Laura Schubert, Co-founder of FUR
Body Hair. We all have it. We all have varying opinions about what it means to us. And we all groom differently. So why is it that when you walk into a pharmacy most companies cater to a barely there aesthetic? Well the the co-founder of FUR, Laura Schubert, was wondering the same thing a few years ago. From the beginning, Fur has gone beyond the norm in body hair grooming products and caters to All grooming preferences. Laura and her team are helping shift the conversation about body hair as something that we stigmatize to something that we should celebrate. Read more below about how Laura and her team at Fur are changing the industry.
Laura, when you first thought about FUR, what was your initial vision and why do you think it was important to launch the brand? And have you stayed close to your original vision or has it evolved into something else?
The initial vision for FUR was to create more options for women and men to take care of their pubic and body hair and skin, and this remains our mission to this day. Back in 2014 when we started thinking about what would later become FUR, the conversation around body hair was only about removal, and body hair was considered to be shameful. I personally wanted safe, effective and elegant options to care for hair and skin, no matter how I decided to groom. At the same time, from the very beginning we didn’t want to create a stigma around hair removal.
We want to de-stigmatize pubic and body hair and create a safe space for women and men to explore their choices and to decide how they wanted to groom.
As a young business owner, how did you use your peer network to help build FUR? In what ways did it help you through the hurdles in the first year of your business?
We continue to mostly rely on our peer network to build FUR! Businesses are all about the team-both our employees and our external partners. And, since we are still small and don’t have oodles of woman-power, I rely a lot on the people around us to recommend their friends and other partners with whom they enjoy working. I also have a lot of informal advisors within my network who have different areas of expertise and I am constantly drawing on their advice to make decisions, and advising others where I can help as well.
As someone who’s always had a love/hate relationship with her body hair, I love FUR’s message to accept all types of grooming preferences. How did your own personal relationship with body and pubic hair help develop Fur and what the brand’s core values would be?
I was a gymnast in high school, and I definitely have clear memories of being embarrassed by my body hair, and also of not knowing how to groom it or even who to talk to about how to groom it. More recently, when I started thinking about the idea that would become Fur, I was a management consultant at a top tier firm, and I remember thinking to myself, I’m a grown woman and I have a career, why am I still removing all of my body hair without questioning why or who it’s for? And the answer was that I felt like it was a societal Expectation, with a capital “E”. So that was an aha moment - who was I removing my hair for? Why? I couldn’t put my finger on it.
That being said, there are many reasons people remove their hair, but I personally didn’t have a good one at that time, and it made me think that other people would want space to explore other options and not to feel like there was a “norm” around pubic hair removal - it should be what you want it to be.
Why do you think some people have had such a strong reaction to your brand and products? How do you think FUR is changing the conversation in the beauty world and in some places, the taboo surrounding body and pubic hair?
Taboo topics are polarizing by nature, but that’s exciting to me - at least people have an opinion about FUR and find it memorable, even if it makes them uncomfortable. I was once at a wedding and one of my fellow guests, skeptical and a little defensive, asked why our products were needed at all. However, it soon became clear that something quite different was on his mind: he fully shaved his body hair on a regular basis, resulting in in-growns, irritation, and itchiness. His real question was, did FUR products work? (Yes, they do, if you too are curious). This guest, like many other people I meet, was both extremely eager and extremely uncomfortable in equal measure talking about his body hair. He clearly went to great pains to groom himself meticulously, but had trouble talking about it. FUR products allow people to have these conversations more easily, and to alleviate the shame people have around body hair.
The beauty and skincare space is very vast and it’s easy to get lost in the crowd. What did you and your team at FUR do to stand out above the rest (besides entering a niche market)?
Is it really a niche market? 100% of human adults have pubic hair and body hair. So I think we positioned our brand in a very strong and specific way, but not in a particularly small niche.
Moreover, it took us over a year to perfect our formulation, packaging, and brand world. We did this because we felt an immense responsibility to do this right - we were creating a category, and we didn’t want it to be a brushed off as a joke. We had to come out with safe, effective, beautiful products to elevate what can be a very uncomfortable topic for some people.
What’s on the horizon for FUR? Any plans to branch out and develop other beauty and skincare products?
Yes stayed tuned in 2019 for at least two new products! We only make hero products, so our range will never be huge, but we definitely plan to grow FUR in more places.
Get 25% off today when you purchase between now to December 14th. To learn more about how to use FUR products for any hair situation, catch up on their blog here. Stay tuned IRL with instagram @fur_you.
Interviewed by Renée