Monkey Mat Before Shark Tank
The Monkey Mat is the creation of two long-time friends turned entrepreneurs, Courtney Turich and Christie Barany. The Monkey Mat is a five-foot square mat that folds up so you can bring it wherever you go ensuring you always have a clean surface on which to place children or a clean surface for children to play on. The pair started brainstorming ideas to create such a product after Christie endured a six-hour layover in an airport with her young children. The duo thought up the idea of creating a small, potable floor mat and so the Monkey Mat was created.
The Monkey Mat folds up neatly so it can be brought wherever you go. It comes in four colors and is also machine washable, another bonus and factor that will make this product even more appealing for parents. Courtney and Christie started off by selling the Monkey Mat on Amazon. The Monkey Mat experienced initial success on the online store however Courtney and Christie knew they need some additional help to get the product into large retail stores. They decided to turn to the Shark Tank in the hope that the sharks would like the product. Not only did the women need some extra revenue to expand the product, they were looking for some business expertise and key relationships with retail distributors, all of which the sharks could provide. But will the sharks bite and do a deal on the Monkey Mat?
Monkey Mat On Shark Tank
Courtney and Christie enter the shark tank introducing themselves as the ‘Monkey Mat Mommas’ and tell the sharks that they are seeking an investment of $100,000 in return for a thirty per cent equity share in their company. Courtney and Christie then go on to explain that the Monkey Mat is the only clean surface you can have anywhere you go making it an essential product for families who live life on the go. Christie goes on to tell the sharks about her own experience where she watched her daughters play and crawl all over the dirty floors and surfaces in the airport during an unexpected prolonged wait. When no product existed to solve the ladies’ problem, they decided to take matters into their own hands and create the product themselves. The Monkey Mat is made from a material that ensures any grass, dirt, water, etc will wipe straight off. Further to that there’s weights at each corner to ensure it stays down firmly on whatever surface you might place the Monkey Mat on. In the center of the mat there are loops for keys or toys to attach onto.
Lori asks if the sharks can take a closer look at the Monkey Mat. Robert is already impressed with how easily Courtney folded the product back up as she is talking to the sharks. Lori asks if the women are related and how exactly the partnership came about. Courtney explains that the duo are dear friends who have known each other for eleven years. Robert is keen to talk numbers and asks about current sales. Christie explains that they have achieved $60,000 in sales during their first year of business from sales online and from a retailer that stocks the product. Robert asks about the cost of the product to which the ladies reply it retails at $39.99. The Monkey Mat is made in China and costs $13.14 to make and ship. All of the sharks are shocked at how high the cost of manufacture is. Christie explains that the material is treated specially to be both water repellent and soft. As well as that the weights present on each corner of the mat are stainless steel discs which further elevates the cost of manufacture.
Kevin is struggling with the fact that people are paying for ‘a piece of nylon’ on the floor. Christie explains that this product is special in that it is portable and people buy for convenience as well as for the good quality product they are receiving. Mark Cuban can see the good qualities of the product and claims his wife would have no qualms paying for a product so portable and convenient. Mark also goes on to say that he loves the product but hates the price. Kevin interjects saying he thinks the price should be $9.99. Mark goes on to say that people will buy the product but with such a high retail price, it will never be a mass product.
Robert is disappointed that the ladies cannot lower the price for the product to become a mass market product and due to that, he declares himself out.
Lori maintains that with the right strategic partner the ladies could lower the price to make this product a mass market product.
Kevin maintains that he does not get the product. He is not sure if the duo will succeed in getting the price of the product down but he claims it will be without his help. He declares himself out.
Barbara thinks the product is too small, the colors are ‘not-hip’ and it is far too expensive. Barbara claims this product should be a ten-dollar product, and says she is out.
Lori asks Christie if she could take the Monkey Mat that is on the floor and fold it back into the pouch. Christie obliges and Mark too folds up the Monkey Mat that he is holding to show Lori just how easy it is. Lori asks Mark if he would be willing to join with her to make the ladies an offer. Lori makes the offer for herself and Mark. They would give the ladies the $100,000 in return for a thirty-five per cent equity share in the company. Lori says that with both their contacts and help, they can get the price of the manufacturing down as well as getting thee product out there on the market. Mark and Lori put the pressure on for the ladies to decide and after a brief moment of consideration, they agree to do the deal. Christie and Courtney leave the shark tank clearly ecstatic to get the deal. Back inside the shark tank that the product is not a magic carpet but a ‘ride to hell’. Mark and Lori seem satisfied that another successful deal has been done in the shark tank.
Monkey Mat Now in 2018- The After Shark Tank Update
The deal with Lori and Mark was finalized and with their help, they were able to grow the business. They also seem to have taken Barbara’s comments to heart as they eventually released the mat in a variety of colors and patterns. They also slashed the price down from $39.99 to $19.99. Babys-R-Us and Kids-R-Us also expressed interest in their products.
A year after their Shark Tank appearance, they launched a Kickstarter campaign for a new Quilted Monkey Mat, which they advertised as a “cushy, portable mat for indoor and outdoor use.” With the help of 615 backers, they successfully raised $29,786—nearly triple that of their original goal—which helped bring the project to life. And By December 2016, they had begun shipping out the mats to their backers.
With time, however, it became obvious that there were quality issues with the quilted mat. For one thing, many users had written on their Kickstarter page that the zipper and buckle strap on their mat had become loose after the stitching came undone. Some people also commented on the size of the mat- that it’s “tiny” and impossible to fit several people on it.
Then in 2017, they introduced a “plush” mat as well as the “Fureez Line”, which consists of pet blankets, slings, and bowls. As far as we can tell, however, they never really picked up. Still, they seemed to stay afloat with the original Monkey Mat.
Fast forward to 2023 and their products are no longer available. Not only is their website down but their social media pages have also been abandoned (they were last updated in 2019). Interestingly enough, the page for their Amazon store is still up. While there are various products listed on the page, however, none are actually available for sale, which further confirms our suspicion that the business is gone for good. If anything, it’s a shame as the mats seemed to be popular among customers.
What are Courtney and Christie up to nowadays? According to LinkedIn, the former had left Monkey Mat back in August 2017. Currently, she is the VP of North American Sales at Cooler Heads Care and a partner at TG3 Consulting. Prior to that, she was the Regional Capital Sales Manager at Olympus Veran Technologies.
As for Christie, we’re not too sure. Her LinkedIn profile still has her listed as the president of Monkey Mat, though it’s obvious that the business has folded.
One thing’s for sure, though- we probably won’t be seeing the pair of friends again on the show anytime soon. For one thing, Courtney had checked out of the business back in 2017.