Boxedthrough's ablution solution

Boxedthrough thinks about your toiletry supply needs, so you don't have to.

The Boxedthrough team: Tom Lochore, Hamish Kay, Nick Hablous, Tom Knighton and Rab Heath (Dave Kerry was wagging that day)The Boxedthrough team: Tom Lochore, Hamish Kay, Nick Hablous, Tom Knighton and Rab Heath (Dave Kerry was wagging that day)

Boxedthrough thinks about your toiletry supply needs, so you don't have to. 

We’ve heard of man flu, been told to stay in ‘mantrol’ and I have, at times, been accused of having a ‘man look’ when searching for my lost keys or wallet. Obviously, other pressing matters were on my mind.

According to the team at new venture boxedthrough, having a man look extends to the supermarket. The pressing matter of worrying about getting to the beer department or finding a juicy steak means men often forget to grab the bathroom essentials, say the founders. We will never be the fairer sex, but surely something can be done for the forgetful, unkempt masses.

Enter co-founder Rab Heath. He reckons his subscription service is the first in New Zealand to offer monthly bundles of men’s essentials boxed and shipped to your door, so even if you fail in the supermarket, there’s a safety net.

Heath’s team of twenty-somethings were inspired during the Innes 48 business competition by their own shopping experience – or lack thereof.

“It’s not so much that we’re lazy, it’s just not a priority,” Heath says. “You buy a toothbrush or shaving cream when you really have to but it’s about having the convenience of not having to think about it.”

Like many start-ups the founders – graphic designers, engineers and IT technicians – all work full-time jobs. Progress on boxedthrough had to be done in a moonlighting capacity with limited time and money.

Heath says it was because of this limited time, plus the pressure to get the best product and a team of seven, that management decided the individuals should be semi-autonomous in decision making in their areas and to use people’s skill sets.

Heath also encountered difficulties in setting up key partnerships, not because of the group’s youth, but due to the huge buying power the supermarket giants have over suppliers.

“But that’s the thing with entrepreneurs – we just get in there and fight hard for it.”

Heath’s enthusiasm for his innovative development in the burgeoning men’s toiletries industry is contagious. He speaks confidently about boxedthrough’s culture of fun and humour and how they want to translate that brand into the marketplace, although he admits it is also likely they will target the mums, wives and girlfriends of Kiwi blokes in need of a spruce up, to sign them on.

Heath, a Waikato University management graduate, says the company will offer packages with the basics (toothbrush, toothpaste, body wash and deodorants) and optional add-ons for shaving gear and hair products with tongue-in- cheek titles ‘Like A Boss’ and ‘Like A Sir’. He believes they’ve struck a balance between price, quality and the ability to customise offerings.

The website is now in the final test stages and with the go-live date just around the corner, Heath reckons they’re onto a winning formula. The market for men’s grooming products is growing but he believes his company’s strength will be its ability to cut through the marketing mumbo-jumbo.

“We live in an age of information overload, but really there are certain things we’ll always need that we don’t need to, and shouldn’t have to, think about.”

Now, if only they could do something to fix man flu.

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