FuzziBunz before Shark Tank
FuzziBunz is a cloth diaper company started by Tereson Dupuy who originally set out to solve the problem of diaper rash for her child. Tereson knew she wanted to be her own boss when she was working at a disorganized company and basically ran her office like a business to get it started. She had a skill in sewing and a background in business from classes she took which helped her get the business rolling.
Tereson originally filed a provisional patent with the intent to keep her idea unique. As her company grew, Tereson took the manufacturing to all over the world such as Mexico, Turkey, and China. Although the quality of her product improved over-time, showing her product to so many people eventually led to others stealing her idea as she was not strong at enforcing her patent. Despite facing these challenges, Tereson was able to take her company to massive sales as her original mindset was to ”out-compete” her other competitors rather than being known as the person who puts other companies out of business.
However, as time went out, Tereson started to fall away from this vision and wanted to take the route of suing some of the infringers as it became hard to continue to grow the company long-term when so many others comprised the market. During this period, Tereson was actually invited to be on Shark Tank by the producers unlike most who actually apply themselves. She saw this as an opportunity to help her company so she accepted the offer and was invited for season four.
FuzziBunz on Shark Tank
Tereson entered the Tank seeking $500,000 for 15% of her company. Tereson began with the problems of disposable diapers such as the amounts used by a baby and long they take to decompose, but how her product Fuzzibunz would solve this as it is reusable. Tereson demonstrated the product as a pocket style diaper that parents would insert a pad into and the additional advantages of it such as being more comfortable before handing them out to the Sharks.
Kevin dipped into the numbers and Tereson mentioned she had been in business for twelve years. She had done $3,900,000 in her previous year and over $24,000,000 in the lifetime of her company which originally amazed the Sharks. However, the astonishment quickly went away when Tereson mentioned she only profited $20,000 because of manufacturing problems. She brought up how this led to others stealing her idea and how competitors today make up 70% of the market. Tereson had a patent, but couldn’t enforce it because of lack of capital which is how the problem got out of hand. She was in the process of suing, but Robert and Mark didn’t feel confident in her collecting. Tereson felt if she could rid all of her competitors who were breaching her patent, she could get 30-40 million in sales!
Kevin had an idea of suing everyone until they agree to a licensing deal. This upset Mark heavily, as he told Kevin that “if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.” Mark wondered why Tereson could out-compete all her competitors by just being better company. Tereson said that is the path she has taken so far, but can’t seem to maintain it with so many competitors. Mark felt that Tereson wasn’t addressing the problem correctly with the vision she currently had and went out.
Barbara saw Tereson as herself early in her businesses when people stole her ideas as well, but how she got through it with persistence. However, Barbara wasn’t confident in Tereson’s judgment and felt she would have to be the entrepreneur in the business. Tereson tried to sell Barbara on the uphill battles she previously faced and how she never quit, but Barbara still couldn’t get over the current challenges and went out. Daymond and Robert saw too many problems in the business as well and Robert mentioned he liked to invest in companies that are in upswing now down, so they both went out. Kevin recapped a majority of the story with Tereson and admired her tenacity by starting the idea originally, but also didn’t want to join Tereson because of the problems she faced and went out. Tereson made some hefty comments on her competitors on the interview out. However, Tereson, unlike many other entrepreneurs, understood why the Sharks didn’t invest and knew they gave her good advice that she could implement for her business.
FuzziBunz after Shark Tank
The Shark Tank effect helped Tereson’s business and brought attention to the diaper cloth industry as a whole. Tereson saw a rise in sales after the show and got contact from many people who were interested in her product. Although Tereson wasn’t considering in going into major retailers right after airing, she still had the vision of growing her company by bringing in new products. This helped her sustain the growth and FuzziBunz eventually got into retailers.
As the company’s life progressed, there have been a lot of swings for FuzziBunz. Originally, a company called CRG Icc became the new owners of FunniBunz and stated they were improvising the design. However, Tereson became the owner again in 2015. There is no clear background about these changes in the company, but it is assured that FuzziBunz maintains at offering a great product.
FuzziBunz pitch is a great example of how much the Sharks value the entrepreneur as much as they do the product, if not more. Most of the Sharks were not concerned with the fact that Tereson had competitors who were breaching her patent, but how she was handling the situation. Tereson definitely portrayed that her goal was to grow the company, but came off to the Sharks as looking for someone to come in and solve the problems which is why they didn’t invest. Tereson, however, still made a great pitch about her product in general and was honest with the problems she faced. This the best thing to do as any problems hidden will eventually came out and will only create more problems as we learn in future pitches and deals that do not close. It is very rare to see Kevin as sincere as he was to Tereson considering how many problems she was facing which definitely portrays she was at least doing something right. Although Tereson has not found direct answers to the problems she faced, she still continues her business by offering a great solution to many concerned parents as FuzziBunz is very active on their social media sites.
Where can I buy the product or service?
You can currently buy Funnibunz (at a great price by the way) by clicking here. There are a ton of different options available so be sure to check them all out!
What are the reviews?
FuzziBunz has positive reviews on their website and receives positive feedback from their followers on Facebook. Other websites have mixed reviews of the products with concerns such as leaks, but it appears FuzziBunz is trying to solve this issue as seen in the posts made on their social media outlets.