#BrandsWeLove is our new monthly feature that will showcase our favourite brands. It will include brands that are making a real impression and doing something unique in their industry. We have been following them and they have been inspiring us since Tophat London began.
Today, we are featuring Cornerstone. They provide a flexible, regular delivery of razors and quality shaving products so you always have everything you need for a great shave.
We reached out to Oliver Bridge, Founder of Cornerstone, to talk about the brand and life as an entrepreneur.
When and how was the idea of Cornerstone born?
I came up with the idea for Cornerstone in 2012, after suffering from a particularly bad shaving rash - I thought there had to be a more comfortable solution that didn't involve cutting myself and irritating my skin! I spent months searching for products to help but couldn't find anything suitable, so decided to launch my Cornerstone to solve the problem.
Did you start Cornerstone on your own or did you have other people working with you?
At the start I teamed up with lots of different experts to bring Cornerstone to life - there are so many things that need doing when you start a business, it's unrealistic to try and do them all yourself to a high standard. From day one, we teamed up with leading designers, manufacturers, web developers and finance advisors to help us develop our products, packaging, website and of course to help us raise investment.
Is running your own business something you always wanted to do?
Definitely! I launched my first company (biggerfeet.com) when I was at school to sell large shoes over the internet, I won a couple of awards and got a fair bit of PR attention, and that really gave me the entrepreneurial bug! After university, I worked for a brand strategy consultancy and then a venture capital firm for several years which were both amazing experiences, but ultimately I decided I wanted to go back to running my own business, so when the idea for Cornerstone came about, I jumped on it.
Was Cornerstone always going to be a subscription service or was that an idea that developed as you built up your business plan?
Initially, we were going to try and sell through bricks and mortar shops as well as online, but we soon realised that a subscription service is a really natural and easy way for men to buy shaving supplies, as you require a regular delivery of razors if you shave frequently. Our members tend to be busy people, and so if we can save them time by removing the process of going into a shop or remembering to top-up their bathroom cupboard, then that makes Cornerstone more useful to them.
What motivates you each day?
I love being busy, and in a small startup, where we are taking on some huge competitors in our sector, there is always a lot to keep us active! We also have an amazing team of people here, which I have had the privilege of hand picking, and coming into the office to work with all of them is great fun.
What is the most important part of running a successful business to you?
You have to focus relentlessly on the customer - if you can create a product or service that people really really like, then success normally follows. Of course, raising investment and hiring the right team to scale your idea is crucial, but without an obsessive focus on keeping your customers happy, you won't get very far.
What is the future of cornerstone?
Ultimately, we want to make shopping for men's bathroom toiletries a pleasure - it's currently a chore! This will see us launching into new product categories and making the end-to-end process of signing up and using Cornerstone as perfect as possible. In short, we will continue to focus relentlessly on what our customers want - quality products, at a fair price, with zero hassle.
Image Credit : Cornerstone