Ewan Jones and myself, George Dyer, were a couple of excitable students at Manchester University with two things in common:
To make some extra cash at University, we began selling team wear and clearance sports products to our fellow students. We would attend markets and events with nothing more than some end of season sports equipment and a passion for sport and entrepreneurship.
The challenges of running a business whilst still at university were evident and naturally business had to settle down during exam season. This time gave us the opportunity to realise that the items we were selling particularly well were sports mouthguards. We were both familiar with gum shield products (and their difficulties) as contact sport athletes ourselves and it was clear to us that feedback from customers on the range of mouthguards we sold was poor.
...So we listened.
The category was lacking personality and the trendy appeal that you see in other areas of sports equipment – like boots and jerseys.
People only bought Mouthguards because the rule books said they had to!
Whilst they may have protected your mouth, they were a hindrance and were almost resented as a piece of kit.
That’s when we realised the opportunity to disrupt the mouthguard market and prove that mouthguards could be more than just a nuisance piece of kit.
So with University over, we set up shop in the spare bedroom of our small mid-terraced student house in Manchester and visited the Moss Side Community Project to pick up some second hand office furniture. With no car, we awkwardly rolled our new filing cabinet for 1 mile on a skate board through the cobbled streets of the North-West and started to bootstrap our way to achieving our goal of bringing a new flavour to the mouthguard market.
(George with above mentioned filing cabinet in Rusholme)
Over the last few years, with a lot of hard work and MANY sacrifices along the way, we have now realised our dream of creating a range of sports mouthguards that engages athletes of all levels and age groups.
SAFEJAWZ now represents confidence and personality. The brand SAFEJAWZ has become synonymous with stylish and comfortable dental protection that people are genuinely getting excited about. We have ensured quality by designing our new range with the experts at the University of Warwickshire, bringing in features that addressed what we knew customers didn’t like about gum shields and what we knew as athletes ourselves.
(Confidence Within campaign)
Our customers engage with us on a daily basis through our #safejawzselfie campaign and we are the choice mouth guard of many pro athletes including England Rugby International - James Haskell, World Champion Boxer - George Groves, and much of the top talent in the UFC.
We believe that our passion for sport has enabled us to connect with our customers and we have brought a new flair to the mouthguard market. It’s been a fun ride so far, and with a distribution network stemming 32 countries, the brand is now going from strength to strength.
(New signing to #teamsafejawz: UFC Fighter Marc Diakiese)