Last Monday, we posted 5 Amber Grant finalists for October. After much consideration, we’re writing to share the recipient and the 11th qualifier for the $25,000 year-end Amber Grant.
Congratulations to Amy Mitchell, Founder of Lisse Shave. Read on to learn about Amy’s product, how she’s giving back, and much more.
WN: What motivated you to create Lisse Shave?
AM: By 2050 it’s predicted there will be more plastic in the oceans than fish, which is devastating! I’ve always been conscious of lowering my plastic footprint and that’s when I discovered the world of safety razors. Right now over 2 billion plastic razors are dumped into landfills and oceans every year and that’s just from the US alone. The big money-making corporations don’t want you to know about the alternative way of shaving (ie. with a Safety Razor) because it will hurt their pockets. Safety razors are made completely of metal and the blades are made from 100% stainless steel (20 times cheaper than multi-blade cartridges!) so everything is 100% recyclable, no plastic in sight! Not only that, but companies don’t legally need to disclose the ingredients in those moisturizing strips. They are loaded with toxic chemicals, PEGs, and ingredients on PETA’s watch list for animal cruelty. These are usually the culprits behind your shaving irritation, not the blade itself!
So I made the switch to a safety razor and couldn’t believe I hadn’t done it sooner. Not only are they better for the environment but they offer a closer shave with less irritation and limit ingrown hairs. Traditionally, safety razors have been targeted towards men and around 98% of my girlfriends had no idea what a safety razor was. So I set out to create a brand to position them differently and help educate and empower women to make better choices for their bodies. And so, Lisse Shave was born!
WN: Share your core values
AM: Commitment to sustainability: This is incredibly important to me and this means living my values even behind the scenes. ‘Sustainable’ should never just be a marketing slogan. Everything even down to our packaging is 100% compostable, recyclable, or reusable. We’ve even rocked a typo on our razor boxes as I refuse to recycle a thousand boxes in the name of perfection. I shared the story with our customers and they loved it!
Female empowerment: We gotta lift each other up! I’ve never been interested in ‘just selling products’. My true motivation comes from building a long-lasting brand that shares knowledge and adds value across a variety of topics that impact women.
Quality and clean products: If you can’t understand the ingredients list then you shouldn’t be putting it on your body. I am committed to delivering simple, clean, and effective products free from any of the nasties. And quality, that goes without saying! Not all safety razors are made equally. I want my customers to have the best shaving experience. Think of it less like a razor and more like a piece of jewelry on your countertop!
WN: What differentiates your product from others in the space?
AM: Compared to other safety razor companies I feel there are 3 key areas where Lisse Shave is different:
- I’m a big believer that business should be used as a force for good which is why 2% of gross razor sales go straight to Femme International who empowers young women through health and menstrual education in East Africa. Femme equip girls with the supplies and confidence they need so they’ll never have to skip school because of a period ever again.
- Being cruelty-free was incredibly important to me. I’m proud to be Leaping Bunny certified which is the only certification that verifies the entire supply chain for animal testing.
- Community! I have built a very engaged community that are actively involved in our design process for our 2.0 razor, so we are building something together which is truly exciting.
WN: Where are you reaching your target market?
AM: I didn’t have a marketing budget so I organically grew my email list to over 1k pre-launch and I had around a 10% conversion on launch day on our website. Right now our customers are mainly finding us through Instagram, organic search and referrals.
WN: Share some advice you’d give an aspiring female entrepreneur.
AM: These are the 3 things I like to remind my friends of:
- Just start somewhere! It’s incredibly overwhelming starting a business, especially when you’re on your own. You’re going to be thrown into things that make you feel uncomfortable or that you have no idea how to accomplish but as long as you take small steps each day and keep chipping away, all of a sudden you’ll find yourself with something ready to launch.
- Drop the idea of perfection — this will seriously hold you back! If you wait until your website is ‘perfect’ or the timing is ‘just right’ you will never launch. Everything in your business is a constant journey and evolution. So just start somewhere then test, learn, optimize, and repeat.
- Recognize the imposter syndrome. Yes, you are good enough!
WN: If you have anything else to share, please do!
AM: Thank you again to WomensNet for believing in my business so far. It’s still a surreal sensation when someone else believes in your dreams, it starts to feel like a reality! I genuinely love connecting with other women and I’m more than happy to offer advice or moral support to anyone in a similar situation. So feel free to look me up and drop me a line!