Fur Before Shark Tank
Lillian Tung was a makeup developer who had spent several years working for L’Oreal. Laura Schubert worked as a management consultant for several years but her interests were elsewhere because she noted that there was a problem in society. People would never talk about pubic hair.
Pubic hair was a taboo topic and because of its status, people would never take the best care that they could of their hair down there. Lara Schubert wanted to change this. She partnered with Lillian Tung to start Fur which was a company that sold products that cared for pubic hair, hair on the head, and hair on the rest of the body. Other products that Fur sells include stubble cream, Ingrown hair serum, and body scrub.
Fur is not just about the bottom line. The founders are determined to make people feel comfortable with their body hair expressions and to promote body positivity and acceptance. They had put all of their savings into the business.
Fur had been to a great start since 2014 and had made respectable profits. However, they had become victims of their own success selling out once they got a celebrity endorsement. They needed more funds to increase inventory and thus increase sales.
This is why the founding pair appeared on Shark Tank with their business Fur. They were on the 13th episode of the 11th season. Tennis champion Maria Sharapova was on this episode as a guest shark.
Fur on Shark Tank
Laura Schubert and Lillian Tung went to the show seeking 500,000 for 2.5% of their company giving it a valuation of 20,000,000. They gave their presentation showing the sharks how Fur Oil was beneficial and brought some sheep with them to aid with their demonstration. They then gave the sharks some bottles of the oil for them to review. They also told the sharks of their corporate missions to break down the taboo of talking about pubic hair.
Laura said that their major breakthrough was in 2017 when a major celebrity endorsed their product organically. Their stock for one year was sold out in a 3-week period. Maria Sharapova asked who the celebrity was and she was told that it was Emma Watson. They then explained to the sharks the different products that they had been given.
Mark and Kevin had been given stubble cream. The founders said that it was very popular amongst men, especially as an aftershave. Maria and Daymond were given the ingrown concentration which was an ingrown hair serum. Lori was then given the silk scrub.
Kevin said that they needed a hook to get into the market and he accepted the pubic hair as their hook. However, he thought that they had given themselves an extremely high valuation and he thought that they should tell him some of the performance figures to justify their valuation. Daymond then asked them to first tell him why someone needed to oil their pubic hair so much that they would have a specific product for them.
Laura said that people have suffered from razor burns and ingrown hair. If people treated their pubic hair and body hair like their facial hair they don’t get any ingrown hair or burns because of the amount of care people give their facial hair. Lori asked if she would still get complications if she waxed.
Laura said that even when they waxed they would not get any complications. She then added that salons were some of their best customers. Maria Sharapova then asked her why somebody else hadn’t done what she had done. Laura said that it was because it was a taboo category, especially in the high-end category. Mark Cuban agreed and said that the higher-end barber shop products did not pay much attention to pubic hair.
Maria then asked Laura and Lillian to tell them a little bit about their background. Lillian said that she had worked for L’Oreal and she was a make-up developer and she had also worked in the beauty industry. Laura had worked for 10 years in Corporate America. Her most recent job was being a management consultant.
Laura then added that she had worked for Fur since 2017. Laura had wanted the solution for herself. However, she knew that once it was developed, other men and women would also want it. She knew that many people would want the hair and skin care solutions that she would provide. Her research created an entirely new product of body care products
Kevin said that they had started to sound more credible as the discussion went on. Mark Cuban then asked them the amount of money that they had invested in the company. Laura said that she had put $500,000 into the business. Lillian said that it was their life savings. They didn’t have any other investors or debt.
Kevin asked the Fur founders what their revenue for that year was and he was told that they were expected to realize $5,000,000 in sales that year. Lori asked if most of their sales were from the oil or all the products in general. Laura said that all the products in general.
Lillian and Laura were then asked to give their profit margins. Laura said that the Fur oil was sold for $46 and it cost $5.34 to make. Kevin said that he liked their profit margins. Daymond asked for the cost of manufacture and sales price of the other products. He was told that the average sales price of a product was $37 and it cost $7.63 to make.
Kevin then asked them what their sales to that date were. Laura said that they had realized $3,500,000 to that date. Kevin then said that he liked the state of the business but he thought that it was overvalued. Laura said that companies in the beauty industry could be sold for 4 to 6 times their revenue. Mark Cuban then left. He thought that the business would be a big success but he didn’t think that he was a fit for it.
Daymond asked them if they considered licensing the product as a business strategy. Laura and Lillian said that they wouldn’t. Daymond then offered them $500,000 for 15% of the company. Kevin then offered them the $500,000 that they had come seeking for a $1 royalty per unit sold and he also wanted a 2.5% royalty.
Lori reminded them that they had said that they had a mission and she wanted to know what that mission was. They said that they wanted to promote body positivity. Lori then offered them $500,000 for 12% of their company. She would also give $500,000 to give to a charity of their choice.
Maria Sharapova said that she liked the space and had invested in a sunscreen business, Supergroup, before. She knew a lot about the business but she thought 2.5% was too little for her so she left. Laura then asked the 3 sharks still in if any one of them would accept $500,000 for 5%.
All 3 sharks declined the offer. However, Daymond said that he would accept $500,000 for 10% of the business. However, after having some time to consider he withdrew his offer because he didn’t think they understood the value that he brought.
Lori then offered $500,000 for 5% while also giving $50,000 to a charity of their choice. Laura and Lillian accepted the offer. Their parting statement was that Lori’s investment and assistance would really bolster what they believe in.
Fur Now in 2023 – The After Shark Tank Update
The deal between, Lori, Laura, and Lillian did not close for undisclosed reasons. However, the business has continued for them as usual. They have increased their range of products in that time and are now also available in other stores such as Amazon. Its signature product, Fur Oil, is stocked on Amazon where it has over 3800 reviews and has been rated 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Fur’s commercial success can be seen by its large social media following. On Facebook, Fur has over 9,800 followers. On Instagram, Fur has almost 100,000 followers. Its Tik Tok account also has over 52,000 followers.
An appearance on Shark Tank by itself has been shown to boost a company’s profile significantly and just the pitch would have made them beneficiaries of the Shark Tank effect. Beyond the show, Fur has been featured in several magazines including Coveteur. Fur also decided to focus more on the interest it was generating in Pubic hair which was a market skew that had very little attention, especially in the high-end market.
In 2021, Fur was expected to make $10,000,000 in sales. The brand has gone from being a small upstart to a stable medium-scale company. A withdrawal from the bargaining tables is not always the end of the line for a business.