a customer uses a product.
The software sends users an email three to five days before an item is slated to run out, asking whether replacement is necessary. The company utilizes Amazon to fill orders.
This means not only not running out of toothpaste, but also not ending up with a half-dozen extra tubes lying around and taking up precious cabinet space. In case a half a bottle of shampoo accidentally gets poured down the drain, there’s a reset feature that allows users to request an earlier delivery.
“It’s not static. Once they set it up, they can look at it and see how much shampoo they’ll use for life,” Doucett said.
And this, Doucett said, is what separates the Bathroom Sink from similar services.
“A lot of people were telling us this couldn’t be done. Designers couldn’t figure out how to get the final piece. They said it had to be static,” Doucett said.
But eventually, they brought together a team to understand the concept. They made it work.
The service works on a member-based model. A membership costs $3 a month.
The products are priced without hidden costs or mark-up fees. Members live across the country and range from young adults to baby boomers, Rutschman said.
Revenue is generated by membership fees only. The company has experienced 30 percent growth since August, Doucett said.