Welcome to this month’s edition of Bootstrapped Heroes Story, where we celebrate the incredible journeys of inspiring entrepreneurs. Today we will share the story of Jacquelyn De Jesu, an art director-turned-entrepreneur and founder of Shhhowercap.
From being an art director at YouTube and Google to creating a revolutionary product – a turban-style shower cap – that was sold for over $15,000 in its first ten days on the market, Jacquelyn achieved success against all odds! Today, Shhhowercap is available at some of the most esteemed retailers such as Sephora, Bloomingdale’s, and Nordstrom. The multi-million dollar business has taken the world by storm with its loyal fan base that keeps growing!
Let’s take a closer look at the inspiring journey that led her there, as well as the valuable lessons we can learn from it! Read on.
“It All Started With A Google Search”
“It All Started With A Google Search”
It was a typical day in 2013 when Jacquelyn De Jesu decided she’d had enough of scouring through search results for an upgraded shower cap. Everywhere she turned, tacky shapes and designs that just weren’t good enough greeted her. It was then that the brilliant idea to invent something better than anything else available in the market hit her – and thus Shhhowercap was born!
In 2014, Jacquelyn set out on a determined mission to turn her invention into a reality. Her first step? A quick Google search for a patent attorney! She got in contact with the first result and asked if she could quickly get information on what would make her concept eligible for a patent. Jacquelyn knew she wanted to construct something entirely revolutionary – an idea that hadn’t been seen before!
Jacquelyn then began her journey by learning everything about waterproofing technologies and manufacturing. She sourced fabrics and tested them in rigorous trials, all the while scrutinizing numerous references to ensure precision in her sketches. She asked friends near and far until she amassed a trove of tips that proved vital. She then headed straight for New York City’s Garment District: tweaking here, refining there – iterating until each design was a blend of both form and function!
During this time, as she interacted with people to know about their hair-washing habits, she realized that the shower caps available in the market were a universal source of frustration. Even when women used them regularly, they still felt let down by their lack of elegance and usability – a true indication that her ideas had potential. As each person voiced their dissatisfaction, it was clear to her: she was going in the right direction! Not one person reported feeling good while wearing shower caps – surely this meant something must be done. In fact, “Do you wash your hair every day?” is the question they ask even when you land on the homepage of their site.
With her trained eye for design and expert ear for the demands of the buying public, she created something revolutionary—The Shhhowercap! This vibrant, upgrade piece not only looked great but was also completely waterproof. Crafted from antibacterial material to ensure there’s no unpleasant smell, the breathable cap defined the cluttered world of plastic shower caps by providing frizz-free humidity in its place. Finally, she created a show cap that looked beautiful and worked hard!
Jacquelyn couldn’t help but be filled with anticipation as her product – the one she had crafted to fix every problem that had been voiced – was ready for release. Taking a deep breath, she placed her first order, and even though it was quite an investment of faith, Jacquelyn knew it would pay off. The lookbook photos were taken, the press release written up and distributed, and then.. magic happened!
As Fast Company highlighted in their article “Reinventing the Shower Cap For The Modern Woman,” one small spark was all it took to ignite a fire. Shhhowercap’s first inventory order flew off the shelves within weeks, and they have been on a successful ride ever since!
Please note here that Jacquelyn came up with a brilliant brand name, crafted an iconic logo to represent it, and created business cards before the product had even been finalized. Making sure everyone was aware of her brilliance, Jacquelyn even set up a holding site so they knew she was officially in business!
Thus, Jacquelyn’s incredible idea grew into an amazing company within the span of just a few years. Now, Shhhowercap ships its patented invention far and wide from its e-commerce website. It is available in major retailers like Sephora, Violet Grey, Bloomingdales, Neiman Marcus, and The MoMA Design Store at an affordable price of $43 for 15 different colors and patterns!
Here are some key lessons we can learn from Jacquelyn’s and Shhhowercap’s successful journey!
Lessons Startups Can Learn From Shhhowercap
Shhhowercap, a startup that revolutionized the shower cap industry, has been making waves in the entrepreneurial world. With their innovative product and marketing strategies, there are several lessons that startups can learn from them.
Identify a problem/customer pain point
Shhhowercap identified a key problem – the hassle of using traditional shower caps – and came up with an innovative solution. All businesses should focus on providing solutions to problems, rather than just creating products.
Shhhowercap has created a loyal following by engaging with its customers and listening to their feedback since the beginning. This has helped them create a product that truly meets the needs of their target audience.
For instance, through several conversations with women, Jacquelyn realized that the indents that shower cap elastic made on their forehead were a pain point for many. Therefore, she made sure that they resolved this issue in the development of Shhowercap and used it for marketing via their reviews.
Marketing is crucial
The power of marketing is undeniable, especially when it comes to Shhhowercap. After all, there wouldn’t be such a buzz about their incredible product without the catchy name “Shhhowercap” and aesthetically appealing packaging i.e. graphical and super clean. Shhhowercap’s chic packaging and minimalist branding helped them stand out in a crowded market.
And Shhhowercap didn’t stop here! To further launch its product, the company utilized social media influencers and formed strategic partnerships with upscale retailers to boost its brand awareness. They were meticulous in selecting these players; Violet Grey, for instance, was one of the first-ever retailers they did partnership with.
Additionally, Shhhowercap also invested in its PR extensively. Their founder went above and beyond to ensure that the brand was featured in both industry-specific news and beauty magazines alike!
It’s essential to keep things fresh and exciting for consumers. For some brands, you could do this by launching new products – but for Showercap, it’s about adding stylish prints and seasonal colors to their repertoire. For instance, the brand launches have different prints and marketing for the summer and winter seasons.
Additionally, It’s vital to have a plan of action in place before you introduce something new and exciting so that you can create an impactful buzz! Make sure to drop clues on social media or prepare an exclusive list for pre-sale. Each sneak peek you provide your audience is a great way to spike anticipation and maximize whatever it is that you’re about the launch.
Don’t be afraid to disrupt an industry
That’s exactly what Jacquelyn De Jesu did when she founded Shhhowercap. Tired of the flimsy, wasteful shower caps that were on the market, she set out to create a more sustainable and stylish option.
Shhhowercap’s unconventional approach to an everyday item has allowed them to carve out a niche problem/customer pain point and establish itself as a leader in the shower cap industry. You can take inspiration from Shhhowercap and identify areas where you can disrupt and innovate.
Jacquelyn’s vision has truly disrupted the shower cap industry, as more and more people ditch the wasteful alternatives in favor of her sustainable and stylish creation. But her success didn’t come overnight – it took hard work, dedication, and a belief in her product to get where she is today. All budding entrepreneurs should take a leaf out of Shhhowercap’s book and remember to stay persistent when faced with issues – it will all be worth it in the end!
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