Sunday, August 14, 2022

Squeeky Knees 2018 Update – See What Happened After Shark Tank

Squeeky Knees before Shark Tank

Lisa drawing the idea
Lisa drawing the idea

Squeeky Knees is a children’s clothing padded leggings with a squeak sound built into the pads. It was started by Lisa and Ivan who were too busy to keep track of their active, new born child. Lisa saw that her son was getting bruises and scrapes from crawling around the home when she wasn’t looking and decided to create a clothing pad that would not only keep her son safe, but allow her to hear where he was.

After coming up with the idea, Lisa and Ivan spent the first year of the business trying to patent their product as they wanted no one to steal the idea.  However, Lisa and Ivan did not take the effort to get sales or distribution as they only had a website that they hardly advertised. Feeling they had a good idea and wanting to grow a business, Ivan and Lisa applied to be on Shark Tank and were invited for Season Five.

Squeeky Knees on Shark Tank

Lisa and Ivan entered the tank seeking $80,000 for 20% of their company. Lisa pointed out how every parent’s top priority is safety and how their product Squeeky Knees helps ensure this as parents can always hear where their children are. This is because their clothing have knee pads with a built in squeaker device. Lisa and Ivan then showed the Sharks a video of the product in action as children were wearing the product and crawling around the house.  Robert brought up the obvious concern about how the sound would get annoying after a while. Ivan defended the product as he felt it was “endearing” to hear his children crawling around. Lori was interested in the numbers and Ivan mentioned they sold 500 units for gross sales of $10,000. Lisa and Ivan than stated they were in business for three years which upset all the Sharks at $10,000 in three years is basically nothing. However, Lisa mentioned their first goal was to get intellectual property rather than sales.

Lisa and Ivan's reaction to criticism
Lisa and Ivan’s reaction to criticism

Daymond was wondering why they didn’t have more sales and how the business would grow. Lisa tried to say it is because she is a single mom and because they did not know how to market it. Kevin questioned if the no sales was an indicator of there being no market for the product as he believed the idea “sucks.” Ivan and Lisa tried to defend their idea, but kept giving excuses rather than justifiable reasons which upset the Sharks even more.  Lori felt that if a product is successful, people would line up to buy it, but because she didn’t see that happening with Squeeky Knees, she went out.  Mark stated that he liked the idea, but that Lisa and Ivan couldn’t turn it into a company as they could not dedicate their full-time to it as they have to work and watch the kids. Ivan disagreed with what he felt Mark was saying, and tried to defend Lisa by stating “stays at home moms don’t get enough respect.” Mark, however, politely responded with his common advice of how there is always someone out there who is devoting their full time to a similar business and will succeed more because of this. Because Lisa and Ivan couldn’t devote their full-time attention, Mark went out.

Mark trying to give suggestions
Mark trying to give suggestions

Robert wasn’t concerned that Lisa was doing the business part-time. However, he felt they were too soon in their business and went out. Kevin went back to his original statement of how he feels the market is telling Lisa and Ivan that they hate the product and that they would be killing money if they keep investing in the idea. Because of that, Kevin went out. Daymond was left and was disappointed with how Lisa and Ivan handled all the criticism they got. He was on the fence about whether to invest, but felt Ivan and Lisa were not open to advice and that if he invested, they would spend more time arguing that actually working. Because of Daymond didn’t believe in Lisa and Ivan, he also went out.


Squeeky Knees after Shark Tank

Out of stock product
Out of stock product

Squeeky Knees never really took off after Shark Tank. The Shark Tank effect likely helped Lisa and Ivan boost their sales right after their show aired. Since then, however, it appears they have not taken the effort to market and grow the company as their Facebook page has not been updated in over a year despite getting interest from consumers after their episode re-runs. Lisa and Ivan still have a website that sells their product. However, most the products are out-of-stock. This is likely because they have not taken the time to create more product as there is not a big enough market as Kevin mentioned. As Mark mentioned, growing a business requires ones full-time attention in order to be successful and it appears that Lisa and Ivan did not feel that going full-time into Squeeky Knees would be the right choice for them and their family.

Ivan and Lisa made many errors both before and on Shark Tank. Like many, Lisa and Ivan felt patenting their product was the number one thing to focus on, but almost all the Sharks agree that sales is what one should go for first as getting sales proves that there is an actual market for the product. This would have been very helpful for Lisa and Ivan because there does not appear to be a big enough market for Squeeky Knees.  Also, as Daymond mentioned, they did not do a good job at defending their business while accepting criticism. They were using excuses such as being parents and not having a marketing background as to why the product had not taken off when in reality these aren’t things that an investor or raising capital can fix. Rather, these can only be fixed if the entrepreneur is willing to put in the effort. Many entrepreneurs like Lisa and Ivan come into the Tank without devoting their full attention to the business because they are actually unsure if their product or idea will take off. However, if an entrepreneur does not fully believe in their product, it is very unlikely that the Sharks will.

Majid Khan
Majid is an Accounting Major at California State University, Northridge. Along with writing, Majid loves to spend time with his family, watch 90s shows, and help his campus and fellow students.


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