Buy one, give one: Siblings create toothbrush, plan to help othersThe idea to improve the world with a better toothbrush marketed by a better company has been started by a brother and sister from Jamestown and is growing. John McDougall and Heather McDougall are the principles behind the bogobrush designed to, according to the company’s website, “make more than one person smile.”
By: Keith Norman, The Jamestown Sun
The idea to improve the world with a better toothbrush marketed by a better company has been started by a brother and sister from Jamestown and is growing.
John McDougall and Heather McDougall are the principles behind the bogobrush designed to, according to the company’s website, “make more than one person smile.”
They are working toward their goal to build an environmentally friendly product that could be marketed in a way to help the people of the world in need of help with dental care.
“About 450 million toothbrushes are thrown into landfills each year in the United States alone,” said John, the designer of the project. “We make our toothbrushes out of bamboo which is environmentally sound, grows fast, is anti-microbial and is biodegradable. The bristles are biodegradable nylon. The whole thing breaks down and can be composted.”
The toothbrush is marketed through a “buy one, give one,” concept. For each toothbrush sold, another is given to a person in need. The cost for a basic toothbrush is $10 plus shipping and handling.
“We’re building a network nationwide,” said Heather. “We hope to expand the network to everywhere so if you buy one in North Dakota, one will be given to a person in need in North Dakota.”
Currently, the distribution network includes Detroit, St. Paul and Atlanta. Services in those communities will be the first to distribute free toothbrushes to those in need.
The McDougalls hope that by combining the environmentally responsible design of the bogobrush with a socially responsible marketing and distribution plan, they can create a sustainable business. From there, they hope to expand to the entire global market.
Visitors to the company’s website, bogobrush.com, have the opportunity to pre-purchase a toothbrush now for delivery in the next months. John said it is their way of confirming they have enough orders to begin production.
“We’re in the process of contracting with manufacturers in the U.S. to have production ready to go,” John said. “Our pre-order campaign runs through the first of January and we’re expecting deliveries by March for the pre-orders.”
Heather said the more bogobrushes sold during the pre-order, the faster delivery can be arranged.
The project has been the siblings’ passion.
“It all started as kids,” said Heather. “Growing up the kids of a dentist (Dr. Ken McDougall), oral health has always been important. We gathered people from all walks of life to make the world a better place and came up with this idea. There is no better way to accomplish things than by taking action.”
Heather and John are Jamestown High School graduates and are the children of Ken and Rosemary McDougall.
Heather graduated from William Mitchel law school in 2010 and now manages the operations of bogobrush.
John graduated from the College for Creative Studies in Detroit. He now works for General Motors on the design of the Chevrolet Volt.
Both want to use their education to improve the world.
“We want to show that you can have a business that does well economically and does well for the environment,” John said.
Both credit their early life in Jamestown for driving them forward on this project.
“We are enjoying this,” Heather said. “We want to do as much as we can to make the world better. Our beliefs were shaped by growing up in Jamestown and the sense of community we have here.”
Sun reporter Keith Norman can be reached at 701-952-8452 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org