Barry Beck is taking his sharp eye for opportunity to a new category.
Beck, a seasoned entrepreneur who cofounded Bluemercury in 1999, has found his footing in his latest venture. Evenly, which launched in 2020, connects patients and dentists to Invisalign specialists for orthodontic treatments
“I saw an opportunity for a better and more luxurious experience with experts, which is what we did with Bluemercury. This is a continuation of my vision,” Beck told WWD. “I also thought there was an opportunity to democratize this service, bringing an outstanding treatment to customers across the nation.”
The opportunity is broad. Beck cited that 237 million people went to their dentists last year, but less than 80 percent of American counties even have an orthodontist. Of those who see them, 70 percent of people benefit from treatment.
Beck, after exiting Bluemercury following its sale to Macy’s Inc. in 2015, started an orthodontic studio in Washington, D.C. “All of my revenue was coming from general dentists who didn’t want to do orthodontics, or didn’t understand it, and were referring all of their patients to me,” he said. “So, I told them I could build a platform where you could treat these patients in their office without referring them out. I signed up 60 dentists in nine months, and the rest is history.”
Evenly now operates in 300 dentists’ offices, and Beck describes his business model as “business-to-business-to-consumer.” At those offices, “We dispatch our expert treatment coordinators, we scan patients, and then we present treatment and payment options. Then, we use our app to track these patients and manage their treatment remotely, every single week.”
The dental community’s response has been positive. “This keeps their revenues in-house, instead of referring it out,” Beck said. “The dentists are highly incentivized to adopt Evenly, and that’s why we’re growing so fast.”
Beck sees orthodontia as a burgeoning category in wellness. As reported, oral care has also gained steam in the beauty industry. “People who can afford it are emphasizing their health and wellness,” he said. “It’s almost a status symbol… I’m super intrigued by this new intersection of beauty, wellness and health. And it’s accelerated post-COVID[-19].”
Beck was recently honored by his alma mater, being named 2023’s Entrepreneur of the Year by Cornell University. The principles he stuck by with Bluemercury still hold up in today’s landscape as he grows Evenly’s business.
“You’re an entrepreneur, you have to jump in and start your business,” he said. “Ironically, Bluemercury was an internet-only company when we launched. We ended up doing a complete about-face and going into the store business,” he said. “You have to start, pivot your way and never stop editing.”
Despite Evenly’s success, he has no plans to exit in the foreseeable future. “I just sold my last company,” he said. “While you’re building your company, you create a builder in yourself. I love to build businesses, solving problems for my customers, and I become so passionate about building the company. The idea of exiting the business isn’t something I’m thinking about today. We’re still in a growth phase. We have 300 locations; I think I can get to 10,000. So I have a lot of work to do and millions of customers to serve.”