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For many E-Commerce giants, their product claim to fame all started with an accidental idea; a small idea that was born either from necessity in the moment or from a random occurrence that sparked a thought process and then led on from there. Some of the great inventions of our time came from an idea born in the moment or even by pure accident.  

The same is true for the humble beginnings of Bushbalm. For co-founder Tim Burns it all started one night whilst he was on his honeymoon. He was looking for something to use as a freshener “down below” whilst getting ready for a romantic evening. Not having anything to hand, he decided on the spur of the moment to reach for the beard oil.  

He found that it was surprisingly beneficial for grooming the sensitive areas and this immediately made him wonder how many other people would benefit from a product that took care of the more sensitive grooming. 

After discussing it with his wife, they then brought the idea to their friend Andrew Gaylord, now CEO of Bushbalm. They originally began with just one product, an oil to freshen up the pubic area and which came in three different fragrances. 

Each of the three friends contributed $217 to the startup project launch, which began with just one hundred bottles of oil. Twenty of these they kept to try out and share with friends and family, whilst the others they put aside to sell.  

The Magic Is In the Ingredients 

The magic of the Bushbalm products lies in the ingredients, which are all-natural and are one hundred percent refreshing. Nude Oil was created to provide a fresh option to soften hair in the nether regions, it soothes and prevents ingrown hairs, eases bikini rash after shaving whilst removing the bumps caused by hair removal under the arms, and helps with the redness caused by hair removal overall.  

The oil contains a selection of all-natural essential oils such as Jojoba, Tea Tree, Copaiba, and also grape seed oil. These oils work together to keep your skin smooth and soft whilst treating ingrown hairs at the same time — the perfect combination.  

But wait … while the concept for this oil was based on a need to freshen the pubic area before a romantic evening, this oil is great for all the hair on the body, from eyebrows and beard to bikini line and it can even be used for dry cuticles and chapped lips. Now that is what we call versatile.  

The Right Kind of Growth 

While some skeptics didn’t think the idea would work, thankfully Gaylord and Burns did not listen to the naysayers and continued to formulate their plans for their little side business. When Bushbalm was first launched, it was done so as a side hustle whilst Gaylord and Burns were both working as employees at Shopify, so it started extremely small.  

The trio didn’t invest anything in marketing or advertising, relying solely on word-of-mouth references. Hence sales were small, to begin with, but due to the incredible quality of the product and the great references received, their sales soon picked up and things started to move. One of the most effective marketing tools is word-of-mouth, which has been proven by the example of Bushbalm.  

In the beginning, the company started with just one product, with the co-founders deciding to take the cautious approach and see what people thought of their product rather than leaping headfirst into the deep end. From their launch in 2016 up until 2019 they kept improving on the product until they decided to stop beating around the bush and take the plunge.  

Quitting their day jobs and focusing completely on Bushbalm, Burns and Gaylord invested $100 000 into the business and grew their product line, creating Bermuda Oil — which is anti-inflammatory and tackles dark spots and hyperpigmentation while also helping to heal scarring from razor burns and ingrown hairs — as well as Tush, which launched earlier this year and focuses on skin firming.  

The Motivation Behind the Business 

The idea may have started as a honeymoon experiment but it showed the two friends an opening in a market that was just waiting for them to fill it. Wanting to provide excellent products that tackled a host of sensitive skincare issues, Gaylord and Burns threw themselves into the business, appearing on Dragon’s Den in 2020 which, whilst not bringing in investment, certainly forced them to get their business strategy, financials, and business road map in order.   

This in turn gave them a strategic focus which ultimately led to more growth. After all, if you don’t know where you’re going, it’s rather hard to get there. Having their strategy in place is what Gaylord credits for their massive success in sales for last year. 

Including a substantial amount of hard work from all those involved in the project. Whilst 2020 was a good year for Bushbalm, 2021 is shaping up to be spectacular. 

Lessons Learned 

In a chat with Shopify‘s COO Toby Shannon, Gaylord mentioned that having mentorship helped to alleviate some of the stress of having a startup company. Getting perspective from other business owners whilst it was still growing also went a long way in helping the company reach new heights. That and learning from mistakes you make along the way.  

In just the first half of January this year, they equaled the sales of the first quarter of 2020 and by the time they reached March, they had raked in the same amount of sales as they had for the entire year of 2020. The growth has been phenomenal and it’s shaping up to get even better, with sales being on track to hit $15 million by the end of this year. By next year Bushbalm is set to hit the $30 million mark.  

Though it started small, the company which originally began as just a side-hustle has now exploded into an amazing eight-figure enterprise. It’s all about finding a product that people don’t even know they need — they’ll soon discover they can’t live without it, and from there, the sky is the limit. 

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