Bubbly, the start-up that makes contact lenses easier to access
Bubbly is a Belgian start-up surfing on the D2C model, limiting to the maximum the middlemen to offer to its customers a qualitative product at the best price.
The added value? A simplified online path allowing anyone to receive contact lenses on its mail boxe.
Discover now the story of Bubbly and meet with Stéphane & Max, the co-founders :
Could you rapidly introduce yourself and how you got here?
Stéphane: Just after my studies, I started my career at Semetis, a digital agency, which is now the Belgian leader in digital advertising and business intelligence. When I started, I was only the fifth employee hired. We had to build everything, from the services provided to the teams and the final customer. From five employees, the team grew up to more than thirty people, and we joined an American group of international media companies. I learned a lot during these seven years and enjoyed every moment I spent there.
This experience forged me and pushed me to start my own business. I recently became the father of a beautiful little girl. I am a big fan of sports in general, I still follow the football teams in Croatia, my home country.
How did you come up with the idea for your project?
Stéphane: We realized that contact lenses wearers have two choices: either pay too much for their lenses or overwear them, which is dangerous and can cause infections. 90% of contact lens users do not respect the hygiene rules. My sister is thirty years old and has already had two infections due to not respecting the instructions. That’s why we launched Bubbly, quality lenses accessible to everyone. Plus, they arrive directly in the mailbox.
What is the best memory of your entrepreneurial journey?
Stéphane: The first trip we made to meet suppliers in Asia. We were super excited, but so nervous that we almost missed the plane. We got into the wrong terminal at Frankfurt airport. It was longest and most stressful run of our lives. We had to redo the check-in, catch a new train and run down an endless corridor. Finally, we managed to jump on the plane at the last minute!
What was Bubbly’s biggest success?
Stéphane: I think we managed to prove in just a few months that you can create a new brand in the contact lenses market and build customer loyalty. How did we do that? By offering an affordable price, mailbox delivery, automatic reorder, advice from an optician and availability of our team 7 days a week by chat… A lot of little extras that make a big difference down the line for the consumer who appreciates simplicity.
…And the worst failure?
Stéphane: When we had to find a new payment system compatible with our automatic reorder system and link all this with our website … The technical issues are often the worst, at that time we pulled a few all-nighters, surely.
If you could start from the beginning, what would you do differently?
Stéphane: I think I should have delegated the repetitive tasks sooner, those without added value, so that I could concentrate on the core business. You don’t realize how much time you waste on details and you are quickly overwhelmed!
What advice would you give to someone who wants to embark on an entrepreneurial adventure?
Stéphane: Persevere and work hard. Entrepreneurship should be seen as a long-distance race, endurance and regularity are the key to success!
What was the most important event for Bubbly this year?
Stéphane: Our month of January was excellent. We are continuing on the wave of growth of the end of 2019, and we hope to far exceed the goals we have set ourselves this year!
What’s the next step?
Stéphane: Our offer is ready, we must now make sure that the Bubbly brand is known by as many people as possible!
What do you expect from the future?
Stéphane: Create partnerships with other brands and local opticians. Propose new products and multiply distribution channels ! We are also looking for a partner for marketing topics to boost our acquisition. We think about affiliation, online and offline media. We would also like to make the user journey on our website easier, so many commercial and technical subjects to come!
Since January 2020, Bubbly is accelerated by Look Forward by Showroomprivé, a one year free accelearion program dedicated to entrepreneurs fron the Fashion, the Retail and the Beauty industries, willing to transform these industries including toward more sustainable practices.
To know more about Bubbly: https://bubbly-contact.com/
Discover Look Forward by Showroomprivé: https://www.lookforwardproject.com