Dude Wipes: How College Students Created Wipes for Men and Earned $14 Mln

For a long time, the market of disposable wipes was oriented only on women and kids. It’s unfair because men are the ones who get their hands dirty repairing cars, fishing and so on. The product itself is unisex, but it needed proper marketing. And back in 2010 childhood friends Sean Riley, Brian Wilkin, Ryan Meegan, and Jeff Klimkowski decided they will be the ones who would change the situation on “wipes market”. So they founded Dude Wipes.

It all started in their apartment in Chicago. At that times friends led a careless life of recent college graduates. One day they started to use baby wipes as toilet paper. And that’s when the idea struck them: the world needs wipes geared specifically for men.

Long-time friends started a half-year market research. They invented wipes that don’t absorb smells and can be washed. Guys showed their innovation to some factories and offered to start manufacturing, but opponents didn’t appreciate much the strange idea of wipes for men.

In 2012 they finally managed to develop the first 4 packages of wipes and sold them right from their flat. After a few months of sales, the Dudes received the Visionary Award at the Vision 2013 Consumer Products Conference as the most innovative consumer product of the year.

In 2014 the company developed a large pack of flushable wipes for at home use. During UFC 174 Dude Wipes sponsored Tyron Woodley who wore sports uniform with a company logo. That strengthened the image of Dude Wipes as man product.

Also, Dude Wipes was featured on Rob Dyrdek’s Fantasy Factory on MTV. In the episode about proper bathroom hygiene, Rob Dyrdek used Dude wipes and described his feelings about it as “I’m fresh and I’m genuinely excited”.

In 2015 founders appeared on the startup TV show “Shark Tank” requesting a $300,000 investment for 10% of their company. Famous American businessman Mark Cuban got interested and invested in Dudes $300 000 for 25% of shares. In a week after the episode was shown on TV Red Dress Shop alone has brought the company $1 mln revenue.

In 2016 they launched The Dude Shower — a new line of full body wipes. In Men’s Health, it was mentioned as the best way to freshen up without taking a shower. That same year the company earned $14 mln.

Why did they succeed?

  • finding a new audience — guys saw undiscovered opportunities in an already existing product;
  • collaboration with sports celebrities — thanks to them the brand is associated with sports events;
  • taking part in a popular TV show — brought not only new customers but investors as well;
  • freshness and easiness of marketing strategy — funny commercials and slogans.

Guys didn’t create a new product, instead, they attracted new customers to the already existing one. That proves you can start your own business without spending a lot of money. All you have to do is just see the opportunity and have the energy to turn your idea into reality. And our team is always ready to support you.

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