Highgate Springs, VT - Aeneas Janze and James Haugland have been friends since childhood, growing up on Missisquoi Bay. Now they are both partners in an epic start up business, Epic Wipes.
The two recently were seen on 'Steve Harvey's Funderdome' television show on Sunday, pitching their idea to win a $50,000 jackpot. The episode was filmed last fall, leaving both men sworn to secrecy.
"It's funny. Some people were like, do you know if you win or not right? I was like, no no I really don't know yet," said Aeneas Janze the owner and chief executive officer of Epic Wipes.
If you didn't watch the episode, here comes a spoiler alert. The pair won the $50,000 jackpot!
"After the show last night we have gotten 10 to 12 emails from various distributors," said Janze. He tells us the winnings will go towards to producing greater quantities of the Epic Wipes.
The idea came to Janze while serving overseas in Afghanistan. "When showers go down you have to take wet wipe showers usually. But you are using a baby wipe that is about this big," he said.
Searching high and low, he could not find anything that came close to what he needed. "At that point I was like why isn't any one making something that is just bigger, you know. Something you can grab on to with two hands and get the job done," he said.
That is when longtime friend James Haugland comes in, he is the creative director for Epic Wipes. "Most wet wipe products are sort of chucked full of plastic microfibers and are a real problem for the environment," said Haugland.
With the environment in mind these larger than life wipes are 99.8% water and bamboo, which will biodegrade in 4 weeks.
"It was really a non-negotiable for us to not only be not be part of the problem. But to really be part of the solution," he said.
The towelette is 2.5' by 1.5' feet, and they are already available in some of the box stores in eastern Canada. Along with a variety local family run stores in the United States. But after Sunday nights appearance on national television, sale jumped.
"Last night, sort of shot us into the stratosphere," said Janze.
The two are eager to get in touch with the community and help in anyway they can. You can purchase Epic Wipes for those impacted by Hurricane Harvey and Irma too. Epic Wipes will match the quantity you buy.