Founders: Amy and Michael Perry
Season: Appeared on season 9 in the week 6 episode
SnoofyBee is a clean-hands changing pad that makes changing diapers less stressful. Its three-in-one design features a changing pad, play mat and clutch. The diaper changing pad is available in a variety of patterns, including pink dots, mint arrow and blue stripes.
According to their website, the Perry family was inspired to create SnoofyBee after “bulky pillows and stationary changing tables just didn’t work out.” The portable changing pad features a barrier that redirects children’s attention away from “the diaper mess.” The changing pads cost $29.99. Baggy dispensers are also available.
When the Perrys originally appeared on “Shark Tank,” they came in asking for $85,000 for 10 percent equity. The sharks thought the idea was clever, but Mark Cuban predicted that there would be too many challenges. Kevin O’Leary viewed it only as a product and not a business, but offered $85,000 for 20 percent, contingent on the product getting a patent and accepting a licensing deal. Robert Herjavec then jumped in with an offer of $125,000 for 15 percent. Lori Greiner thought it was a unique product and offered $100,000 for 20 percent. Ultimately, the duo countered Greiner at $120,000 for 20 percent, which she accepted.
Michael Perry spoke with Business 2 Community about SnoofyBee’s experience on the show and what their next steps are. Take a look at the Q&A below:
Q&A with SnoofyBee’s Co-Founder Michael Perry
What was your strategy for navigating “Shark Tank”?
We went in sincerely hoping for a deal with the sharks and our strategy was to be as opened and honest about our company and where we were at as possible and to have fun with our product and brand. We wanted to ask for a reasonable valuation that we were sure the sharks would see as fair but we didn’t want to give up more than 20 percent of the company.
How has SnoofyBee changed since the episode was first recorded? Since it aired?
The biggest change has been the volume of orders we have received. We are consistently receiving four times as many orders or more every day than we were getting before “Shark Tank.” It created a lot of great momentum that we have been able to capture. We are also now shifting our focus towards preparing for retail where before we have focused mainly on online sales.
Is there anything you would have changed about your time spent in the tank, including your pitch and valuation?
We feel great about the valuation we asked for and about how things went in the tank but if we could do it over again, we probably would have tried to get the sharks to fight a little more back and forth in the tank as much as possible. It’s always fun to see that happen on air.
Who’s your favorite shark?
We like different things about each of the sharks but Lori Greiner has always been our favorite. She has a lot of experience with inventing new products and bringing them to market and she always seems to give great advice on the show. When we were first considering starting our company, we watched a lot of “Shark Tank” and we read her book “Invent it, Sell it, Bank it!” which was really helpful for us being new to business.
It was an honor to be in the same room as each of them. They are all incredible people with valuable insight. It was sad to have to leave the tank when it was over because once we got over the initial jitters of being on stage in a setting like that, it was just really enjoyable to be around these amazing people.
Do you think “Shark Tank” was the right move for your business?
Absolutely it was. It was a lot of work and it was stressful for us to prepare to go on the show but the exposure it created alone was well worth the effort.
What are SnoofyBee’s next steps?
Our next step is to get international distribution and to get onto shelves across the U.S. We are also introducing new products, including a new version of the changing pad along with other helpful products for busy parents on the go.
Where do you see this industry in 5-10 years?
I see the world moving more and more towards online buying but that retail will still be a significant part of how people shop. I think the industry will continue to be hungry for innovation.
What would you say to people who want to start their own business?
I would say just start today. You don’t have to quit your job at first and you don’t need a bucket of cash. With the internet, you can learn a lot more than you might think and with crowdfunding, you can get the cash you need to launch a good idea. Also, look for someone with experience that you can talk to and gain knowledge from. It will help you avoid a lot of mistakes.
What advice would you give to entrepreneurs who want to make it on “Shark Tank”?
I would say, be sure to make it fun and give it all you have. It is well worth the effort.
Anything else you’d like to add?
I would just paraphrase something I heard once from Scott Adams, the author of the world-famous comic Dilbert: “Unless you are already living your dream life, don’t just stick to your day job.”
Responses have been lightly edited for clarity and length
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