Following in the footsteps of many "dollar club" designs, an SLC pair have setup an online shop for The Dollar Condom Club. As the name suggests, those who aren't looking to be seen buying condoms in public can head to their website and choose from a variety of major brands for cheap. To add to the incentives, the company offers discrete delivery options, making it super easy to order and receive without embarrassment. Today, we chat with one of the co-founders of the company—who for various reasons wants to keep his identity private—about starting the club and what they hope to achieve with it. (All pictures courtesy of TDCC.
Gavin: Hey man, tell us a little bit about yourself?
You can call me TC, that is what my friends called me growing up. I have a family of five, two older boys and three younger girls, along with a wife of 26 years. I graduated with a B.S. in Exercise Science, along with a minor in Nutrition and Business Studies. We are an active LDS family living in the Wasatch Front for the past 20 years. I grew up in Eastern Idaho as a farm boy, where I learned what hard work really is.
Gavin: What had you been doing before the company came about?
I initially started out in the financial world working at a local brokerage firm before venturing into an outside sales and marketing position. I’ve been working in the entertainment business as a corporate partnership director, mostly [business-to-business] sales.
Gavin: It's reasonable to assume this business was inspired by one of the well-known “dollar club” businesses. Which one was the biggest influence on you and why?
Definitely a mix of all of them. Having a background in finance has definitely helped with this adventure.
Gavin: How did the idea come about to apply this model to condoms?
It just hit me as I was driving home one day, thinking about all of my sons' subscription-based packages coming to the house. With the radio blasting and my brain going 90 miles an hour trying to brainstorm, what does everyone use but hate to buy, or run out at the worst time? And that is when it started. At first, it was just a thought that honestly never crossed my mind that it would actually become reality, but we made it work, and here we are today.
Gavin: Being a Utahan, knowing what our educational system is like, knowing the resources available to teens and young adults, how important is it for people to have access to information and products these days?
It is very important for teens and young adults to have the information and availability of these products. I don’t know that the public system or the schools in the U.S. provide enough sexual education.
Gavin: The big question that has to come up a lot: Why should people buy condoms from you when they're available for free from organizations like Planned Parenthood? What are you offering that they done?
The biggest problem our youth faces is that they do not want to be seen buying condoms. They would rather steal them from the drug store, or not use them at all. So ultimately, it is getting the product to the right people that need them at a cost that is less than any other retailer, and that is discreetly mailed to your door. We offer free shipping on all of our products to our U.S. customers.
Gavin: What was it like for you setting up the business and working out deals with brand-name companies?
I definitely have one of the best business partners around. Chris has an extensive background in start-ups and has been a vital part of bringing this business to life
. It’s not a normal business product, so at first it was a little different, but when it got down to dollars and cents, everything came together from a margin standpoint. We only work with the largest brands because the trust is already there. We had to pitch these companies on what our business goals and growth expectations were to help get the prices down, so we could be competitive.
Gavin: For those who have never done this before, how does the system work?
It’s a simple three-step process: You pick a plan, pick a brand and check out–your monthly subscription will renew every month on the same day you ordered it initially. Every product includes free shipping. You can upgrade and downgrade your plan at any time, and you can also halt a subscription for a few months if you're moving or on summer vacation.
Gavin: How important was it to you to offer discrete delivery options for your customer base?
This is an important part of the business, as we want our customers to feel comfortable that their information will remain secret as well as not to be shared.
Gavin: What's the reception been like so far from customers?
The response from our customers has been fantastic! We have had mothers, sisters and even grandparents order for someone in their family. We have also had a ton of gift orders from girlfriends and wives. The convenience factor, how we are competitive in pricing to large e-commerce giants and how we only sell brand named product makes it an easy buy.
Gavin: Are you looking to expand to any other brands, or perhaps other safe sex options?
At this point, we are going to keep working with the brands here is the U.S. We will be exploring other brands in different countries as we expand. We have multiple international inquiries about working with us, and currently we are [exploring] our options.
Gavin: What can we expect from you and the company going into next year?
More of the same. We are in talks with a few non-profit organizations to form some strategic partnerships. One of those organizations has access and distribution to over 150+ countries. Expanding is key, and we're going to scale at the appropriate pace to handle our U.S. clients first.