The founders of Carpe Lotion, David Spratte and Kasper Kubica of UNC-Chapel Hill and Duke University, respectively, came up with an effective solution for sweaty hands. In July 2015, with funding from investment firm Bootstrap Advisors, the pair launched their first product, Carpe Antiperspirant Hand Lotion.
“At the beginning, a lot of people were saying that this isn’t a problem. No one is going to buy a product for sweaty hands,” said Spratte.
In reality, 8 million Americans suffer from hyperhidrosis, a medical condition that causes one to sweat up to five times more than the average individual. Even without this condition, millions of others struggle with unwanted, inconvenient perspiration. Spratte and Kubica quickly demonstrated that there was a market for a new and improved antiperspirant.
Within the first six months, with little to no marketing, the company sold roughly $100,000 worth of product just off of Amazon and the company’s own website. Just last month, in the wake of their initial success, they launched a second product, Carpe Antiperspirant Foot Lotion.
“The foot lotion has been selling better than the hand lotion was early on,” said Kubica.
“They have really done a great job of building the business to where it is today,” said Chris Ng Cashin, co-founder of Bootstrap Advisors. “Now it’s a question of, can they scale it up and get it to a reasonable size?”
Last week, in hopes of bringing in even more business, Carpe began a test run of brand new 30-second commercials produced by Kubica himself. They have since aired on several cable channels, including MTV and Comedy Central.
Carpe’s lotions are now sold in more than 100 pharmacies, athletic stores, clothing stores, and other retailers.
Cashin agrees with Kubica and Spratte that solutions for problematic sweating present a sizable market. Spratte has stated that the product isn’t just for those with a medical condition, but rather for anyone who sweats too much.
“Our intention was to create this product for all those people who get sweaty hands in social, professional and athletic situations,” he said. “We call them casual sweaters.”