Michelle Barsosky is pitching her Twin Z nursing pillow to the Shark Tank. Most moms know of nursing pillows – those great C-shaped pillows that are supportive for nursing, and also great to support baby in a reclining position. Now, there’s one that works for two babies at once – perfect for moms of twins.
They say there are 135,000 twins born per year in the U.S., and there is a ready market for twin-related products.
She’d like the sharks to invest in TwinZ Pillow because she is ready for some guidance, and some financial help, to get her business going.
She’s asking for a $75,000 investment, and offering a 10% stake in the company.
The husband and wife team say they’re on track to do $510,000 in sales this year, for the pillows that sell for $99.99 and cost $29 to make. They expect to do $1.2-1.5 million in sales next year.
Mark Cuban congratulated the couple on their success so far, but explained that the product wasn’t a good fit for him, so he was out.
Robert Herjavec wondered what the team would do with the money if he invested. Jason explained that they’d been approached by a big-box retailer, but they weren’t sure about the move. Herjavec argued against it, while Barbara jumped in to disagree. The sharks argued briefly over strategy, before Kevin O’Leary broke in.
Kevin said he’d make an offer, but wasn’t excited by a 10% stake. Instead, he’d ask for a $10 royalty until he was paid back $225,000 for his $75,000 investment, plus 2.5% equity.
Barbara leapt in to warn that this was a bad deal — seeming to echo Jason’s own thoughts, as he grimaced in the tank.
Robert Herjavec had a royalty offer to make, too. Like Kevin, he’d invest $75,000 and take a $10 royalty on each sale — but only until he’d been paid back $150,000, after which he’d keep the same 2.5% equity Kevin posited. “It’s similar to Kevin’s, but obviously much better.”
Lori Greiner was next up. Telling the couple to toss both Kevin’s and Robert’s deals in their mental shredders, she made her own offer. She, too, offered a royalty deal, but at only $5 per unit for her $75k investment. After being paid back $150,000, she’d take a 5% equity.
Barbara had an offer too. Hers would be straight equity, but for her $75,000, she wanted 20% of the business.
Barbara and Kevin argued briefly over whose offer was better, then Kevin invited the couple to take “two sharks instead of one noisy one,” if Kevin would join him. The sharks briefly sniped at one another again, before Robert agreed to a deal with Kevin: the pair would offer $150k, for a royalty of $10 per pillow, until they tripled their money, at which point it would convert to a 2.5% equity.
Barbara argued that her deal was still best, because of the long-term involvement, leading Lori to argue that her deal offered the same benefit. Mark jumped back in to tell the team what a bad idea royalty agreements are.
Now Lori decided to change her offer. She offered to team up with Barbara, investing $75k for 20%, but Barbara wasn’t interested in a team deal.
Lori offered, instead, to exactly match Barbara’s offer.
Jason and Michelle counteroffered: would Barb and Lori go in together for a 15% stake?
“Something about 7.5% just doesn’t get me going in the morning,” Barbara responded, and Lori agreed.
The couple asked if either shark would go $75k for 15% alone, in that case.
Lori was ready to talk teams again: “What about both of us for 20%?”
As the couple whispered a conference, Barbara answered, “Yeah, I’ll do it for 15%.”
Kevin had another offer. Suppose he and Robert only asked for royalties enough to double their money, and 2.5% equity, and the couple would still get two sharks? Robert further modified by offering to cut the royalties to $7.50 per pillow until the money was doubled, rather than $10 per.
“Guys, you’ve got to make a decision,” Herjavec nudged.
“Alright, Lori, you’ve got a deal,” Michelle said, explaining to the cameras afterward, “We went with Lori because she has so much passion.”
Final Deal: Lori Greiner invested $75,000 in TwinZ Pillow for a 20% stake.
Photo: TwinZ Pillow