The Design Business Show 184: Founder Story: Behind-the-Scenes of the Jill Launch with Meagan Carboney

Director : Melissa Burkheimer | May 10, 2022
Check out episode 183 of The Design Business Show with Meagan Carboney to learn all about the product and brand creation of Jill!

Meagan Carboney is an avid face shaver known for her live tutorials highlighting this little-known beauty technique. As a self-made makeup artist, she discovered how face shaving completely transformed her skincare and makeup routine-and wanted to share it with women everywhere. After tossing out razor after razor, Meagan knew there had to be a better way. With a degree in product development and 20+ years in the fashion and beauty industries, Meagan’s background helped her launch Jill: the world’s first razor designed for female face shaving. Jill has perfected the art of the exfoli-shave with a patent-pending design shaped for a woman’s face. It’s a convenient, subscription-based, eco-conscious way to get your glow on, with guidance from Meagan on how to shave the right way. Jill’s on a mission to normalize female face shaving so women around the world can proudly say #weshavetoo. Learn more at

Here’s what we covered on the episode:

Meagan’s Background + Pivot

  • How Meagan and I met in 2012 at yoga class when I was doing freelance graphic design, and how we’ve both been able to watch and be part of each other’s journey
  • When Meagan was younger, she had the dream to move out of Iowa and move to California to pursue fashion, which is what she did after high school
  • After graduating from a fashion institute in California, Meagan landed her dream job on Rodeo Drive working for BCBG Max Azria
  • Meagan stayed in LA for 10 years, where she climbed the corporate ladder and had the job she truly wanted in marketing, where she still got to be creative – she worked directly under the owners of the company, which gave her a start-up experience that has helped her launch her brand
  • How Meagan met her husband at the same company in LA, and when they talked about raising a family, they decided to move back to Iowa
  • When moving back to Iowa, Meagan had to pivot her business because the fashion part of what she was passionate about wasn’t there, so she ended up building her personal brand online and landed in the beauty space
  • In the online beauty space, Meagan would share tutorials, tips and would share about face shaving
  • Meagan talks about the multiple businesses she and her husband have had, one of them being her husband’s videography business, which they still have today and have grown to do photography too
  • How Meagan saw her husband working full-time with a videography business on the side and decided she could make an income in addition to her full-time job, which is how she got into the social selling world and started earning commission through her social media
  • The unique story of how Meagan’s partners for Jill found her through one of her face shaving videos on YouTube after deciding they wanted to create a sustainable face razor for women
  • When the world was shut down due to the pandemic, that’s when Meagan and her partners were on zoom building the Jill brand – they launched in February 2021
  • Meagan shares that all 3 of them are co-founders of the brand and her gratitude for pivoting in her business that led her to where she is today

Jill’s Benefits + Mission for Sustainability

  • Right now, Jill is an at-home dermaplaning (face shaving) solution for women – they have a starter kit that customers can buy, and they have a subscription for the blades
  • Women have more sensitive skin, which is why they cannot use the same razors or techniques as men – Meagan’s 3 Cs to dermaplaning at home, which means having a clean face, clean hands, and clean blades for shaving
  • Not only does dermaplaning remove the facial hair, but Meagan explains that it also exfoliates the skin, so your makeup goes on much smoother instead of sitting on top of peach fuzz and dead skin cells
  • Meagan shares that the motion of dermaplaning stimulates skin cells, helping to produce more collagen, and also has long-term benefits such as smoothing out fine lines and wrinkles and lightening dark spots
  • One thing I like about Jill is that they offer a smaller razor for your eyebrows
  • The story behind the name Jill, which comes from the nursery rhyme Jack & Jill – Meagan likes to say, move aside Jack; it’s Jill’s turn because Jack got so much attention in face shaving for years
  • How a lot of Jill’s competitors are afterthoughts of big companies that don’t have much of a brand, mission, or education behind the product, which is why it was so important to Meagan and her partners to create a beautiful product, but one that also had the full on brand experience that brought education and their mission
  • Because they wanted their product to be feminine, they picked the color pink for their brand, and when it came to the design, they knew they wanted it to be soft, airy, pretty, and unlike anything else that was on the market
  • Meagan shares that they have been improving their product since launching it and are already working on a rebrand which will make it even better
  • How they wanted their product to be sustainable – Meagan explains that when designing the wand, which holds the blades, they knew they didn’t want to use a lot of plastic, wanted to use recycled plastic, and also knew they wanted the blades to be recyclable as well
  • Meagan shares that they worked with their manufacturer to create a tab that removes the medal from the plastic because the guidelines are set that if there is metal in plastic, it cannot be recycled, which is why our landfills are full of razors

Launch Strategy

  • With their marketing strategy, they had to go the organic route and were built on TikTok Meagan shares – they put all their marketing funds into hiring creators who were good at creating content with their product
  • A month before their launch, they started building out their TikTok and started creating viral content with a waitlist for their product – the waitlist was 5,000 people
  • At the time, they didn’t have the funds to do a paid media strategy as they do now, which ended up helping them because 70% of their sales still come from organic reach
  • How they tapped into the education and science behind their product while tackling the myths behind shaving your face on TikTok
  • Meagan talks about how they found and reached out to creators to help them – she shares they would pay the creators and send them concepts that they ran with
  • In the beginning, Meagan would do a lot of the content creation herself – she still does today and has launched her own TikTok, where she’s been posting 6 times a day
  • Where Meagan came in strong for content creation was the hand content, like shaving fruit, which is one of the reasons they went viral
  • When they first launched, they predicted that 20% of their business would be membership and 80% would be one-time purchasers, but in their launch, they had a 60% subscription rate
  • Within 2 weeks, they sold out of their memberships which was a bummer, Meagan says, because they misprojected, and the memberships were out of stock for 4 months
  • Creating a community through membership has been huge for the Jill brand and is something Meagan wants to focus more on so she can connect with these women and dive more into their mission
  • One thing they’ve learned is that everyone has a different hair growth rate, so they are working towards being able to offer more razors at a time so those who need to shave more often can do so
  • Looking back, Meagan shares that she wishes she would have known more about the fundraising side of business and shares that direct to consumer is not favored in the venture funding space right now
  • Meagan explains why they need to be able to grow in both ways, direct to consumer and retail
  • How Meagan is starting a podcast called, The Skinclusive, where she is going to have guests on, and they will shave together
  • Meagan shares that moving forward she will be focusing on building her TikTok, which she loves
  • Connect with Meagan on Instagram and follow Jill on Instagram


Links mentioned:

Try Jill 

Connect with Meagan on Instagram 

Jill on Instagram

Jill on TikTok

Connect with Meagan on TikTok


Like what you heard?

Click here to subscribe + leave a review on iTunes.

Click here to download my Sales Page Trello Board

Let’s connect on Instagram!