Q+A: Elliot Friar, quip
quip, the electric toothbrush that is disrupting the world of oral health, has raised an impressive round of Series A funding in November. quip’s current offering includes a wide selection of beautifully designed, plastic and metal electric toothbrushes, which you can order on a subscription service that delivers brush heads and toothpaste on a dentist-recommended 3-month schedule to ensure supplies stay hygienic and effective.We sat down with Elliot Friar, their Brush Head of *Refreshing* Content, to learn more about the product and the company.
What was inspiration behind the quip toothbrush?
The idea originally came from our product engineer founders Simon Enever and Bill May. Simon, who is our CEO, was in a dentist's chair here in New York when his dentist told him that he really only needs a simple electric toothbrush that is able to guide the habits that really matter for good oral health. His dentist said there was no need for something that is super expensive with a lot of gimmicks. Simon then realized that most people aren't brushing properly, don't brush for long enough or often enough. They also don't change their brushes on time and don't go to the dentist every 6 months, as is recommended. So, he decided to design something with those good habits his dentist recommended in mind, without any of the gimmicks that don't help improve those habits.
The design of a product like this is very important because you use it every day — and its design impacts how you will use it, which will in turn dictate your oral health. For example, our product looks very beautiful, which was intentional; most people don't brush twice a day, people aren't excited to brush, so it makes you actually want to take care of your teeth.
What is special or unique about your brushes?
quip is unique for exactly that reason. We focus on the oral health habits that matter. quip uses sensitive vibrating bristles and has a built in 2 minute timer that pulses every 30 seconds so you brush evenly and for the right amount of time. We also offer a subscription service to receive a new brush head every 3 months, which is the dentist recommended schedule for changing your brush head. It makes sure that users are staying on that proper routine. Our brush also uses a wireless suction-based wall mount that doubles as a travel cover to simplify a twice daily brushing routine. Plus, we offer constant advice to our members and the opportunity to connect with dental professionals through quip.
It's an abbreviation for word "equipment" – because quip provides all of the tools you need to take care of your teeth and mouth!
What brought you to Dumbo?
We were originally in a WeWork building before we moved to this office in DUMBO. Our office space is really beautiful and inspiring, and we are surrounded by a neighborhood that inspires functional design. For instance, we can see Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges and the East River from our office. The Manhattan Bridge is right outside of our window, and it's one of the most photographed things in New York City but also manages to carry so many cars and subway trains functionally. In DUMBO, we are also surrounded by other like-minded companies that are focused on design and creating things that are beautiful but also useful and designed to do more than just be looked at.
What is your favorite part of working for quip?
My favorite part of working here is that we are very mission-driven. We are very focused on improving oral health and making sure that improved oral health care is more accessible to everyone. Our products are inexpensive, and we amplify oral health tips and news by getting that information across in an interesting way. We are not just a design company; we hire a full time dentist to come on to our team to advise our content, and in this way we are able to make oral health something that is not only interesting but something that people can follow so they can take care of both themselves and their mouths better so that they can live better.
What is your favorite place in DUMBO?
The quip office! And not just because of the unlimited snacks or cold brew on tap. Beyond that, the roof of our building here at 45 Main St is extremely beautiful, and it's nice to go up there to have lunch and look at the river and the bridges, it's very peaceful up there. I also love the Waterfront and Empire Stores.