Episode 89
January 18, 2022

Shaving the Way

with Leslie Tessler, Founder and CEO of Hanni

About this episode

Joining the show today is Leslie Tessler, Founder and CEO of Hanni, a beauty tools line that believes shaving is the first step to great skin. With their weighted razor and hydrating glycerin packed shave pillow, Hanni’s technology brings the power and freedom to shave anywhere, anytime, no water needed. Leslie shares with us her story from growing up in New Jersey and the UK, to landing a job at Ralph Lauren, and how she was inspired to start Hanni while on a business trip in Japan. She talks with us about why it's important to put yourself in situations that scare you, her experience raising her first seed round, and how she manages moments of self doubt.

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In This Episode You’ll Hear About:

  • What it was like growing up in New Jersey throughout most of her younger life, to moving to the UK in highschool and having a shift of realization
  • How growing up she knew she always wanted to be in a boardroom and rise to the top in a company, but learned in her later life that entrepreneurship was something she could achieve
  • How she showed up to her friend’s interview for Ralph Lauren and ended up landing her dream job
  • How burnout and following her gut led her to move to Argentina, where she eventually fell in love with herself, life, and her husband 
  • How taking an adventure and getting her face shaved while on a trip to Japan gave her the idea for Hanni
  • Her experience raising her first seed round and how just calling everyone she could helped her in fundraising
  • How she manages moments of self doubt, and remembers to just keep going 

To Find Out More:



“I was always figuring out ways to make the things that I wanted happen.”

“A lot of times you have to take a non-traditional path and do what you have to do to get where you want to be.”

“I think one thing I'm good at is understanding what people want and what they need intuitively and making sure that I can give it to them.”

“Put yourself in situations that scare you.”

“I wanted to initially make a single blade razor with one head for body and one head for face. What we found was from a technical design standpoint, it's just too hard to do both on one. So we decided to launch with the body razor.”

“And so the great thing about the razor is you don't press or push into your skin at all. You let the weight glide it across. So it's very gentle and it gives you such a close shave. At the end of the day, what we found is, you don't need three blades, four blades, or five blades and gooey strips, you need one sharp blade.”

“When I came back to the U.S I had no network, I've been out of the game for 10 years.I didn't know anyone. I just started taking phone calls with everyone. Suddenly I was surrounded by all these incredible female VCs and founders.”

“If you have a unique product, don’t limit yourself.”

“When you start to look outside of those traditional sources of funding, you find a lot of really interesting, smart, cool people who might be willing to take a chance on you.”

“They're just people at the end of the day, there are people who are genuinely interested in what you're building, because that could be something that works out really well for them.

“If you're going to shave, shave for you and shave with a really high quality tool that doesn't leave your skin terrible, painful and irritated.”

“When I have those moments of self doubt, I remember my husband always says to me, ‘just put one foot in front of the other and keep going’, because this is the moment where so many entrepreneurs just bow out. If you do that, you'll just be like everyone else who wanted to start a company and never got very far or never ended up launching or whatever the case may be. I always remember that.”

Read the transcript

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