Not many of us have given much thought to showering every day. Even less, think about the quality of the water we shower with, and its effect on our skin and hair. Jolie Skin Co. cofounders, Ryan Babenzien and Arjan Singh, on the other hand, have.
We sat down with the dubbed ‘Shower Kings of Long Island’ to learn how they became subscription superstars by setting their sights on one essential ingredient - WATER.
After disrupting the billion-dollar men's footwear industry with his premium, Italian-crafted sneaker brand, Greats, which was sold to Steve Madden, Ryan set out to launch another consumer venture. But this time with unmatched thoughtfulness and intentionality.
"I knew my next venture had to check three boxes: It had to cater to vanity or vice, it couldn’t have sizes, and it had to be done habitually, something people did every single day without thinking twice."
- Ryan Babenzien
Personally suffering from dry skin one winter with seemingly no cause nor solution, Ryan’s new venture started to take form. Diving deep into water research, Babenzien found the sad fact that water throughout the country is severely contaminated with compounds such as chlorine and heavy metals like lead, arsenic, and mercury. All of which have been linked to many skin and hair biome issues. At that same moment, Ryan formed his newest venture, a beauty wellness brand that addresses the purity of your water for better skin, hair, and well-being, checking every one of his boxes.
Partnering with Arjan Singh as co-founder, the dynamic duo set out to design the best-in-class showerhead filter. Tested by three independent testing facilities, Jolie is designed to filter 85% of commonly found contaminants in water in the United States. With a proprietary combination of two filtration medium: kdf-55 which removes chlorine and heavy metals at high pressure and high temperature, and calcium sulfite for additional chlorine removal, directly combating harsh water's negative impacts on skin and hair, such as eczema and dandruff.
"We’re not a plumbing company, not a fixture company, not even a showerhead company, we are building a beauty and wellness company - and showering is Step 0 in beauty."
- Arjan Singh
Even though drinking water for better hair and skin is recommended by every pcp, dermatologist, and esthetician, showering is so habitual to human nature, that it is not even thought to be the first step in beauty regimes. And Babenzien and Singh agree, water is crucial to internal and external health, making it not step 1, but Step 0.
Now how does a showerhead filter system successfully spearhead a subscription business model? With a serendipitous shower thought of course…and with some help from Smartrr. Initially, subscriptions were not on the radar. It definitely wasn't a part of 3 pronged business checklist, but while literally showering, Ryan thought the perfect opportunity to establish recurring revenue by way of a provide a necessity rather than a nice convenience.
Most home water filters should be changed every 3-6mos, take this as your reminder to check yours, and you probably want to take a look at your Brita filter too. For best results, including better efficacy of traditional beauty products, Jolie recommends customers replace the filter every 3 months, ushering in an ingenious shower subscription business model.
"The reality is water needs to be better, regardless of what’s trending in beauty."
When searching for subscription management solutions, Ryan and Arjan took the same thoughtful approach they had on all things Jolie - with exhaustive research. Though up against larger players in the market, Smartrr’s CEO, Gabriella Yitzhaek, collaborative approach, and genuine belief in the Jolie brand, sealed the deal. Priced at $148 on subscription or $33 every three months, Jolie has seen some substantial gains. With the Smartrr experience, stats show Jolie has successfully sustained a healthy subscription growth trajectory, reaching over 3500 subscribers to date. Reporting less than 1% churn, Jolie subscription makes upward of +15% of the brand’s total revenue.
By bringing hardware to the beauty industry, the “Shower Kings’ clearly have an uncanny ability to disrupt a market. Selling out since their launch powered by Smartrr, the Jolie founders have already started discussing the next steps for the business, there are talks of a possible Jolie drinking filter and entering the petcare market, but right now the duo is laser-focused on community. With roughly 20 personality verticals built out, representative of ideal customers, they can definitely cast a wide net, attracting any consumer base they please.
In truth, knowing the value their product brings to the market, Ryan and Arjan want to get their customers talking by giving them the best.. the best shower, that is. Unboxing the chrome fixture option for the Smartrr team, Jolie founders have created a wholistic shower experience. With multiple fixture colors to match bathroom esthetics, a mini wrench and plumbers tape for installation, a scented ceramic diffuser to invoke the smell of a freshly picked pebble from the bluest of waters while you shower, and a 60-day money-back guarantee, the most generous in the industry, Jolie as a brand provides a solution to a fundamental issue appealing to everyone’s beauty routine.