In Founder Focus we introduce entrepreneurs and innovators working on our next generation of new business startups, social enterprises and small businesses.

At a glance

Founders: Mo Eltayeb, Chris Teneza, Pradeep Chhetri

Business: Cutly

Founded: May 2020

HQ: Manawatu

Can you tell us a bit about your business?

We are here to revolutionise the multi-billion dollar shaving industry that has remained untouched for close to 7 decades.

We found an intersection between grooming and skincare with our IP protected and 100% natural formulation.

Shaving equals irritation, or at least that’s what we have collectively decided to accept.

From our own experience and the experience of our early testers, now customers, these are the most common problems that plague the shaving industry:

  • Rashes
  • Dry skin
  • Ingrown hairs
  • Nasty chemicals
  • Market monopoly
  • False requirements of multiple products

The brands you see behind in this day and age are widely recognised. Aside from being in that status, they have one more thing in common. They all require consumers to use multiple products to achieve that much elusive irritation free shave.

Preshave, shave cream, after shave and moisturiser in one bottle. That is our solution.

Presenting the best thing that has happened to shaving so far, Cutly. We have scented options and unscented options all of which are suitable for any skin type including sensitive skin, underlying skin conditions and ageing skin concerns.

So why use Cutly?

  • We are made of 100% natural ingredients
  • Cutly replaces the whole routine
  • Our products suit every skin type
  • We focus on protecting and enriching your skin
  • Cutly is scented with essential oils to promote skin health
  • And the best part is, it’s made right here in Aotearoa

What’s the backstory for your business idea?

After countless products, from countless brands, failing to deliver on their convenient shaving promises, we decided to take matters into our own hands and vowed to fix it using our trusty mixing bowl.

Out came the mixing bowl and we headed to all the organic stores in search of our ingredients.

After the 90th mix (to be honest, we stopped counting after the 88th mix), we finally achieved a blend that wouldn’t melt in hot weather and didn’t freeze into a popsicle during winter.

The first 30 batches were made during the winter in a garage.

As the weather was cold our ingredients would end up solidifying even before the mixing process. The same blend would then turn into oil at room temperature. Another 60 blends passed by and we finally found a natural ingredient that would help us maintain the consistency of the texture.

What programmes, learning or mentoring have been of assistance so far?

  • We have worked with many people across CEDA, Callaghan Innovations and The Factory.
  • We’ve also had advice and direction from business coaches (Jeff Cruickshank).
  • We have many books that we think will help founders with their journey but our top three would be – The Lean Startup (Eric Ries), Growth IQ (Tiffani Bova), Outwitting the devil (Napoleon Hill).


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