Shower, relax… scrub your way to your next big idea.
When it’s time to wash away a tiring day of travel, guests can relax with the sophisticated Exfoliating Body Scrubber with Smart Technology from Daily Concepts.
Mexican-born Emilio Smeke, Daily Concepts brand creator, believes in the cross-cultural connection of water with healing, and puts his beliefs into action through commercial and nonprofit efforts. GuestBox is delighted to have Daily Concepts as a brand partner.
GUESTBOX: What inspired you to create Daily Concepts?
EMILIO: Daily Concepts creates products for individuals who think and sing in the shower. I saw the opportunities for consumers to immerse themselves in their thoughts while taking a shower and really focus on themselves... I believe that people like Albert Einstein were inspired, whether taking a bath or shower, to think, “What is next?” That’s what inspired me to create Daily Concepts.
[Bathing] is usually something we do daily. It doesn’t matter what gender you are, what religion you believe, what culture you’re coming from—we all take baths or showers, and we take that for granted.
In Hinduism, water is sacred. In Christianity, you get baptized with water. In Judaism, you immerse yourself in water once a month. Even if you’re an atheist... science has proved that water has that power to heal. That’s why I believe that [bathing] is a very special moment.
GUESTBOX: What about your packaging? What inspired that specific design? Who came up with it?
EMILIO: It was me... I'm a frustrated artist that ended up being a graphic designer. Unless you’re very wealthy and you have a lot of money and you have a big, beautiful Turkish shower / hammam, usually there’s no space for your sponges or loofahs. Everything is just crammed in... if you have a shampoo or body wash or even a bar of soap. So I needed to come up with packaging that you can bag into your shower wall and store the product there.
GUESTBOX: What makes your products different from other companies’ sponges?
EMILIO: I’m originally from Mexico City, and we shower once or twice a day. Even going back to the Aztecs and Maya, they were using loofahs—we call them cicapes in Mexico.
So let’s start with the fabric. We created a unique fabric and textures for exfoliation and bathing. [This] is a family-owned business... We own 70% of the market share in Mexico, and we are very vertical in production. We manufacture our yarn and sponge, we knit and package the products, and pretty much do everything ourselves.
It sets us apart—the fact that we have unique fabrics and materials that we make ourselves, have functional packaging, and have smart technology—a label that fades when it’s time to replace the loofah.
We have a different brand called T. Taio. T. Taio is slang for “I scrub you.” T. Taio, “I scrub you” is a play on words. It’s interactive and it’s funny. And Mexican culture is very well-known for making fun of everything.
GUESTBOX: Does the culture that you created in Mexico translate to what you do at Daily Concepts in the U.S.?
EMILIO: Yes and no. Of course you have to adapt to the market that you’re going to, and to the culture itself. T. Taio as a brand wouldn’t resonate with the U.S. consumer. [Packaging] has a half-naked woman showering. For Americans, that would be a no-no... we started targeting the Hispanic consumer when I first moved here 12 years ago, and my goal was to just go to the Hispanic world, because it made sense. I had good market share. People recognized the brand; I could just start selling to Hispanics who showered with products like ours. But then the economic crisis happened in 2008, and I realized that I didn’t need to reinvent the wheel, but to try to see what was lacking and where I could [find a niche].
Creating Daily Concepts took me a few years. I [asked], “What is the American consumer looking for? It’s a melting pot, and this mix of cultures needed a product that will be used no matter what culture you’re coming from.” The only thing I needed to do was to try to come up with a brand that could resonate and be different from anybody else’s, that could have a 'why' and a voice. Ultimately I want people to really focus on themselves and connect that moment with Daily Concepts. That’s how I translate [the T. Taio brand] into the U.S. market. Other companies out there sell products from $1 to $5 or $6. I created a luxury line of [products from] $10 to $12 to $18—and this is Daily Concepts.
GUESTBOX: So it’s pretty much a [reinvention] of what products were selling well into the U.S. market?
EMILIO: Or to the world market—Germany, Italy, France, the Netherlands, the UK, et cetera. We sell internationally. The market is bigger in Europe than it is here.
GUESTBOX: Why and how has working with GuestBox been beneficial to Daily Concepts?
EMILIO: GuestBox is a great idea. It’s an amenity box for people who are traveling. I think that more people are shifting towards Airbnb types of experiences, so that’s why I think [GuestBox is] beneficial. The user experience when traveling is important, and if we’re able to capture that for guests, I think it’s a nice way to gain new customers.
A bath accessory plays an important role. [Like] when you’re young and traveling, sometimes you do stupid things and you want to wash them away, and the shower is the perfect companion for that. It’s a moment for yourself that really gives you the opportunity to move forward and feel better.
When I started the Daily Concepts brand, I was looking for the right partners on the nonprofit side. We’re a proud supporter and sponsor of Lava Mae, a nonprofit from the Bay Area. They provide the homeless with dignity by giving them the opportunity to take a shower every day. They’re adding more trucks all across the U.S.—not to help fight homelessness, but to alleviate the problem of not having the opportunity to take a shower. They believe—and I believe—that providing a shower gives you dignity and therefore gives you opportunity. So we give our sponges to Lava Mae for free. We have given away over 70,000 sponges so far—the same product in GuestBox.
GUESTBOX: What advice can you give to entrepreneurs, specifically minorities?
EMILIO: Don’t give up. Sometimes I’ve been this close. Follow your dreams and keep on pushing. Sometimes you need a little luck. But if you really focus on one thing, make sure that you’re doing that thing right. And do it with passion, not just because somebody told you to do it. Do it because it comes from within. Find the 'why', push it, and just keep on going.