Four students are bringing their business to life through an entrepreneurship class this semester. Their product, Mr. Brü, helps give men confidence in taking care of their appearance.
The idea for the male eyebrow kits came from Elon University junior Katie Wakiyama. She said she’s had the idea for a while, and this class has given her the chance to see the project through the end.
“Men might struggle with taking care of themselves,” Wakiyama said. “So this kit is just giving them confidence and instructions along the way.”
The team is made up of four members: Wakiyama, fellow juniors Maria Rivera and Gabe Kuhn and senior Raquel Galinski. All of the students hope to own their own businesses one day, and this class has shown them the skills needed to create their own product.
“For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to own my own business,” Rivera said. “This class and project have shown me the process and taught me a lot that things don’t work always, but you can always find solutions that you face during projects.”
As a group, the students invested $150 from their own pockets before being allowed to access the class budget. For Galinski, this was an exciting aspect of the project — allowing them to truly experience the risk of starting businesses.
“I felt confident in selling all the kits at the end of the day,” Galinski said. “Regardless if we don’t make the money back, it’s a learning lesson.”
Wakiyama said their confidence might have been too high initially. Planning to sell products at the student-made store earlier this year, the group brought 18 products to the fair and planned on selling out.
“I remember I even made a waitlist for the items, thinking that we would sell out so quickly. I think we actually might have sold one or two that first time,” Wakiyama said.
But the group said these obstacles have helped them grow. Kuhn, the only male in the group, said the failures have been his favorite parts.
“We have failed many times with a lot of the things we’ve tried to do,” Kuhn said. “It’s been very cool seeing how those failures have turned into these kits, and I’m proud to put my name on it.”
The biggest challenge has been marketing to the right group.
“We’ve really just gone for it. Male eyebrow kits are kind of a niche market,” Galinski said, “but we’re really bold and just tell everyone, ‘You need this eyebrow kit,’ and then they buy it. So it’s been working pretty well.”
Each kit includes a mirror, wax strips, tweezers, scissors and instructions. The students spent the semester in the Maker Hub creating the product from scratch, laser-etching their design onto each box. Each kit costs $12, and the group has even begun to make a profit.
“I feel so much pride in making a profit and making $200 worth of kits. It feels good knowing we’ve had a successful business,” Galinski said.