It took around twenty years to bring fuzzy brush from a fuzzy idea into a workable and popular product. Back in 1996, fuzzy brush founder Jim Drew found a disposable toothbrush in a vending machine in a pancake restaurant in Amsterdam and thought it had the potential to be a great product, so he set about developing that potential. Since fuzzy brush was always intended to be a serious and effective oral hygiene product, dentists were brought on board to ensure that fuzzy brush really was able to deliver on that promise. Serial entrepreneur Jim Drew, meanwhile, focussed on the business aspects such as packaging and distribution.
As is so often the case when any young company comes up with an innovative product, it took (quite) a bit of trial and error before the management realised that the way to get the sales traction they needed was to focus their efforts in putting vending machines into dentists’ waiting rooms (and educating the dentists themselves on the benefits of the product). They further opted to concentrate on two key target markets, London and Florida. This strategy paid off and in 2001 the business had grown and matured enough to move to a licensing model.
Over the next ten years, fuzzy brush built up a network of distributors all across the world, literally. Fuzzy brush was sold in the U.K., Europe, the USA, Canada, South America, the Middle East and Asia Pacific. It also experienced phenomenal growth. By the end of 2008, they had sold over 70 million brushes worldwide and by end of 2016, they had sold over 120 million. One of the young company’s most emotional moments came on 1st December 2004 when their Benelux distributor put a fuzzy brush vending machine in the restaurant in Amsterdam where the adventure all began.
Never one to rest on their laurels, in 2013 Jim Drew and the fuzzy brush team decided that the time was right to move into retail. To this end they created new packaging and also a new product called fuzzy rock, which is primarily a breath-freshening product, but also helps to clean teeth. Both products are available in 3 flavours, cool mint, peppermint and bubblegum for a total of 6 product lines.
At this point the key retail markets are the UK, South Korea, China, Japan, Thailand, Indonesia, India, Russia and Dubai where our products are stocked by major retailers. For example in the UK we work with Asda, Boots and Morrisons, while in Asia our partners include Emart, Lotte Big Market, Lotte LOHBS, Olive Young, CVS, Watsons and Costco. At the moment, we are selling in the region of 70,000 to 100,000 retail packs per month. To support our expansion, particularly into the U.S. market, which we plan to target in 2021, we have upgraded our production facilities to bring production capacity up to 750,000 retail packs per month.