TeethRefreshers, a lipstick-sized reusable toothbrush/toothpaste product for both women and men, has been launched by FunkkOff!, a two-year-old firm crowdfunded by two women BFFs with entrepreneurial/marketing backgrounds.
Co-founders Joelle S. Flynn (CEO) and Sonia Hounsell (COO/CMO) call TeethRefreshers the “first beauty essential for your teeth” and a “brand-new category in both personal and oral care.”
Initial sales have begun direct-to-consumer via funkkoff.com, with plans to add Amazon distribution next week.
After that? “We would like to bring FunkkOff! TeethRefreshers wherever people eat, drink or travel -- wineries, coffee shops, restaurants, hotels, airports -- and in retailers like Sephora where you find other beauty essential products,” Hounsell told Marketing Daily.
Marketing so far consists of search and social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, & TikTok, with plans to use counter units once the product expands to physical locations.
Hounsell had worked in brand marketing for over 25 years before co-founding FunkkOff!, most prominently with Cadbury Adams’ Stride Gum, whose launch campaign won her an Effie Award in 2008.
She teamed up with Flynn, a former financial, healthcare and nonprofit consultant, after the latter had an inspiration while carrying around a bulky toothpaste tube and full-sized toothbrush to satisfy her need for picture-ready smiles during numerous wine-tasting trips. “I realized my white teeth were turning a ‘funkky’ shade of purple from the red wine,” Flynn said. She asked herself, “Why isn't there a product as compact and reusable as my lipstick -- but for my teeth?”
Hounsell found herself ready to join the cause. “Over the last few years, I became increasingly frustrated with the lack of focus on innovation in traditional CPG” where “R&D is a much lower priority,” she said upon FunkkOff!’s founding. “All the growth in consumer products was coming from direct-to-consumer start-ups,” so she determined to “help create a start-up with a breakthrough product that would be a disruptor and a game-changer in the oral care industry.”
TeethRefreshers, for which Flynn received eight patents, is “an elegant and practical solution to an everyday problem we all have,” said Hounsell.
A unit of TeethRefreshers, retailing for $18 in blue or black containers, can be used 30 times or more. Ingredients include a proprietary peppermint tooth gel.
Features include an easy-twist mechanism and aerated cap. “Twist the bottom, brush and with a quick rinse of the bristles, they are as easy to use as Chapstick -- but for your teeth,” says the brand.
For FunkOFF!, TeethRefreshers is just the start of a line of “game-changing products in the oral care, personal care and beauty categories.”.
The company said it’s dedicating a portion of the proceeds from every TeethRefreshers sale to two charities: the Orange County chapter of youth development group Girls on the Run, which Flynn helped found, and Smiles for Everyone, which provides free dental care to those in need.