Shed Defender Is The New Fix to Your Dog’s Old Tricks
Dogs are called “man’s best friend” because of their undying loyalty. But the Sharks roaming these waters are loyal to one thing only: a profitable deal.
On Episode 2 of Season 10, Tyson and Miles Walters, brothers from Orange County, CA, learned that very quickly. They came seeking an investment for their product, Shed Defender, and as the Sharks gauged their composure, you could almost hear the message their collective gaze sent out. “Impress me.”
The entrepreneurs heard that loud and clear and their product certainly met the standard. Shed Defender is a onesie made of lightweight, breathable, and eco-friendly fabric. It eliminates the hassle of cleaning up your dog’s shed fur by containing it within the suit. So, that means no more lint rollers, brooms, or vacuums. It’s made for both male or female dogs and its open-bottom design allows them to easily use the bathroom without soiling the suit. This dog owner’s dream product is the absolute best way to press “paws” on your dog's shedding problem!
The Walters’ jovial opening presentation pulled a few chuckles out of the Sharks and making sure not to waste the moment, they carefully made an ask of $250,000 for 10% of their company. Normally, a percentage that low would raise more than a few eyebrows, but the entrepreneurs’ charismatic puns managed to keep the Sharks at bay. Eventually, the tension left the room when Tyson and Miles brought out Harley, the adorable St. Bernard modeling their product. The instant she trotted out in her sleek red onesie, the room filled with laughter and the Sharks fell in love with her. Robert rushed up to pet her, stern expressions became wide grins, and some Sharks couldn’t help but go “aww” at Harley’s fashionable entrance.
Tyson and Miles should be commended for such a clever pitch, as they were able to disarm the Sharks while simultaneously displaying their product’s worth. It was clear, dog lovers would come waving their wallets to pay for such an aesthetic product. Shed Defender wore its value as easily as Harley wore the product. Her tail wagged non-stop, as she just seemed so comfortable in her stylish outfit. Lori aptly compared it to “long johns” but for dogs. Despite all of this, Harley couldn’t distract the Sharks for long. After inspecting the equally adorable dog plushie samples handed to them, Mark started asking about their numbers.
They had been selling Shed Defender for about 18 months and in that short amount of time, they managed to make an astounding $1.2 million in sales! It’s rare for the Sharks to see a product already so well received by the market, and their reactions reflected that. They practically lost their minds. Seemingly in disbelief, “Mr. Wonderful” even asked Tyson and Miles if they were serious about those figures.
They were, and you read that number correctly… $1.2 Million. Miles and Tyson made their sales via purchases through their website and Amazon. They’ve recently begun wholesaling their product as well. Shed Defender came in 9 sizes ranging from “mini” ($39.99) to “giant” ($62.99), and came in several colors. The source of their success was undoubtedly their ideal landing costs. It costs them only $6.23 to make a “mini” suit and $13.20 to make a “giant” suit. By now, the Sharks were salivating, and for good reason. These two were operating slightly over an 80% profit margin!
Lori and Kevin were slack-jawed, Robert did a double take, Barbara attentively took notes, and Mark exclaimed his approval. They were “killing it,” but it didn’t stop there. Tyson continued listing the product’s other perks. Shed Defender was created to tackle bad fur days, but customer feedback revealed that the onesie also naturally lowered anxiety in dogs and kept them calm. It makes sense why Harley looked so happy wearing it! Additionally, Shed Defender could even replace the dreaded medical “cone of shame” that all dogs know and hate. With such a beneficial product on display, the Sharks seemed like they were basically sold.
However, Lori cut the moment short by asking if the product was patented. Tyson’s smile faded as he explained how he had to forego a previous patent application due to a lack of capital. Sadly, this company now ran the risk of a larger competitor knocking them out of business once they started gaining traction. This didn’t bode well with Kevin or Barbara, but Mark reminded them of the incredible benefit of operating at such an outrageous margin. Still, Barbara needed convincing and pressed the brothers further about what their step-by-step plan was to make their revenue goal of $2.5 million in 2019.
Their solution was to move into retail through wholesaling, which wasn’t good enough for Mark. It didn’t change the fact that their many SKUs (Products) made them a risky investment. Because of their healthy margin, Tyson and Miles had better potential in the online space they were already growing in, especially if they made use of Amazon’s SEO ability. If applied correctly, they’d make “more money, selling half as many units, with a third as much cash.” But since he wasn’t invested in the pet industry, Mark didn’t think he could offer them any real accelerant for their business, so he backed out.
Barbara thought the business was great but couldn’t relate to it, so she backed out as well. She expanded on Mark’s idea by cautioning the entrepreneurs not to make the number one mistake young businesses can make: having too many products (SKUs) too soon. She also recommended that they focus on developing what was already working instead of jumping into the “Neverland” world of retail. Good advice, especially considering their lack of a patent.
With three Sharks remaining, Kevin decided to bite first. He loved Shed Defender and offered to provide $250K for 33% equity. This cringe-worthy deal had both brothers glancing to the side, but they still thanked Kevin for the offer. Seeing the uneasy expressions of two potential victims, Robert repeated the sentiment, saying that he too thought their product was great and matched Kevin’s offer, his differentiator being that he was the better Shark to partner with. The room’s water level had risen and Tyson and Miles soon found themselves being circled by two equally predatory deals.
The choice was theirs to make, but before they were neck-deep and out of time to choose, Lori tossed them a life-line. She tempted them with a better deal of $250K for 28%, disagreeing with the earlier opinions about Shed Defender staying out of retail. If Tyson and Miles had a retail giant like QVC backing them, their demonstrably valuable product would easily build a TV presence strong enough to scare away any competition, even without a patent. Much to their annoyance, Lori’s shrewd tactic of letting the other Sharks fight it out first worked perfectly. Tyson turned his attention right to her and made a reasonable counteroffer of $250K for 25%. With an intrigued smile, Lori tried catching Tyson off guard by asking him to identify three traits that made him a fantastic business partner. Not missing a beat, he highlighted his non-stop work ethic, his unyielding determination, and his sense of humor, which the other Sharks confirmed as a major perk. Seemingly satisfied, Lori then asked Miles if he understood the word “no,” to which he confidently replied: “it doesn’t exist.”
The counteroffer to Lori was still a win-win, so she threw her hand up and accepted their deal. Tyson and Miles held their ground, negotiated well, and ultimately came out on top. With Lori’s QVC advantage in their pocket, there’s no doubt that Shed Defender will soon be worn by dogs everywhere!