Jamestown siblings design biodegradable toothbrushJAMESTOWN, N.D. – Years after growing up around their parents’ dental office in Jamestown, John and Heather McDougall have come up with their own innovation for oral health care: a biodegradable toothbrush.
By: Charly Haley , INFORUM
JAMESTOWN, N.D. – Years after growing up around their parents’ dental office in Jamestown, John and Heather McDougall have come up with their own innovation for oral health care: a biodegradable toothbrush.
The brother-and-sister duo are the founders of Bogobrush, a new brand of biodegradable toothbrush. They donate one toothbrush for each one sold.
The toothbrushes are made with a bamboo handle and nylon bristles. They aren’t in stores but can be pre-ordered online at bogo
The presale started in November. John McDougall said they hope to deliver the first Bogobrushes in March.
The idea for Bogobrush sort of took the McDougalls by surprise. Both siblings left Jamestown with goals outside of dentistry.
John, 26, attended college in Detroit for design. Heather, 28, did her undergrad work at Concordia College before attending law school in the Twin Cities.
“We saw that we were each really looking to collaborate with people,” Heather said.
They put their skills together – John designed the ergonomic, biodegradable Bogobrush, and Heather is the company’s CEO.
“A toothbrush is such a simple product that everyone uses every day,” Heather said. “We have something that’s beautifully designed and socially conscious.”
They also have a team of people to help with production, sales and promotion, John said.
In addition to making the toothbrush biodegradable, John designed the brush to be comfortable to use. He said he had several sources of inspiration, from studying existing toothbrush designs to the handles of paintbrushes.
The “give one” half of Bogobrush’s “buy one, give one” is partnered with some nonprofits, including Apple Tree Dental, a nonprofit dental clinic based in the Twin Cities with a clinic in Hawley, Minn.
“We choose organizations in communities that we’re already connected to,” Heather said. She lives in the Twin Cities, so Bogobrush has partnered with two organizations there, one in Detroit and one in Atlanta, where another member of the Bogobrush team lives.
She said the company’s goal is to eventually allow Bogobrush buyers to donate their “give one” brush to an organization in their local community.
While Bogobrush is still in its beginning stages, the company has already received a lot of support, including from North Dakotans ordering the toothbrushes, Heather said.
“It’s really fun to feel the love from our home state,” she said.
Readers can reach Forum reporter Charly Haley at (701) 235-7311