Today it's been six years since we hit launch on our first Kickstarter campaign - and as the understatement of the decade, our lives haven't been the same since.
In case you don't know us, we're a husband (Patrick) and wife (Jennifer) run company based out of Fort Worth, Texas. Our journey started with Patrick's frustration, dealing with chronic razor bumps and irritation from his multi-blade razor. After getting good results from a safety razor, he headed to the garage and put his engineering degree to use by designing a single blade razor that was easy to use.
TBH, it wasn't all rainbows and sunshine. Iteration after iteration and dozens of design adjustments by fractions of a millimeter later, the first Single Edge razor emerged. Once the design was finalized, we put together a Kickstarter campaign for the Single Edge and a company we were dreaming up named Supply. Then, on August 3, 2015, we hit that very scary launch button.
Within 24 hours, we had reached 100% of our Kickstarter campaign goal of $20K and went on to raise almost 4x that amount by the time it ended. Strapped with some cash to set up a production line, we went out to find a supplier and build our company.
One lesson we learned early - and unfortunately the hard way - was to choose your partners wisely. By the time we had set up our production line, received our first shipment, and delivered products to our customers, we had blown through almost two times our original Kickstarter funding, three times our manufacturing schedule, and four times our typical daily caffeine intake. You can read the full story here.
Taking The Leap
2017 started a new era in our business. As a husband and wife team we had spent nights and weekends doing everything: coding, tweaking our website, learning social media, answering customer support tickets, and improving upon our products as a whole. We had built Supply thus far while still working our full time jobs: Patrick as an aerospace engineer. Jennifer as a high school math teacher. But this "side hustle" was starting to demand more full time hours.
On a personal front, we had been trying to start a family for over three years, and countless doctors, surgeries, and medicine had failed. 2017 was going to be the year we took some leaps and trusted God.
At the end of January, Patrick put his two weeks notice in, applied for Shark Tank, and headed out into the world of working for himself. He gave himself one year, figuring that if he couldn't turn a profit in that amount of time, it wasn't meant to be.
So, we hustled and launched the Single Edge 2.0, which drastically improved the shaving experience, upgraded supply chain, and debuted three new colors. After raising over $250K from our Kickstarter campaign, we set to work packing orders and delivering products on time this time to all of our backers.
In other news, in November of that year, we were unbelievably thrilled to welcome our newest member of the team into the world, our sweet daughter, thanks to the graciousness of God and the amazing ability of doctors today (we figured quitting my job was a perfect time to start the IVF process, right?).
Over the next year, we would hire some part time employees to help ship orders and answer e-mails all while quickly running out of space operating out of our home. Packing orders in laundry rooms, warehousing in our garage, and answering customer support tickets in our dining room was getting pretty tight. By early 2019, it was time to look for a real office space.
Swimming in the Shark Tank
In March 2019, we were able to move all our products, employees. and operations out of our home, just four years after creating the first Single Edge prototype design in our garage. Our Supply HQ was less than five minutes away, and we were starting to feel like a real business.
After being rejected the previous two years, we resubmitted our application to ABC's Shark Tank on a whim. We were proud of our growth, our brand new office space, and all we had accomplished in four years - so we thought why not.
Almost immediately, we received a response that we were being considered for the next season. Then, six weeks later, we were flown out to LA to pitch the sharks and air on Season 10. If you haven't yet, we chronicled our whole journey over on this blog post. Check it out.
When our episode aired on ABC's Shark Tank Season 10, it was as if a new stage of our business had begun. There was legitimacy that came with being on Shark Tank, and doors that had formerly been closed started to open. We were blown away by the continuous outpouring of support and sales by customers around the globe.
Heading into 2020, our hopes were high - and like everyone else, we had no idea what the next year would hold.
Our 2020 & Beyond
With the momentum of the holiday and Shark Tank, we had high hopes for 2020 and all we would accomplish. On a personal front, we would also be welcoming our second daughter at the end of March and were doing our best to plan for all the change that would soon come.
Little did we know that the birth of our second daughter would not be the biggest thing that happened in March of 2020. A week before the birth of our daughter and a week into lockdown, we wrote a long letter to our customers and supporters. The whole business landscape had changed. You can read it in full here.
During 2020, small business were hit hard - and would continue to be hit hard throughout the coming year. We were not immune to this, but we were lucky to have built a very lean operation in the first place. This helped us survive the ebbs and flows that the pandemic sent our way - and to be honest, still does.
We were also very fortunate to be able to continue to operate remotely throughout lockdowns and quarantines around the world.
Grateful is an understatement.
As we look to the future of Supply, we have tremendous hope and excitement. We cannot wait to show you all that we've been working on. Trust us - there's some GOOD stuff coming soon.
To Our Customers
We've survived Kickstarter campaigns, bad business partners, and now even a worldwide pandemic. To say we've weathered a few storms is putting it lightly, but we wouldn't have it any other way.
Waking up each day, doing something you love, is a true gift. And we owe it all to you, our loyal customers, friends, and supporters. Some of you have been with us since the very beginning, just 6 years ago, and wow - you've been patient with us. Regardless of the time you spent with us, we count an honor to be a part of your daily grooming routine.
Your support has kept our doors open. You sharing about "this new shaving company" with a friend has helped us continue to grow and offer more to you. Thank you for being a part of the Supply family!
- Patrick & Jennifer Coddou, Co-Founders // Supply