Sphynx Razor Creator Leila Kashani On Her Successful Kickstarter Campaign, Product Development And Smooth Skin
Sphynx creator Leila Kashani got the idea for her revolutionary new travel razor when she was 16. “While sitting on the beach, [I] realized I totally missed a spot,” she told Wall Street Insanity. Instead of getting frustrated, however, she used this everyday annoyance as inspiration. Wall Street Insanity recently caught up with her to find out how the Sphynx went from idea to new invention and what the future might hold for this new venture.
The idea was something I frequently shared with others and they always seemed excited about it,” Kashani says. “Once I had the experience and knowledge of the product development industry, the idea started to consume my mind, and I knew it was time to start.”
Thirteen years after it was first dreamed up, the Sphynx has exceeded its goal of $25,000 in a successful Kickstarter campaign. The $14 compact razor aims to make women’s lives a little easier by providing water, razors and an all-natural, organic soap that works like lotion to moisturize the skin — all in one pod-shaped compact case that travels easily and discreetly for moments when you realize that you missed a spot but don’t want to deal with disposable razors, sticky public bathroom soap and awkwardly putting one foot up on a sink to try to shave around your ankle.
The Sphynx’s concept is simple: Spray water on your skin, twist the dial to get to the soap, rub that on your skin, twist the dial again and use the razor to shave any overlooked patches of hair. No dry shaving, no bumps, no mess.
Finding the perfect formula for that soap was one of her biggest challenges, says Kashani.
This part of the idea really grew along the way; it started as a shaving cream, but the shaving cream was too thick and needed to be cleaned from the razor and body — the water spray wasn’t enough,” she says. “After that we made it leave-on shaving cream, but that was still too thick for the razor and based on research that I did, people didn’t like the feeling. That’s when I thought of something like deodorant, something we can leave on our skin. Having learned that most people don’t like to leave stuff on their skin, it became really important to be for this to be all natural… I spent months researching and testing natural moisturizing formulas that we could leave on the skin. I mixed and matched ingredients till I found one that wasn’t sticky, smelled good, was all natural, was thin and could be left on the skin like moisturizer, something people do enjoy leaving on the skin.”
However, after months of product testing, she finally found the right one.
It kept me smooth — that’s for sure,” she said, adding that it took a year and a half to get from the first Sphynx prototype to the version that exists today.
Kashani is no stranger to product development. While working for an agency that managed the marketing campaigns of Columbia and Nike, along with several other major brands, she says employees were always educated on the products.
I was always obsessed with how much thought went into all that they were creating and sharing with the world,” she says. “I took my love for that and fascination to my next career move, which was creating and marketing children’s toys at MGA Entertainment, one of the largest toy companies in the world [and] parent to Little Tikes, Lalaloopsy and Bratz dolls, to name a few. That’s where I really got my hands-on experience on the development process.”
At MGA, Kashani says she learned how a product goes from an idea to a real thing — for example, creative ways to save costs, timelines for manufacturing and retailers’ timelines and other requirements.
I absolutely loved my experience there because every day involved creating. After recognizing how much passion I had for this, I was confident that I had the tools to put what I’ve learned to use and create something I’ve always wanted for myself, with the hopes that others would, too! I knew I would never know all the challenges in creating a product, but I was confident that it was time to take the risk and ask questions along the way. The best part is, my family at MGA has really inspired me and pushed me to reach for this and guided me along the way in being available when I hit any obstacle I might not be familiar with,” she says.
Now that the Sphynx Kickstarter’s goal has been reached, however, there don’t seem to be many obstacles in the way. Kashani says that manufacturing will begin immediately; the first order for materials has been put in and several factories are already working to create the razors. One factory will produce the soap, another the plastic parts, a third the pump mechanics and a fourth the blade materials.
It’s pretty complex,” says Kashani, “But this was the best way to get the best of everything.”
She says that as far as distribution goes, the first step will be all Kickstarter backers receiving their products. By March, the Sphynx will be available for order on the Sphynx website; the company is currently “working on” retail stores now, and hopes to have the razors in stores by spring 2015.
So what’s next for Sphynx? Kashani says she has some “cool ideas to expand on the product” as well as expand further into the razor industry.
But we also have so ideas to expand into the travel world as well,” she says. “Our vision is to create products that bring us more convenience and freedom, so all that is to come will embody that.”