Jason Del Rey

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Online Razor Startup Not Yet Flush With Toilet Success

If Dollar Shave Club’s mission is really to “own the bathroom,” it’s got a little more work to do before it can sit on that particular throne.

A month after it started to supplement its subscription razor business with the debut of One Wipe Charlies — moist wipes to clean your bottom — the Venice, California-based startup said that just 20,000 of its 250,000-plus members have added the derriere cleaners to their subscriptions.

DSC Product Family

On one hand, the total seems low, considering that the initial publicity around the launch probably contributed significantly to that total. On the other hand, that’s about 20,000 more butt wipes than I imagined grown men would buy.

“If you told me after four weeks that we’d sell 20,000 butt wipes, I’d be pretty psyched about that,” Dollar Shave Club CEO Michael Dubin said in an interview this week. “And I am pretty psyched.”

Does that mean that Charlies are here to stay?

“This product will be with us for the duration,” he deadpanned. “Our mission is all about making life better in the bathroom. This product absolutely does that, and we think it’s a major life improvement.”

Such an improvement, apparently, that Dubin uses them every day.

“I probably visit twice a day, three times a day, depending on what was for lunch the day before,” he said after some prodding. “And each time, I probably use one or two, so anywhere between three and six wipes a day.”

I told him that it sounds like One Wipe Charlies, which cost $4 for a pack of 40, don’t always live up to their promise of efficiency.

“It’s an aspirational goal,” he said of the one-wipe moniker.

So what’s next for the razor-and-moist-wipe startup, which has raised nearly $11 million in venture capital to date? More products targeting a man’s time in the bathroom, Dubin said, though he wouldn’t give any hints at what’s next. The company will also develop a mobile app that helps deliver services to augment the DSC experience, such as a “travel concierge” and on-demand shipping if you need one of the company’s products between scheduled deliveries.

While we wait for the next bathroom brainchild, here’s the startup’s very funny video that introduced Charlies a month back. Warning: If bathroom humor isn’t your thing, I probably wouldn’t click the “play” button.


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— Gitesh Pandya of BoxOfficeGuru.com comments on the dreadful opening weekend box office numbers for “The Fifth Estate.”