Featured Startup: Jawzrsize
Every now and then we enjoy talking to some interesting folks in the startup world, featuring their entrepreneurial adventures, and finding out what inspires them. This week we sat down with Jawzrsize to learn more about the story behind the company.
Jawzrsize’s origin story is a bit unorthodox. It didn’t begin inside a pretentious coffee shop with shiny MacBooks and organic cookies, nor with hushed whispers in a tiny corner of an office. This story starts on the side of a Hawaiian highway, the scene of a life-or-death situation.
That was the horrific motorcycle crash that changed the life of Brandon Harris forever.
Thirteen days. For thirteen days Brandon Harris laid comatose in a hospital bed. When he regained consciousness, he discovered his jaw wired shut and was told that he had sustained a traumatic brain injury.
By the time he got out of the hospital, he was left alone to endure his injuries. He was also faced with the reality of his new norm: impaired cognitive function.
He spent the next few years trying his best to recover, but his confidence (as well as his short-term memory) was nonexistent.
On top of his jaw issue from the crash, he had previously experienced a similar injury. In actuality, he was in the process of recovering from a severely injured jaw before the accident even happened. The crash ended up compounding these issues. Needless to say, by this point his jaw had seen better days.
Brandon was aware it was going to be a hard road.
However, recovery seemed to have hit a plateau. He had minimal strength in his jaw and was unsatisfied with his progress.
So he got to work.
In 2016, two years after the motorcycle accident that nearly claimed his life, Brandon developed the “Jawzrsize”.
He wasn’t thinking about starting his own business- he just wanted to feel normal again.
The results of using the Jawzrsize- a tiny device designed to strengthen your jaw muscles through chewing- were undeniable. In two months Brandon found his jaw stronger than ever before. He even suspects that the device has played a part in getting his cognitive function back up to par through increased blood flow to the brain.
A product was born. But where would the entrepreneurial journey lead?
Today Brandon ships the Jawzrsize to 21 different countries. He’s coming off of a successful Kickstarter campaign that’s raised $16,000, 161% of his original goal.
He even admits that he went into Kickstarter “completely blind” and the goal was met (and exceeded) entirely through word-of-mouth with “no marketing whatsoever”.
While Brandon’s company is still quite young, he has plenty of inspiring nuggets of entrepreneurial tidbits to share.
“Freedom. It’s the freedom.” says Brandon, when asked about the most enjoyable aspect of being an entrepreneur. “My whole office is in my pocket. That’s the best part.”
Indeed, the allure of being able to set your own hours and work from wherever you want does seem like a pretty appealing arrangement.
But while that may be Brandon’s favorite part of starting his own business, it’s not without a caveat: “When you have your whole office at your fingertips, it’s easy to overwork.”
In some ways, the best and worst part of being an entrepreneur seem to go hand-in-hand.
“I go until I fall and then I take a day to reboot,” he admits.
As the CEO of Jawzrsize, Brandon has spent a lot of time learning from trial and error. His advice for other up-and-comers is near-endless.
“The key is finding the right people to play the role that you need.” He stresses that it’s impossible to be an expert in every field and there’s no shame in knowing your limitations and finding the best people to help you out.
He also wants budding entrepreneurs to understand that some things are just “out of your control”…and to make peace with that. He considers this a crucial business lesson to come to grips with.
“You can do everything right on your end,” he explains. “But sometimes things just don’t work out, whether it’s a factory issue or something else.”
What’s important to remember, he says, is that “everything happens in due time. But at the same time, some things aren’t meant to happen.”
But perhaps the most poignant piece of advice Brandon Harris has for startup founders are the very words he’s learned to apply not only to his own business —but his entire life.
“Look forward to the challenges,” says Brandon. “Obstacles are only hurdles towards greatness.”