How does an oral care tool break into a brand new category at Urban Outfitters? By creating a unique product with stand out results, and with the help of RangeMe! Penelope Nowling, the founder of Plaque Buster, has always been a stickler for dental health and hygiene. Penelope eventually grew tired of using the metal picks on the market because of the clanking and scratching against her teeth. Not wanting to give up this important part of her dental care routine, Penelope decided to create a plaque pick of her own designed for a comfortable experience. Through ECRM, Penelope discovered RangeMe and created a profile. About six months ago, she got an exciting sample request from Urban Outfitters on RangeMe and has since gotten a purchase order to be sold in 42 store locations and on the Urban Outfitters website.
Busting plaque, one tooth at a time
The goal of Plaque Buster is to create a product that helps maintain healthy gums and a healthy mouth. Compared to the traditional gum stimulator that uses a metal handle and a disposable tip, the Plaque Buster is a one-piece, injection-molded design with no metal to scratch the user’s teeth, making for a comfortable experience. Penelope knew the product needed to be durable yet smooth with excellent grip in wet and dry environments. It was also very important that the products be manufactured in the United States. The result? A soft pick, made of flexible rubber with an easy-grip handle made 100 percent in the United States that comes in a variety of colors.
How Plaque Buster discovered RangeMe
Since the idea of Plaque Buster sparked, Penelope has been dedicated to promoting her product and brand. “It started in 2013 with a quick sketch of my idea,” Penelope says. “From there I took it to a patent attorney, gathered money to create the mold, started manufacturing in the United States, and started making phone calls to get my product out there into retail stores.”
Plaque Buster attended their first Personal Care, Grooming, Oral, & Travel/Trial ECRM Program in 2015 as a new vendor in the New Vendor Hall. After a successful show full of buyer meetings and great initial conversations, Penelope learned about RangeMe to further her outreach strategy.
“I came upon RangeMe’s website through ECRM and joined right away. It was probably one of the best things I could ever do for myself. RangeMe helps put you out there to be discovered whenever. I can see the whole value of it. Plus, more than just retail buyers use it, it could be other executives at the company,” says Penelope.
After joining RangeMe Plaque Buster got a lot of attention, views, and messages from various retailers because Penelope was active in sharing her RangeMe profile with buyer contacts. But it wasn’t until August of 2019 that they received their most exciting message yet.
Pick-ed up by Urban Outfitters
“There’s a lot of time’s where you don’t hear back from buyers, but you have to keep the momentum going because there will eventually be a retailer that reaches out. That was our case with Urban Outfitters,” shares Penelope.
They received a sample request from an Urban Outfitters buyer through RangeMe. The buyer requested samples of the product and a brochure. “I made a brochure myself, since I didn’t have one initially, and quickly shipped everything off to them,” says Penelope. “A few weeks later I heard back from the buyer saying everyone loved the product and that they were putting in a purchase order for 42 of their busiest stores in the United States!”
Plaque Buster will be the first and only oral care product in the personal care space with Urban Outfitters.
Advice to other Suppliers on RangeMe
“I always have my RangeMe profile share link in my email signature, and include it when emailing any prospects,” shares Penelope. “I believe in my product every day. If you know you have a great product and believe in what you’re doing and selling, you will be successful.”
Penelope has started her second year on RangeMe and plans to keep it going because she believes in RangeMe, her products, and the opportunities to come in 2020.