Whether in the real world or posting for a social media selfie, a smile is a sign of confidence and togetherness. But statistics suggest Americans could do more to keep their pearly whites shiny and clean.
Sensing opportunity, a South Florida entrepreneur developed a convenient way to access dental hygiene products via a subscription service.
Alexander Lafortune, 23, is the owner of Fortune X, a monthly oral care subscription service that aims to help customers improve their dental routine and save time by having products regularly shipped to them.
“People tend to forget or don’t have time to buy a new toothbrush,” Lafortune said. “Fortune X wants to take away those worries and create a new lifestyle for everyone.”
Lafortune, a Kendall native and graduate of Nova Southeastern University where he studied business administration and human resources, got the idea to form his business almost by accident, he said. One evening while at his university dorm, his toothbrush fell in the toilet. Frustrated by the inconvenience, he wished access to dental hygiene products would be as easy as ordering a pizza. “With my toothbrush in the toilet and no store in sight, Fortune X was born.”
The company was founded in October 2018, shortly after he graduated from university.
Via his subscription service, Lafortune wants to tap into the budding popularity of the monthly subscription-based business model to help improve consumers’ dental habits.
“The world of subscription boxes is growing tremendously over the past years with products like skincare, make-up and pet food,” he said, “but no one was doing subscription boxes for oral care products.”
Herbert Brotspies, a consumer product expert and university professor, helped Lafortune develop his business plan and define his target market as he wrapped up his university studies.
The subscription model capitalizes on the need for convenience.
“Consumers can get their oral care products without having to run to the store or worry about running out,” Brotspies said of Fortune X. “They can maintain their oral health care very easily.”
Fortune X focuses on delivering regular and electric toothbrushes, as well as toothpaste and teeth whitening devices directly to consumers’ homes.
Number’s show that consumers spend billions on oral health care products.
The global annual revenue estimated to be generated by electric toothbrush sales is $3.5 billion, according to Future Market Insights. While some $11 billion are spent on whitening products or procedures every year, according to the Oral Health Group.
“The market potential is there for him,” Brotspies said.
And while the American Dental Association suggests people should change their toothbrush, or the head on an electric toothbrush, about every three months, those suggestions go largely unmet according to some statistics.
Research shows that four in 10 people or 42 percent do not change their tooth or brush head every three months, according to Electric Teeth, a group of dentists and professionals in the industry who provides advice about oral hygiene.
Furthermore, three out of four millennials only brush their teeth once a day, that’s according to a study by Delta Dental published in 2018. The same study found that 48 percent of adults worry about having an appealing smile as they get older.
“People are not doing this so I wanted to make it convenient for people,” Lafortune said.
In less than a year, Fortune X has garnered 200 subscribers and has built a strong following on social media.
“I am not the type of buying these types of products but I have to say it has been one of the best I have ever purchased,” wrote customer Alexis Carias. She rated Fortune X with five stars and praised the presentation and speedy processing and shipping of her order, which took two days, she wrote. “This surprised me a lot.”
Fortune X’s customers can select how often they receive a replenishment box.
Prices start at $12 for the manual toothbrush kit to $45 for the electric tooth brush kit. Kits come complete with toothpaste and information about proper dental hygiene practices.
Lafortune says that he has subscribers spread out over South Florida, Puerto Rico and India.
He plans to add skin and health care products to his subscription service.
For more information visit www.fortunexbox.com.