Well Made

Karen Young, Oui Shave: Refining Women's Shaving – Well Made E46

May 30, 2018 · RSS · Apple Podcasts

“We want products that are exceptionally made, and I thought the best way to do that was to double down, talk to our customers, and make sure we were doing it right first.”

After a career in retail sales and operations at Estée Lauder, Karen Young started Oui Shave. The ecommerce brand of skincare and shaving tools is 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. She launched the latest design in November 2017 and it's already back ordered.

In many ways, Karen’s upbringing in Guyana, South America shaped her as an entrepreneur. 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.

 Karen Young, Oui Shave: Refining Women's Shaving – Well Made E46

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.

Find Karen and Oui Shave on Twitter and follow Oui Shave on Instagram.

Also mentioned on the show:

Header photo by Sasha Isreal Photography.

You can find this and all future episodes on iTunes, Google Play, and here on the Lumi blog. This episode was edited by Evan Goodchild.

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