Tallahassee entrepreneurs ‘disrupt’ the mouthwash business

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By: Charlene Cristobal | WCTV Eyewitness News
January 29, 2018

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- Remember Adrianne and Aaron Kautz? We first introduced you to the couple in November. They own the company One Fresh Pillow, based in Tallahassee. They would be considered ‘market disruptors’ of the pillow business because of their one-of-a-kind pillow and their subscription model.

But they’re not the only market disruptors from our area. Two men are ‘powering forward’ in the mouthwash business, changing people’s lives one swish at a time.

When you think mouthwash, you might not typically think, “Wow! Innovation!” But then, you probably haven’t heard of Fly Mouthwash.

"What we did is took out most of that water and left all the good stuff that cleans your teeth, helps your gums, that freshens your breath in a concentrated form,” says Nick Telford with Fly Mouthwash. “So you just need to add a couple of drops or a squirt to water, swish, rinse, go. That's it."

Telford and his partner, Mike Bracciale, are Tallahassee-based entrepreneurs. They saw a need for a more portable, convenient form of mouthwash. But, not like the travel sized kinds or breath sprays.

"We thought this offered the greatest price per use and convenience factor is the big one," says Bracciale.

Fly Mouthwash hit Amazon just two weeks ago. In that time, they’ve gotten 37 reviews, giving them a 4.9 star rated product. With the help of technology, they disrupted the mouthwash market as we know it.

Something Airbnb’s Chip Conley knows a lot about.

"Tech is huge, partly because the ability for it to move quickly,” says Conley. “So, a new idea can be a little seed of an idea, but it can be global within a year or two because using technology and not bricks and mortar.”

At 26, Chip was innovating the boutique hotel industry. Now, at 57, he continues to keep the industry on its toes. Home sharing via Airbnb is now a huge business with 4 million listings worldwide, serving more than 260 million guests. This week, Chip shares his equation for success.

"If you're constantly focused on what your customers’ needs are you'll be able to start seeing the evolution of their needs,” says Conley. “The key is just to know what's happening in your consumers' tastes as they evolve."

Evolving is a good tip, and something Mike and Nick saw a need to do in the fresh breath business.

"We saw an opportunity, wanted to put our idea to work and it's paid off,” says Bracciale.

Having a new take on this household must-have.

Nick and Mike of Fly Mouthwash are both invited to see Chip Conley speak at this year’s First Commerce Credit Union Power Forward Speaker Series. The event tales place Wednesday, January 31 at 3:00 p.m. WCTV is a proud media partner.

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