Today, we talk to Lindsay Grace Kinniburgh and Michael Flynn, the husband-and-wife team behind Make My Shave, a subscription service that offers an elegant but sustainable shaving solution for women. After having come up with the idea when their wedding was postponed due to COVID in March 2021, the couple worked on transforming the idea into a business reality. Despite the challenges of launching mid-pandemic, Make My Shave has managed to achieve considerable growth in a short period and remains committed to empowering women across Australia to use their body-care routine to live more sustainably.
ISB: How did the inspiration behind Make My Shave come to you?
LK: I was in the shower one day, mid-shave, when I had a spontaneous Aha moment. I felt guilty about how damaging plastic disposable razors are for the environment, and frustrated by how unfair it is that women often pay more for female shavers. Then I thought, “Well, why don’t you do something about it?” I ran out of the bathroom and pitched the idea to my fiancé. I wanted to develop a women’s razor that would reduce the amount of plastic heading for landfills, be kinder to the environment, and make sustainable shaving more affordable. Mike said “Yes”, and in November 2021, Make My Shave was born.
ISB: Why did you decide to go with a subscription service for this business idea?
MF and LK: We did a lot of research and noticed that men have an abundance of shave clubs and subscription services, but there was very little for women. We also found that many of the shave brands promoted male razors TO women, but didn’t focus ON women. We decided the best way for our customers to always enjoy fresh shavers was to create a subscription for the female body and lifestyle. We also wanted our commitment to the betterment of the planet to be ongoing and a subscription model can orchestrate amazing eco-friendly elements; including tree planting, razor head recycling and free carbon offset delivery.
ISB: Apart from being reusable, what makes the product stand out from other women’s razors?
LK: The razor itself is amazing. You just have to hold it to feel the quality. The alloy metal handle is perfectly weighted with a non-slip rubber grip. The five-blade, superlube head means it provides a super quick shave and glides safely into and over delicate areas. Make My Shave really stands out as a luxurious product in your bathroom. It’s beautiful and different from traditional razors. There’s also the sustainable side. No other razor plants trees, provides free carbon offset delivery, and includes a compostable mailer so that customers can send back their used heads for recycling — free of charge.
ISB: What has been the most challenging aspect of this venture and how did you overcome it?
MF: Probably the packaging! We wanted a sustainable packaging solution but found a lot of unexpected challenges around postal constraints and the strength of eco-friendly materials. It literally took us months and months of prototyping and designs before we found the right packaging partner for the casing for our razor handle and heads. Many simply said it couldn’t be done. We persisted and were very patient. Thankfully, we triumphed and are extremely proud of our sustainable packaging. Our insert is not only 100 per cent recyclable and compostable, but it’s made in Australia and designed for a reduced carbon footprint.
ISB: What is your vision for the growth and development of Make My Shave in the next couple of years?
MF and LK: To empower women to use their shaving habits to do good for the world. It’s so easy to grab a pack of plastic razors at the supermarket, but the impact of this choice is catastrophic. We want to change the narrative by giving women a much better way to care for themselves and the environment. We want sustainable shaving to be affordable, accessible and the norm. We’re focused on the Australian market right now, but in the next few years, we’ll be looking to grow in the UK, followed by the US.
ISB: What is the most important advice you can share with others that may have a potential business idea in mind?
MK: Firstly, just get started. Don’t waste time getting too hung up on the details of your idea, and don’t worry about keeping your idea secretive because the concept will change as you go. Secondly, be patient and understand there will be unexpected challenges beyond your wildest imagination. So, make sure you work on something you are really passionate about, because your business will take over your life, and you need to love it no matter what! And, thirdly, commit 100 per cent. There is no better motivation than needing your business to succeed to pay your bills. Fear of failing will push you to work harder and smarter; be hungry for success.