Greetings from the Founder and CEO…
Greetings, Epic Lifers! Welcome to the Epic Wipes blog page – “This is Epic” - a place where we will:
- Showcase some of the cool and creative ways our fans have used Epic Wipes to solve real life problems
- Occasionally nerd it up about the state of the science of wet wipes (it’s actually really interesting!)
- Give you solid evidence about all the things that make Epic Wipes well…so Epic!
I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking damn, I must be really bored to be reading a blog about wet wipes (not true btw). But the second thing you’re probably thinking is – Epic Wipes must be friggin’ amazing (...since it appears that I’m still reading a blog about wet wipes). And you are 100% right - Epic Wipes are friggin’ amazing! And honestly after all the time we put into these things how could they NOT be?...I mean we agonized over every little detail (sometimes for months and months) until we were finally certain that we had achieved Wet Wipe Nirvana. And despite my lovely and very patient better half Rose for years insisting that I wasn’t “building a spaceship so just get on with it already” …even she now agrees that it’s all been well worth the effort.
The Epic Wipes Timeline
Trust me, the journey to wet wipe perfection is more interesting than what you might think – full of twists and turns, emotional highs and lows, and peppered with angsty near misses and thrilling successes. It’s an Odyssey that started over six years ago way back in the summer of 2011. I know I know, it seems insane that it should take anyone that long to design something as simple as a wet wipe, but you’d be surprised how complicated something like this can be when you start off having absolutely no clue about what you’re doing.
Before we really dig in though, here’s a glimpse at some of the highlights:
- In 2011 while deployed in Afghanistan the idea to make a massive wet wipe first pops into my head.
- Because I’m a full time Army doc – for the first few years I only have time to dabble and not a lot gets done (except for learning that starting a business is hard).
- By the end of 2013 I realize that I can’t do this alone and bring on board James Haugland (my childhood friend) and start hiring contractors.
- By 2015 I’m officially obsessed with making the perfect wet wipe.
- In January 2016 we finally receive our first small shipment of sellable product and begin pre-campaigning for our eventual Kickstarter launch later in the year.
- In June of 2016 our Kickstarter launches and we obliterate our funding goal by 350%.
- By August 2016 our company has already received tons of positive reviews from press outlets all around the world (and in over a dozen different languages).
- In December 2016 Epic Wipes wins the coveted Runner’s World magazine’s “Gear of the Year” Award (and we can’t stop smiling).
- In April 2017 Epic Wipes first become available on Amazon.
- From April 2017 – July 2017 we see a near doubling of our sales each month.
- In August 2017 we see a near quadrupling of sales compared with July.
- On September 17 Epic Wipes are featured on Steve Harvey’s Funderdome!...(watch the show…we’re pretty proud)
- AND, last but certainly not least, throughout all that time we’ve been able to give back to the community, donating thousands of wipes to people in need, proving (in my mind at least) that even startups can succeed without having to sell their souls to the devil.
The Creation of Epic Wipes: “Small Wet Wipes Suck”
Like most “aha moments,” the inspiration to make Epic Wipes started with a single idea. I wanted to make a wipe that was big. Really big. Like something that you could measure in feet, not inches, kind of big. Something the size of my sleeping bag kind of big…OK maybe not that big, but you get the idea. Actually that would be kind of cool. Go to bed dirty – wake up clean! Let me just make a note of that here…
OK – so where did this obsession with size come from?
Well like most of the soldiers I deployed with, I considered my stash of baby wipes to be an essential part of my “hygiene gear” – almost on the same level as my razor or my toothbrush. I mean, there’s a lot to like about baby wipes. They’re convenient, they’re easy to stuff in a ruck, and if showers aren’t available - they do a reasonable job of at least keeping the hot-spots somewhat in check. Yet for an item that I considered to be so necessary, it’s amazing how soon into my deployment I began to honest-to-God loathe them.
The problem was that deep down I just knew that baby wipes weren’t the right tool for the job, and on some fundamental level that just really bothered me. I think we’ve all felt that way at one point or another, right? Like imagine that you’re trying to remove a couple screws for whatever reason but all you have on you is a knife and so you grudgingly try to make a go of it and it’s sort of working but it’s also sort of ruining your blade, and you can’t help but think to yourself – man what I wouldn’t give for a *bleeping* screwdriver right now!?
And let me tell you, when total body hygiene is the intended goal - there are many reasons why your standard wet wipes are just the wrong tool for the job, but the most glaring and obvious reason has to be the size. If you’ve never had the displeasure of experiencing a baby-wipe shower, here are some of the highlights:
- To begin with, scrubbing down with a baby wipe is a one-handed job, which makes this already unpleasant chore take twice as long as it should.
- If you try to make up for this by scrubbing harder or faster the wipe tends to frustratingly curl up on itself, which is only awesome if you’re trying to invent new expletives.
- Unless you’re a professional contortionist, you can pretty much forget about trying to reach your back.
- And unless you’re a pro and develop a routine, after about a dozen wipes in, you start losing track of what’s been cleaned and what hasn’t, and end up calling it good enough.
Bigger is SO Much Better
Once you finally think of it, it seems so simple.
A substantially larger wet wipe (about 1.5 ft x 2.5 ft) is a MUCH more efficient tool for the job because:
- All you need is one wipe to get your whole bode clean (instead of umpteen million baby wipes).
- They’re big enough to really grab hold of and use with both hands (trust me, this is just way more satisfying).
- It’s now actually possible to clean your back with a wet wipe…back itch much?
Going Beyond Good to Great…to EPIC!
As I said, when I first had the idea to make a giant wet wipe, I really only cared that it was huge, but as things progressed and a really started to dig into all the other things that go into making a wipe, I realized that your standard wet wipe left a lot to be desired on many levels – not just size. We’ll go deeper into this in later blogs, but man - some of the stuff you find in other wet wipes is down-right toxic (go to the EWG skin deep database for a sneak preview of what I mean).
My training as a doctor naturally inclined me to want to create a wipe that was as healthy as possible, and not just for the person using it, but also for the Earth. That’s why Epic Wipes are sourced from bamboo and other natural ingredients that are both gentle on your skin and 100% biodegradable. Every single ingredient found in our wipes was an intentional choice that we agonized over until we were confident that it was the right one.
Like I said - they’re pretty perfect. But don’t take our word for it…grab a box – see for yourself!