Online Exclusives

Crowd Favorites

By Christine Esposito, Associate Editor | July 5, 2012

Before Kickstarter.com pulled the plug on personal care projects, meat-scented soap and a new fix for bed head secured the funding they needed.

So, what is more likely to be a successful in today’s personal care marketplace—a 100% vegan, organic skin care line or a bar soap that smells like meat?

Well, the latter had more success—in the world of crowd funding, that is.

Those ideas were among the more than 62,000 projects that have been pitched on Kickstarter.com, an online funding platform that as of July 5, 2012 had collected $272 million in funding.

Today, Kickstarter.com is designated for “creative endeavors” such as theater projects, music, art and tech gadgets, but at one time personal care products could be found among the documentaries, video games and clothing lines.

Those firms included Cosmetic Psychiatry (billed as a line of artisanal lipsticks), Just Pure Minerals and Natural Candle Pastries, a two year-old company that has been selling candles in several stores in the southeast region and had recently been accepted into Whole Foods.

While those projects failed to secure funding, MeatSoap and Morning Head can stake as claim as the only personal care ideas that did.



 
Meat Soap was a short run of bar soaps that proved to be a successful project on Kickstarter.com
Alli Dryer, an architect and self-professed avid soap collector was one of four people who created the concept of Meat Soap. Her team included Rob Borkowski, a geneticist; Brian Lee David, a graphic designer; and Daniel Vaughn, an architect and food writer. They banded together and launched Meat Soap on the crowd-funding site on Jan. 24, 2011, and for the next 29 days watched intently to see if they could raise the $1,500 needed to make custom-molded bars of bacon-scent soap that would be sold in butcher paper.
 
“We wanted to make sure there was an audience for our product before we made an investment in pig shaped soap molds, glycerin and animal fat,” she told HAPPI.

 
 
Prior to the launch on the site, Dryer and Borkowski’s only market testing was the bacon-scented soap they made as a gift for Vaughn.
 
Meat Soap reached its $1,500 goal. In fact, the firm tallied $1,905 from 42 backers.
 
But for Dryer, it wasn’t about making money, much less becoming the next Yardley.
 
“We weren't expecting to make a big profit from our launch,” she said.
 
Still, with the funds secured, Meat Soap bars, stickers, and T-shirts were shipping across the country and even as far away as The Netherlands—to those who signed on to support the launch on Kickstarter. There was even a Meat Soap Meet Up on April 15, a last hurrah of sorts, as the team is no longer making carnivore-inspired soaps.
 
“We are set up to make more soap but we dialed back on production because the team got pulled in different directions after we shipped,” Dryer told Happi.
 
Max Valverde seems to have longer-term aspirations.
 
Almost 500 backers blew past the $1,000 funding goal set for Valverde’s project: a product that would help eliminate bed head.
 
In fact, Valverde raised $6,367 for his hair cap that features a proprietary super absorbent cloth material inside. Dubbed Morning Head, users add water to the interior of the cap, place the cap on their head and rub it around. It wets hair completely so the users can style their hair as their normally would after a shower, without the shower.
 
This cap cures bed head in seconds, says creator Max Valverde, who sought funding on Kickstarter.com
And as long as the cap is wrung out completely, it can be reused up to 30 times, noted Valverde, who has a BS in mechanical engineering from Brown University, works as sales engineer for a construction manufacturer and is co-founder of nakedshell.com, which makes iPhone covers.
 
“It is a product concept I have had for a while. I routinely shower at night and would wet my hair in the sink in the mornings to get ready for work. I experimented with many different means and methods, but none effectively solved the hassle of fixing bed head. I knew there had to be a better way,” he said.
 
After experimenting with different materials and configurations ranging from baseball caps to winter hats made of absorbent materials, Valverde designed a prototype and then headed to Kickstarter.
 
“I learned of Kickstarter after backing a friend's short film…. I saw the power of Kickstarter and was impressed by the community's ability to fund creative projects,” he said. “I chose to useKickstarterbecause I loved the Kickstarter community and felt that I could properly vet this idea without patronizing friends and family.”
 
As of mid-June, Valderde had shipped more than 1,300 caps to 22 countries and is taking in orders via his website, www.morninghead.com.
 
“We would like to get into brick and mortar stores eventually,” said Valderde, “but we need to continue to spread the word in the short term.”
 

 
 
 

Related End-User Markets:

blog comments powered by Disqus
  • Burgeoning Beauty

    Burgeoning Beauty

    Melissa Meisel, Associate Editor||January 4, 2016
    A look at trailblazers for 2016 and beyond.

  • Testing for Sustainable Preservatives

    Adam P. Byrne, William Michael Hart-Cooper, Kaj Johnson, Larry H. Stanker, Dominic W. S. Wong, William J. Orts||January 4, 2016
    A rapid, inexpensive and qualitative protocol for determining microbial growth inhibition.

  • A Fresh Take

    A Fresh Take

    Melissa Meisel, Associate Editor||November 2, 2015
    Today’s soaps and shower products do more than just cleanse—they solve skin quandaries, are portable or even look whimsical!

  • Perfect Timing

    Perfect Timing

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||January 11, 2016
    New ways of collecting data can help cosmetics companies understand what women really want—and when they want it.

  • Africa, Rising

    Africa, Rising

    December 14, 2015
    Savvy marketers should expand their operations on the continent, according to speakers at a WFFC seminar.

  • Hitting a Wall(mart)

    Hitting a Wall(mart)

    November 9, 2015
    Walmart imposes slotting fees and that hurts a lot of Tier 2 and 3 FMCG companies.

  • That’s Quite an Achievement!

    That’s Quite an Achievement!

    Nancy Jeffries, Contributing Editor||November 2, 2015
    The CEW honors seven beauty industry leaders.

  • Scoring Big with Women’s Soccer

    Scoring Big with Women’s Soccer

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||July 8, 2015
    Carli Lloyd and crew have star power—but will any beauty firm be smart enough sign these soccer stars? Take our poll now.

  • Teen’s Non-Toxic Dream Gets Real

    Teen’s Non-Toxic Dream Gets Real

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||June 8, 2015
    Rhode Island teen Ava Anderson serves as CEO of a fast-growing direct sales company that’s playing in multiple household and personal care categories.

  • A Reason to Smile?

    A Reason to Smile?

    Jeremy Kerstetter, Assistant Editor||June 1, 2015
    IRI study uncovers consumer optimism...even among Millennials.

  • The Right Choice

    The Right Choice

    Nancy Jeffries, Contributing Editor||May 28, 2015
    The CEW Insiders's Choice Beauty Awards

  • Johnson’s Making a Splash

    Johnson’s Making a Splash

    May 18, 2015
    J&J’s So Much More campaign aims to raise awareness regarding the importance of bath time.

  • Thousands Flock to NYSCC Suppliers

    Thousands Flock to NYSCC Suppliers' Day

    May 18, 2015
    Once again, the cosmetic world meets in Edison, NJ.

  • Do You Know PDC?

    Do You Know PDC?

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||April 27, 2015
    There’s a lot more than imposter fragrances driving the company today.

  • Creating a Market

    Creating a Market

    Jeremy Kerstetter, Assistant Editor||April 27, 2015
    Ottilie & Lulu forge a path in the tween care market.

  • Which Way, M&A?

    Which Way, M&A?

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||March 23, 2015
    Personal care is an attractive end-market for chemical companies due to an above GDP growth rate and higher margins.

  • Personal from the Start

    Personal from the Start

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||February 23, 2015
    Backgrounds in e-comm and CPG help when building a new business, but for Puracy’s founders, the launch of their household and personal care brand was driven by personal need.

  • Have Consumers Had Enough of Promotions?

    Have Consumers Had Enough of Promotions?

    Emily Mayer, IRI||November 10, 2014
    FMCG promotions. Personal care. New Products. innovations.

  • Man Up

    Man Up

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||September 15, 2014
    Zep's new Blue Energy Shower Gel is designed for men who need to clean up after—not before—work.

  • All Aboard for Beauty!

    All Aboard for Beauty!

    Nancy Jeffries, Online Editor||August 18, 2014
    Editors cruise along the Hudson River while they peruse the latest ideas in beauty and personal care.

  • Deal or No Deal?

    Deal or No Deal?

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||July 14, 2014
    What do private equity and strategic investors look for in a beauty business?

  • The New Beauty Consumer

    The New Beauty Consumer

    Nancy Jeffries, Online Editor||July 7, 2014
    FIT graduates look at shifts occurring in lifestyles and demographics.

  • Men

    Men's Madness Reigns at Unilever

    March 27, 2014
    The company is stepping up its marketing efforts during the NCAA Tournament, which plays a a role in its personal care plans.

  • When Better Is Best

    When Better Is Best

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||February 17, 2014
    Find out what it takes to be a winner of the 2014 Better Homes and Gardens Best New Product Awards.

  • The Love of Money

    The Love of Money

    January 16, 2014
    It may be the root of all evil, but our salary survey was the top article on Happi.com last year.

  • Answering the ‘Quiet’ Need

    Answering the ‘Quiet’ Need

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||December 16, 2013
    High Ridge Brands links with nonprofit Family-to-Family to deliver needed personal care products to those in need.

  • Transactional or Transformational?

    Transactional or Transformational?

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||December 9, 2013
    Retailers and their suppliers can always do better to serve the customer. The former CEO of Trader Joe’s explains how everyone in the supply chain can aim higher.

  • The Private Label Conundrum

    The Private Label Conundrum

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||December 2, 2013
    Times may be tough for many, but that doesn’t translate to widespread gains for store brands.