Hello! Who are you and what business did you start?
My name is Josh Elizetxe, and I’m from Phoenix, Arizona. I’m the first in my family to graduate from college and I did it at 20 years old. I graduated with a degree in CIS and I did it in two years and graduated with honors, Summa cum laude. I started Snow three years ago because I wanted to provide people with the luxury of whitening their teeth from home. Before the creation of Snow, I used to have an online marketing agency that I started in my teens and it was bought out in my early twenties.
My company only sells products that have been designed and tested by us. Our flagship product is our original at-home teeth whitening. It was the first product that created our current loyal customer base. Our typical customer is women 25 and up, women who take care of their appearance and want a beautiful white smile. According to clinical trials, the serum that comes in our wand causes little to no sensitivity and that was a major appeal for our customers because you get the same results without the nasty side effects.
This year we’re expecting to do 2 or 3 times more sales last year’s Q4 so the team and I are stoked to see our hard work come to fruition.
What's your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?
Before I started Snow I used to have a couple of friends who were dentists and when I used to go to my dental appointments I would ask them what's missing the oral care space.
After doing my research I figured out that there wasn’t an oral care platform that primarily focused on their consumers’ cosmetic appearance. Now we’re creating our own toothpaste, mouthwash, and breath spray. I wanted a company that offered everything that a person needs to look and feel good.
It's expensive to do things right but it's more expensive to do things wrong.
When I noticed the gap in the oral care market I jumped at it, I knew this would be a company that will still be here in 50 years. Other companies in our space failed to realize that their consumers’ tastes and values have changed and people value a brand that speaks to them, so that what I set out to do.
My team and I since the beginning have always listened to our customers to improve our products. We have spent millions of dollars improving all of our products and ensuring quality manufacturing. Not only that, we started using macro-influencers to make a more impactful and personal connection with our customers and started the conversation of teeth whitening.
(My first roles that I recruited for was fufillment and customer service. Since we’re a 24 hour business we need to have customer service personnel to help customers answer any questions they might have about our product. Fulfillment is also very important because we need to have a steady supply of products for our customers. We don’t like to keep our customers waiting! )
Take us through the process of designing, prototyping, and manufacturing your first product.
Anything we have sold we have worked with experts to create and develop. Everything we sell has been created by us. It was important for us to make a product that makes sense for our customers. We offer 6 months of teeth whitening serum in each box and the serum is applied directly to the teeth so you’re not wasting gel. We created a packaging and an unboxing experience for our customers to add value to our brand and to our customers’ experience.
We wanted to make packaging that the customer would keep. This March we came out with our Wireless system and again just like our Wired system we went out to design and improve the product in every aspect. We wanted to merge tech with oral care and that's what we set out to do. Through the process of creating our products, we hold 5 world patents on our products.
Creating something from scratch working with dental experts, 10 years of experience selling products online.
We listen to our customers and nothing that we sell we haven’t invented. When people were whitening their teeth they were using their phone,
Did it again, but spending millions of dollars on leading engineers,
As I said earlier we work closely with our dentist who helped us develop our proprietary serum that is safe for sensitive teeth. We also found the perfect wavelength for the led so that the serum is activated by the led blue light.
Besides the mouthpiece, the serum packaging for us is very important and if we wanted to become the company that disrupted the industry like we have our packaging and branding had to be the best. That is what our initial thought was as a brand and that was to make the unboxing of our products an experience and we tried a lot of different packaging but we eventually found a design and finish that was going to blow away our customers.
(Working directly with the factory and getting early feedback from users. We had to train the factories we were working with to make high quality mouth pieces. At that time they never worked with a company like ours so our manufactures were not used to our high level of expectations when it came to the quality of the final product.)
Describe the process of launching the business.
I originally created and coded the original website. We took no loans out for Snow, I invested my own money but for the most part, Snow is a bootstrapped business and our success is due to our diligence as a brand and our products.
We did use Kickstarter but it was used to drive press and buzz for our wireless system product release. It was late 2016 early 2017 when we started rolling out our wired teeth whitening system. And I had a really good reception because people were receiving a premium product and the best part was that there was a brand that was offering them a 5-year guarantee and a 30 money-back guarantee. I learned that think big would give Snow long term success.
The campaign went really well, we made a couple of promotional videos and released some press articles to drum up excitement for a truly innovative product. The goal was to get the public and existing customers excited about the new Wireless system. We surpassed our goal and it was a great success.
Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?
We have spent a lot of time at Snow developing a customer culture that is friendly and sparks the conversation of why they want white teeth. We worked hard as a company to change that want to they need to.
People need our product, and celebrities talk about it all the time. We’ve always had a strong social media presence and since the beginning we have asked our customers for feedback on social media. Getting feedback directly from customers has helped us grow our brand to what it is today. It has improved our product research and development and that has made our new customers happy and our old customers even happier.
We don't actively reach for any celebrities we like to be selective about who we choose to partner with our brand. It’s not difficult to deal with celebrities, for the most part they know about us and want to work with our brand.
Only a fraction of customers come social media. We don’t like to rely on Facebook to make the bulk of our sales. We like to rely on our current customers to help us spread the word and also buy again.
We have recently partnered with companies like Vincero, Manscaped, and BrightCellars and its always great working with other companies because both of our audiences really enjoy giveaways.
We focus a lot on the customer experience and the brand. We offer a luxurious customer experience and it really attracts repeat customers.
How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
The future is bright for Snow, we’re estimating to make 8-10 million in December alone. We are prepared for this year’s Q4.
We also are excited to launch in Life Time Fitness this coming year. We also plan to roll out our products with 5 of the largest retailers in North America. We are one of the fastest-growing direct to consumer brands that are moving into retail. We are also planning to attend our first trade show this upcoming year.
Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?
One of our mistakes was that last year we didn’t have enough products in our warehouse to ship to our customers. We underestimated the demand for the products.
There was an overwhelming response and customers were buying kits left and right to give to their loved ones for the Holidays. Being short on inventory caused delays when orders were being shipped. Now, we are prepared for an amazing end of the year!
What platform/tools do you use for your business?
We use DojoMojo, Klaviyo, and Shopify. We use a lot of different apps and softwares that help keep our business running. All of our influencer marketing is done in-house and we have tried some platforms but haven't found one that is worth its supposed value.
We also use Affirm, it allows people who want to buy our product but don’t want to pay all at once to pay in monthly payments of 3, 6, or 12 monthly payments. This firm helps us get those customers who find our product price point too high.
What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?
My favorite book has to be How to Win Friends and Influence People. I meet and work with so many people that it was important for me to be the best version of myself. This book taught me skills and techniques that help me do exactly that.
Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?
Think long term and think bigger! Think of the consumer, their experience and how to constantly out due yourself. It's expensive to do things right but it's more expensive to do things wrong. Invest in your product or service, Invest in your customer’s experience and furthermost invest in yourself and the company.
Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?
We’re always expanding the SNOW team for talented A-players!
Mainly full-time roles, however, we are open to part-time or contractor work.
- Media Buyers
- VP Finance
- Staff Accountant
- Legal Counsel
- Retail Store Executives
- Supply Chain
- Influencer Marketers
- B2B sales team
Where can we go to learn more?
If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!
Hey! 👋 I'm Pat Walls, the founder of Starter Story.
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