Timmy Yanchun and Dan Broadley opened Svelte Barbershop in Manhattan Beach nearly five years ago to create what they call a one-stop shop for guys.
While they sell their own shave and grooming products, they recently took things a step further by developing the first wireless hot lather dispenser for home use titled LTHR. It's currently available for pre-sale.
“I was shaving with the machine that we use in the barbershop at home, but it's massive, it's hideous, it takes forever to heat up,” said Broadley. “So I started thinking, all these people having shaving irritation issues and nobody is shaving the way they should be."
One of the crucial elements shavers are missing, said Broadley, is heat.
“Dan had a light bulb moment when Venice came about where we realized that every guy who sat in that chair was oohing and aahing like they were getting a massage when we put the hot shaving cream on the back of their neck or on their sideburns,” Yanchun added.
Svelte's Venice location was the third in Southern California following Hollywood and Manhattan Beach, where Broadley said they perform the most shaves. During the two years it took to develop LTHR, their Manhattan Beach clientele were their guinea pigs.
“The guys are into the old school stuff,” said Broadley of the Manhattan Beach customers. “We started bringing prototypes to the Manhattan Beach location.”
Yanchun said one thing they found out was they had to make LTHR consumer friendly. They did a patent search and found only one consumer device.
The pair worked two years with a United Kingdom engineering firm to develop the machine, which is travel friendly and water resistant. They also worked with chemists to develop a dermatologist approved hot lather that “opens up your pores and softens the hair on your face, making it easier to shave and reducing irritation,” according to its website, lthrshaving.com.
“The best we can describe it," said Yanchun, "it's basically a Keurig of hot lather shaving.”
Yanchun, who began cutting hair at 12 and opened his own shop at 19 years old, opened the first Svelte in the Hollywood Hills with his brother Nicky after Timmy's stint at SLS Hotel's Ciel Spa in Beverly Hills.
The brothers had moved to California in 2010. Timmy built a following quickly at the SLS Hotel. When he branched out and opened Svelte in Hollywood, his brother returned from Boston and helped out in the opening.
Broadley, Timmy's childhood friend from Boston, joined the team as the company's chief operating officer.
LTHR is currently available for pre-sale for $149.95, or at 25% off the retail price. The device will be shipped in the spring, according to Broadley. Once customers purchase LTHR, they can subscribe to a delivery schedule and choose from three scented pods of hot lather.
They will also be selling LTHR at their three locations.
“The average guy deserves this," Broadley said. "Start your day off with basically a little spa treatment.”