When Iskra Tsenkova reached for her husband's razor in the shower one day - a razor he had received from his membership to the Dollar Shave Club - an idea struck.
"I was like, how is there not a business like this for women? We shave. We have more areas to cover, so I thought maybe there is, and I just don't know about it. I started doing some research, and I didn't find anything. I said, well, this just feels like a natural calling."
The budding entrepreneur had previous stints in sales and as a yoga instructor, and grew up with very little in Bulgaria. She's been living in San Diego for the last nine years.
"I always wanted to have my own business, and in having my own business, I wanted to help a cause."
Tsenkova created Angel Shave Club, the first online subscription shave club designed exclusively for women, by a woman. Subscribers pay a supremely low monthly fee of $3-$9 for eight luxury razors delivered to their doors in a pretty pink box wrapped with care. The blades are made with high-quality U.S. steel mounted on a flexible head with Vitamin E and an aloe strip, plus handles that are designed for a sturdy control grip.
"We started in October of last year and we officially launched on March 26 of this year, and we've seen such tremendous growth in the last four months," Tsenkova said. "It's a little overwhelming and still very exciting."
It was crucial to Tsenkova that her business do more than just exist to make money. She chose to donate a portion of the profits from Angel Shave Club to the Malala Fund, founded by the young Nobel Peace Prize winner to help girls in underprivileged countries get access to education.
"I've been following all of [Malala's] work for the past four years because I come from a very poor country where literally education was all I had," Tsenkova said. "I have dreams [for the contributions] to grow and for us to get even more involved to bringing awareness for how important education is for women."
When ordering online, subscribers have a choice between either three blades or five blades and either pink or blue handles. There is flexibility in the frequency of the delivery, such as eight cartridges every two months or every four months. Service can be paused or cancelled at any time.
Angel Shave Club is adding an all-natural shave cream to the site as well, and rolling out some other all-natural products for the skin in the next couple of months. "Every product that we have on our site is going to be all-natural and chemical-free. I want Angel Shave Club to become the place where women find everything skin care and shave care, all in one place," Tsenkova said. "We want to eliminate the hassle of having to go to the store and spend that kind of money on razors."
The eight cartridges of three blades (similar to disposable razors) cost $6 per month and the five blades (similar to a Venus razor) cost $9 per month, delivered every two months. The prices are even lower if the subscriber opts for delivery at four month intervals.
Tsenkova is running the show solo right now, but hopes to add to her team in the future, as Angel Shave Club has reached close to 2,000 customers in the last four months. The boxes are assembled here in San Diego, and they plan on partnering with more local businesses in the future for their shaving products.
"I love being hands-on from the very beginning, from accepting the orders to fulfilling to sending it out and then to the customer service aspect of it. It's really allowed me to not just own my company, but be a part of it."
For more information (and to start a subscription), visit angelshaveclub.com. DiscoverSD readers can use code DiscoverSD for 20% off.