These SMU students built a trimmer for below-the-waist grooming

Hair removal in the lower regions is more common in men than you might think.

Between waxing and shaving, many prefer the latter – but they often end up with nicks and cuts, making it a painful affair.

This is what one of the co-founders of Bovem faced when he shaved “ over there ” with a razor, which sparked the idea of ​​creating the first and only brand. approval from Asia.

“There just weren’t the right tools for the job, especially in Asia. With over 50 percent of men cutting and grooming regularly, we’ve found an opportunity to fill this gap in the market. At the same time, we wanted to break the taboo of under-waist grooming for men and educate men about men’s care and hygiene, ”said Lydon Ong, co-founder of Bovem.

No more nicks when you shave ‘over there’

The two 24-year-old founders are both final year business students at Singapore Management University (SMU), and this is their very first business venture.

A major problem that we are trying to solve is the hassle and sometimes the pain associated with grooming (below the waist). Our mowers are nick-and-cut which means you no longer have to scream in the shower trying to tame the bush.

– Lydon Ong, co-founder of Bovem

He added that their clippers are also 100% waterproof, making them safe for use in the shower.

bovem mower singapore
Image Credit: Bovem

It took about four months for Bovem to develop its edgers. Mower safety was their top priority, so it involved a lot of research, development and testing.

They had many iterations of the mower and even after finalizing the detailed specs there was still a lot of back and forth to make sure the right materials were being used.

After settling on the final engineering and design, the team and their friends tested the products before officially launching them in September 2020 with their first product: the Globe Trimmer.

When they first told their family about Bovem’s creation, they said they received “a few chuckles and chuckles from (them) due to the weirdness of using the product”, but claimed that they were all very supportive of their business idea.

On the other hand, a few of their friends were initially skeptical about the idea but at the same time were very intrigued by the novelty of their product.

“After all, it’s a pretty big product that we’re trying to sell in a generally conservative market in Asia,” Lydon said.

They became profitable in just a month

Lydon lamented that the hardest part of starting up was the steep learning curve.

“We had to learn everything ourselves and be quick to pick things up. There are always problems to be solved and new things to be learned. For two guys with little business experience it was pretty impressive, ”said Lydon.

One of the main business challenges the startup faced was promoting an intimate product without branding itself as “raw” or “cheap”.

“We approached this (with) a refreshing angle, through humor and subtle ads, setting us apart from our competition. Our campaigns were also disseminated via social media to the global market, which has worked relatively well for us, ”he added.

Thanks to the playful nature of their products and marketing campaigns, they gained traction quite quickly and caught the attention of several local and global influencers. They ended up getting tons of distribution requests from all over the world including Malaysia, Vietnam and even Europe.

bovem mower singapore
Image Credit: Bovem

Their TikTok account drew over 19,500 subscribers in two months, with a few videos going viral – one even surpassing the six million views mark – helping to open the doors to an influx of brand awareness in the global marketplace.

In just one month, Bovem became profitable and also managed to achieve six-figure sales in just four months. To date, they have sold over 3,000 sets.

In Asia, there are many trimmers for scalp hair or beard hair in general, so their marketing and design as an under-waist trimmer has definitely caught the attention of many in the Asian market.

While in western countries where manscaping brands already exist, we have developed our unique selling point through branding, social media and advertising, while maintaining a competitive price by being one of the options. the most affordable among our competitors in order to nibble some of their market share. .

– Lydon Ong, co-founder of Bovem

To stay competitive against more established players, they offered their mowers slightly below their main competitors in the US and UK for just S $ 49.90.

bovem mower singapore
Image Credit: Bovem

They also introduced a quarterly subscription model to provide a more stable source of income for future planning and investment purposes.

“Similar to a razor and blade model, our refresh plan generates additional cash flow through the blades, acting as a complement to our clippers.”

A pioneer in the manscaping industry

Commenting on the manscaping industry, Lydon said she was certainly still in the early adoption stage in Singapore.

“We believe that there is still a lot of potential and room for growth in this segment. With the influence of Western cultures, more Asians will hopefully be more open to the idea of ​​self-care, especially below the waistline.

Sharing his future business plans, Lydon said that Bovem is currently focused on expanding its presence in Singapore and strengthening its position as a market leader in Asia.

For now, they are exploring more local partnerships to promote and educate the public on men’s hygiene and grooming.

Beyond that, they also plan to introduce new products to create an ecosystem of products for the care of men and to introduce complementary products in the near future.


Use the code “LABEL” for $ 5 off all Bovem products on VP Label.


Featured Image Credit: Bovem

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