46 Refining Women's Shaving with Karen Young, CEO and founder of Oui Shave


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After a career in retail sales and operations at Estée Lauder, Karen Young started Oui Shave. The ecommerce startup sells skincare and shaving tools specifically crafted for the female experience. Their rose gold safety razor is engineered to last longer and cause less irritation; when paired with their natural oils and rich balms, the whole experience is designed to elevate women's shaving.

Raised by her uncles and grandmother, Karen's first business was an homage to her grandmother's colorful home, while Oui Shave’s signature razor was inspired by her uncles’ grooming tools. From Guyana to Brooklyn, where Karen runs the business, she’s embraced the culture of bootstrapping and leans into her scrappiness.

On this episode of the podcast, Karen talks about learning from her first business, Hammocks & High Tea (7:11), and the path that led her to the beauty industry and Oui Shave (8:14). She talks about challenging behemoth companies and other direct-to-consumer brands by marketing to women (10:52) and why she’s positioning her razor as an heirloom product (14:18). She gets real about the slow and steady growth of bootstrapping (37:02) and making a purposeful choice not to fundraise right out the gate (38:01). Finally, she shares the lows (41:11) and highs (42:57) of seeing her grooming products scale beyond giant blue Ikea bags.

Links and images from this post are on the Lumi blog.

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