Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal care but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Christopher Lander, founder, and CEO of AutoBrush, located in San Diego, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
AutoBrush is the first clinically proven whole-mouth toothbrush. We use fun animals and music with a u-shaped brush head to help kids brush better and have fun doing it.
AutoBrush is more than just a more enjoyable brushing experience. Tooth decay is among the leading chronic health issues in children, according to the CDC. We want to be a part of the solution - giving parents (and their kids) a BETTER tool that takes the guesswork out of brushing.
Tell us about yourself
I don't have a typical story. I almost fell into this opportunity by accident. I saw the potential to recreate a household product that hadn't been touched in centuries, and I went for it. Along the way, I became passionate about solving a specific problem: chronic tooth decay in children. It became less about the "cool" factor and my entrepreneurial spirit and more about leaving this space better than I found it.
If you were to ask my community, they would tell you I'm scrappy, obsessively meticulous, and relentlessly determined. I involve myself in every single aspect of the AutoBrush business because I genuinely love what I do. Talking to customers and reading testimonials reminds me that the work I'm doing is actually changing people's lives. It doesn't get any better than that.
Outside of work, I love to be active, nerd out over video games and spend time with my amazing partner, Camila.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment is creating a community movement around improving oral health for families. It's not one specific point. It's so many little (and not-so-little) things adding up to this movement, including developing our signature (and fully patented) double-sided nylon brush head, completing our clinical trial showcasing our brush is 27x more effective, and building a community inside the business of like-minded individuals that motivate me to do better every single day. It's never been easy. We didn't have any VC funding or really anyone in our corner. But we've stuck with this as a team, and we continue to get better every single day. To me, that tenacity is an accomplishment.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Balance. The thing is, I know exactly what our future looks like. I can see the team, the tech stack. But I have to balance that with our P&L as a startup without funding. You've heard the cliche "spend money to make money" figuring out what that means as a business owner and when to spend vs. when to scale back is really challenging for me as an ambitious entrepreneur. Also, let's be honest, no one likes the nitty-gritty HR piece that comes along with being the big boss.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Stay lean! Don't rush the scale. Bootstrapping is cool too.
- Nail the product. Get past the "tried and true" aspect first. It's an unbelievably expensive to course correct a history of a bad product offering.
- Take your time with hiring and be cautious about who you bring into your culture.
- Bonus: Trust your gut. You're probably right, and no one knows your business better than you do.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Build your company with people you trust and value the same things as you do. It helps provide true alignment and builds a strong foundation for company culture.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email firstname.lastname@example.org; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
Feel inspired to start, run or grow your own subscription business? Check out subkit.com and learn how you can turn "one day" into day one.