Iskra Tsenkova wants the Angel Shave Club to be for women what to be what the Dollar Shave Club was for men. In 2011, Dollar Shave Club disrupted the $13 Billion razor industry by offering quality razor blades at a lower price on a monthly subscription basis. Gillette, the world's leading disposable razor manufacturer (and now a subsidiary of Proctor and Gamble) took notice. They adjusted their pricing and even started a shave club of their own. Now, monthly subscription razor plans litter the internet; the business model was truly changed.
The Angel Shave Club wants to do the same thing for women's razors. Tsenkova, a Bulgarian immigrant, decided to start her business in the shower when she couldn't figure which razor was hers and which was her husband's. In addition to value priced razors, The Angel Shave Club also sells Sugar & Fig Whipped Shaving Souffle – their popular “shaving cream.”
Angel Shave Club Launches
With a lot of media splash, Tsenkova started the business in the spring of 2016. She touted the company as “a company made for women by women. Everything about the experience has been tailor made for women, from the specifically engineered blades, to the branding, design, and communications.” She, like many other women, wanted quality razors at a better price than the drug store. They offer a free trial and subscription levels of two and four months. With the four month option, the cost is only $2.25 per blade – a good price for quality blades.
As with Dollar Shave Club, imitators of the Angel Shave Club have already sprung up. A quick Google search revealed at least five others, not to mention the “men's” razor clubs that offer women's products. There is an IndieGoGo campaign set up for the business and, as of this writing, it isn't live. The message reads: “‘Boutique Shave Club for Women – Angel Shave Club' is currently being updated. Please check back later and show your support.” Tsenkova hopes the Sharks will pitch in to help get her business moving when she pitches in episode 1010.
My Take on the Angel Shave Club
I signed up for several monthly shave clubs. I am the customer they hate because I sign up for the trial offer, then cancel. Then I do it all over again with a different club. Inevitably, I get an email offering another trial offer to “get me back,” and I start the cycle all over again. I imagine Tsenkova will encounter similar customers.
I do like the idea of shave clubs. It's one of those “have to buy” items that's just easier when it's mailed. The prices are a bit lower than similar “premium” razors, too. I am sure being first to market with a women's razor subscription service has some value and I think she'll do well, but it's going to get more competitive as time goes on.
Will Sharks Be Angels and Invest?
The subscription business is all about customer acquisition costs which is sure to come up during Q&A. Tsenkova better have a firm grasp of those numbers or she'll be dead in the water. The Sharks will also have concerns about competition. The non-proprietary nature of this business will hurt her chances.
The real reason I don't think she gets a deal is the IndieGoGo campaign. It was created only four days before the air date and it isn't live. You can bet the house it will be live when the segment airs. This has been a powerful tool for many entrepreneurs in the past as a Shark Tank appearance drives a lot of traffic to crowdfunding campaigns. The problem is, entrepreneurs who run these campaigns when their show airs usually don't have a deal.