Baobab Polo Shirts Before Shark Tank
Polo shirts are the items of clothing that never get enough credit. They are great for business casual and are a great look in the summer. Brandon Davenport and Marcellus Alexander were two New Yorkers who loved polo shirts.
Unfortunately, Brandon and Marcellus were dissatisfied with the options that the market provided. The first problem was that the shirts were fading after a few washes. The polo shirts available would also shrink when washed and if this was not happening, the collars were curling up to form what is known as the bacon collar giving the wearer a scruffy look.
To Brandon and Marcellus, polo shirts were like their uniform so the problems they had with the shirts would follow them every day that they were at the office and they needed a remedy. They started Baobab Polo shirts which were to be the perfect polo shirt.
Baobab polo shirts were made with Peruvian Pima cotton. Through their proprietary Baotech process, Brandon and Marcellus made shirts that were resistant to stains such as coffee, wine, and ketchup. The shirts also had a micro-fiber cloth on the inside that could be used to wipe glasses if you wear them.
Brandon and Marcellus needed more money for their business to grow and they thought that the sharks would be interested in doing business with them. That’s why they went onto the show. They were on the 3rd episode of the 11th season.
Baobab Polo Shirts on Shark Tank
Brandon Davenport and Marcellus Alexander went onto Shark Tank seeking 100,000 for 15% of the business giving it a value of $1,500,000. They gave their pitch showing all the benefits of the Baobab polo shirts. Brandon and Marcellus then gave the sharks some samples to review.
Kevin reviewed his shirt and wanted to know what it was made of. He was told that it was 98% cotton and 2% stretch. Robert then asked them what they charged for the shirts and he was told that it was a treatment process that protected the fabric of the shirts and they cost $98. Kevin then asked what was stopping the ketchup from staining the shirts.
Robert said that his biggest pet peeve with polo shirts was the collars but he liked their collar clip and thought it was a great idea. Marcellus said that they had a provisional patent for it. Lori then asked them to tell her their background. Marcellus said that he worked at a media company and did partnerships. Brian said that he worked at American Express managing their social media app.
Robert then asked them when they started the Baobab Polo Shirt business. Marcellus said that the business was started in 2017 and a crowdfunding campaign was done to start the business. Robert asked them what they raised from the crowdfunding and they said that they raised $32,000. They also presold shares during the crowdfunding.
Daymond said that given their $1,500,000 valuation, they should have sold units worth at least 800,000 in the previous year. Marcellus said that their gross revenue was $85,000. The sharks were disappointed by the amount. Marcellus then said it was because they were not venture capital backed. They then added that they had put some of their own money into the business.
Lori asked them how much of their own money they had put into the business and Marcellus said that it was about $35,000. Kevin then said that they had overvalued themselves and Daymond agreed. Kevin then said he didn’t mind their overvaluation because it was normal in business. Brandon then said that they also had $2,000 worth of inventory.
Marcellus then said that they were digital marketers and so they understood their datasets and where they could go. They would increase their digital ads. Robert said that in the previous year he had invested in a company known as Buttercloth and it had done $3,500,000 in sales. With that experience, he thought that Baobab’s fabric was fascinating.
Robert then asked how they had created a proprietary material with only $32,000. Brandon said that the proprietary material of the shirt was Baotech. Lori asked if anybody could get the material. Marcellus said that they were some technologies that you could use to piece things together. Robert then asked them if they were asking him to invest in the two of them and the brand, not just the brand.
Brandon told him that he was correct. Kevin did not believe in the brand because he thought there were so many generic brands. Marcellus wanted to convince him to invest in the brand but then he had a hard time pronouncing the brand name making Kevin lose even more confidence in the business.
Marcellus then said that they had made $35,000 in sales. Mark Cuban then asked them how they had made those sales. Brandon said that their cost per acquisition was $38 and online sales were their main sales point. Robert then asked them how they were found.
Brandon said that Facebook ads and Instagram ads were their main sources of sales. Some media outlets had also labeled them as one of the best polo shirts to buy that summer. Daymond said that they did have a great shirt but he did not know why they had valued the company at $1,500,000 it seemed too high.
Marcellus said that they were expecting to sell a lot more and wanted to close the year with $400,000 in sales. Robert then left. He said that he was working with Buttercloth and it would be competitive for him to work with Baobab Clothing.
Mark Cuban asked them if they were working full time and they said that they were doing it full time. He then asked them how they were living. Brandon said that they had occasionally paid themselves but it was not much. Brandon also said that the business had consulting opportunities and they would consider taking them.
Mark didn’t understand but Brandon said that digital customer acquisition would be their main area of focus. Mark said that he thought that the product was great but their digital sales would greatly determine its sales. Being a technology expert, Mark Cuban then asked them what they would do online.
Marcell gave him an overview of their long-term strategy but Mark was still not convinced that it would be a success. Kevin then left because he did not see how they would differentiate themselves from the other brands. Daymond followed suit and he said that his reason for leaving was that he just did not think that the business was for him.
Lori then left. She said that she saw herself being an investor but she did not see herself being a customer. Mark Cuban then left because he felt that Marcell and Brandon were just not giving him enough reason to invest in their business.
With no shark left, Brandon and Marcellus left the Shark Tank. Marcellus said that he was fine even though they did not get a deal.
Baobab Polo Shirts Now in 2023 – The After Shark Tank Update
Even though no shark took interest in the business, Baobab is still in business in 2022. Baobab polo shirts now ship worldwide. It has been featured in a variety of magazines including Forbes, Men’s Journal, and Bazaar.
Baobab had been very dedicated to producing its clothing ethically and it will only buy its materials from environmentally friendly manufacturers. Baobab clothing also has an ambassador program. It also now offers custom shirts for those interested.
Baobab has not had very active social media. On Instagram, it has over 21,000 followers. On Facebook, it has over 4,400 followers. By 2020, the company had done $700,000 in sales and it was expected to do $700,000 in sales by 2020. Baobab also had a second crowdfunding that raised $103,459 for it.
A deal from the sharks would have helped but the company has seen nothing but growth since they walked out of the Shark Tank empty-handed.