While most companies try their luck at home first before branching out overseas, for Australian business Tooletries it was the other way around.
Co-founder Josh Cockburn says he and his brother Saul decided very early on that if you can make it in America you can make it everywhere.
“Our first trade show was the AmericasMart in Atlanta and we were fortunate enough to pick up Bed, Bath & Beyond as our first large retail customer and from that point on we have never looked back,” Cockburn explains.
“It was a proud moment for us last December to win 2017 Australian Exporter of the Year―small business. To be recognised for all the hard work and sacrifices we have made in such a short period of time was a great achievement for Saul and I personally and the Tooletries team.”
The company launched in 2015 after a Kickstarter campaign, but it wasn’t until January 2016 that they really got going―launching a range of silicone bathroom products.
“My brother Saul was previously a lawyer and I was in advertising and we were both not in love with our careers and were lacking the drive and passion we once had. We met up one day in London and decided that we wanted to create a business together and develop a brand dedicated to men’s products and grooming. Men are always hard to buy for so we thought this would be the perfect place to start.”
Leaving their corporate careers to focus 100 per cent on the business was the hardest and most important decision the brothers made. Last weekend Tooletries made its official entry into the Australian market at the Sydney Life Instyle show, exhibiting in the brand-new section Men Instyle.
“Tooletries is the only brand dedicated to men’s grooming storage solutions. Our products are designed using hard lines and strong edges, which men find appealing, yet they are functional and easy to use. We find a lot of women buy our products for men because of the organisational aspect of the products―they solve an issue by decluttering and organising your bathroom sink or shower.
“The uniqueness of the products comes from the patented silicone grip technology we have created. Suction cups and adhesives often fail and cause a lot of frustration. I have lost count how many times people have come up to me and said that their suction cup razor holder or shower caddy fell in the middle of the night or never worked. We are pleased that we can say our products never lose their grip and never fall.”
Besides the trade show Tooletries appeared on Seven’s Sunrise on 21 February to officially launch in Australia. The story was titled ‘The Silicone Brothers’.
The brand will also be doing its own distribution in Australia. “We are an Australian brand and feel our story is best told by the creators themselves. No one will ever be as passionate about your brand as yourself.”
By Marion Gerritsen