Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Muff Waders 2024 Update – What Happened After Shark Tank

Muff Waders Before Shark Tank

Muff Waders were created by Taylor Nees aka “Earl” and his friend Garry Lamp aka “Buddy” in 2018. A pair of overalls designed for drinking men, they feature a bottle opener on the chest, a magnetic koozie, hidden pockets, wallet pockets, as well as a 6-pack insulated cooler, which is capable of holding bottles and 12-ounce cans.

Earl had come up with the idea back in 2017 after waking up to a drawing that he had drawn at a bar the night before. He initially showed his friends the picture as a joke but eventually realized its potential as a product. He subsequently recruited Garry to help him make videos for the company.

After several months of research, they created their first prototype. To their dismay, however, none of the designers or clothing manufacturers that they approached took them seriously. In the end, it took six months of emailing and calling more than 100 companies before they found someone to make their product.

But they soon ran into another issue- the company that agreed to work with them wasn’t experienced with overalls. As a result, they had to make nine different prototypes before getting one they agreed on. To make matters worse, they also had to pay for designer fees, trademark fees, and patent fees.

In need of funding, they launched a Kickstarter campaign in February 2019. However, it was ultimately unsuccessful as they only managed to raise $10,000 out of their $135,000 goal.

Still, they persevered. Putting their own money into the business, they eventually launched the business.

A year later, they decided to try their luck again with another fundraising campaign- and it was a success. With the help of 82 backers, they raised more than $10,600, which helped bring the project to life. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, however, production was delayed. As a result, the first shipments weren’t sent out to the customers until the spring of 2021.

Muff Waders on Shark Tank

Earl and Buddy walk into the tank; the former is in a pair of overalls while the latter is in a suit. They greet the sharks and tell them they’re from Holstein, Iowa, and that they’re seeking $25,000 in exchange for a 25 percent stake in their company, Muff Waders.

muff wader
The friends smile and greet the sharks upon entering the tank

Diving straight into their pitch, they tell the sharks that they “know how to work hard and have a good time.” As if on cue, Earl takes a can of beer out of his pocket and pops it open. They then pose a question- “what if they want to keep their drinks cold?”

They explain that’s why they created Muff Waders. Continuing, they tell the sharks it’s “the first-ever bibs made to keep your drinks close while working outdoors or being the life of the party”. As they say that, the camera zooms in on the display, which includes a giant infographic about the product.

Buddy tells them the main feature of the Muff Waders is the insulated six-pack cooler that’s located on the chest, which Earl shows the sharks on his own overalls. This surprises the sharks, who burst into laughter.

Buddy continues by saying that it’s designed to hold 12-ounce cans and bottles. He also shows them the deep side pockets on each of the legs, which can be used to store “your favorite beverages”, as well as the hidden concealed pocket at the top. He also reveals a bottle opener and a Muff Mug, which allows the individual to go hands-free. The sharks are noticeably amused as Earl clips his bottle to his overall.

The friends reveal that they’re chasing the American dream and that they came up with the idea “to bring jobs back to their hometown.” They then invite the sharks to check out the samples that they’ve laid out in front of them, all of which contain a beer.

Holding the overalls in one hand, Lori asks who came up with the product. Earl tells her he came up with the idea a couple of years ago after going to a football game and that he had wished he still had his overalls on with a couple of beers. Continuing, he tells them he woke up the next morning with a drawing that he made the night prior and that “he just started making them, basically.”

muff wader 2
Lori asked them who came up with the product

Mark jokingly thanks them for not inventing the overalls while he was in college.

Robert asks how the two met and what Gary does since Earl was the one who invented it. Gary says he just graduated from Iowa State University and that his plan was to work full-time with Muff Waders but that he wasn’t able to due to the birth of his son. However, he tells them he does work on the company after his girlfriend and son is asleep at night.

Robert asks whether or not the two are buddies. They immediately say yes and tell them that they grew up together and are good friends. Robert then asks about their sales. Earl says they have $54,000 worth of sales since last September, which was when they first started selling the product.

Robert asks how they sold the product. Gary says it’s mainly through their website and Amazon. Asked how much the overalls go for, Earl tells him they’re $85.

Kevin asks about their manufacturing costs, to which they tell him they cost $39.50 to make, which includes the bottle opener and the Muff Mug.

Daymond asks where they’re manufacturing out of. Earl tells him they’re currently switching manufacturers as the one they had in China shut down. Daymond guesses that they’ve invested $75,000 into the company. The friends say he’s right on the dot- that Earl invested $70,000 and Gary $5,000. The other sharks applaud Daymond for his correct guess.

Continuing, Gary says that’s how much they’ve invested so far and that it’s not debt. Daymond notes that it’s not bad at all.

The friends go on to say they actually have a second product- a pair of suspenders- which Gary reveals by taking off his blazer. He admits that while people loved their overalls, many weren’t a fan of the $85 price tag, which is why they came up with the suspenders, which feature the same pockets as the overalls, but for cheaper.

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Mark laughs as he raises his can of beer

Mark asks about the price of the suspenders. Gary says he’s wearing the first prototype and that they’re actually not available for sale yet. Mark comments that it’s a collector’s item while Lori asks whether or not they have a patent for the product.

Earl tells her they have two patents on the Muff Waders- one that’s issued and another that’s a notice of allowance- as well as two that are pending for the suspenders, which Earl emphasizes they just started on.

Mark asks how much they have in inventory. Earl says they have approximately 400 overalls left and that they’re actually sold out of the extra-large in brown and running low on the large in black. Mark asks what they’re going to do if they’re changing manufacturers.

Earl notes that it’s a good question and says they have a couple of people lined up for a bigger order and that they also have some lined up to use.

Robert asks why the previous factory closed down. Earl says it’s probably due to the coronavirus, as it meant they had nothing to make.

Kevin says he loves them and the fact that they’re drinking beer on Shark Tank. However, he says it’s not the product for him and for that reason goes out.

Mark also says what they’re doing is incredible. He even says he’s willing to wear the overall. However, he tells them he’s not the guy for a clothing business and also goes out.

Robert also says they’re doing a great job. Unlike Mark, however, he says it’s not something that he would be willing to wear but wishes them all the best. He also goes out.

Earl says they’re going to continue with the company regardless but states that they’d be able to “make it there a lot faster” with a shark’s help. Robert notes that Daymond and Lori are still in.

Lori suggests that they do some Instagram ads with videos. Earl tells her they’ve already done that. Continuing, he says they’re actually trying to cut back with the Instagram ads. Gary adds that they did about $200 worth of Facebook ads during the holidays for one day and that it translated to more than $2,000 in sales.

muff wader daymond
Daymond goes out but wishes them the best of luck with the business

The sharks applaud them for the good return. Gary says people love their ads as they tend to go viral. He also says it helps them grow organically. Despite their pitch, however, Lori goes out as it’s not the right deal for her.

Earl and Gary thank Lori for her time and turn their attention to Daymond, who is the only shark left. Kevin and Robert joke that it couldn’t be more perfect as Daymond is the “fashion guru”. Daymond admits that while he did start in the clothing space, he would probably give them the wrong advice as he’s not in “that segment of the space”. Noting that he probably can’t help them much, he also goes out. However, he praises them for their efforts so far.

Earl and Gary are noticeably disappointed with the outcome. However, the Sharks encourage them by saying that they’re doing great so far.

The friends thank the sharks one more time before exiting the tank.

muff wader exit interview
Earl and Gary during the exit interview after leaving the tank

In the exit interview, Earl seems frustrated as he believes they have America’s greatest product. However, he claims that they’re going to keep on pushing and make it to the next level without them.

Muff Waders After Shark Tank

While they didn’t land a deal, they did continue with the company as promised. Since the episode, they’ve also launched the Muff suspenders that they showcased in the segment, which weren’t available previously.

In April 2021, just a month after their episode aired, the company was acquired by Stevia Nutra Corp, which specializes in Hemp clothing, among other products. The press release also stated that their sales have gone up to more than $250,000 following their appearance on the show.

That same year, they came out with a special Fourth of July version of the Muff suspenders, which feature a Stars and Strips design.

Fast forward to 2024 and the company is still in business. Currently, they offer two types of Muff Waders- the Classic and the Duck. The Classic is made of a pure cotton canvas while the Duck Canvas is made from a water-wicking material. On their website, the overalls are priced at $110 and are available in three different sizes: medium, large, and extra-large. There are also two colors to choose from black or brown (the brown version of the Duck is darker than that of the Classic).

muff wader buy
The Muff Wader can be purchased directly from their website for $110 plus shipping

They also have the Muff suspenders in stock, which typically go for $50 (the Stars and Stripes version is a little more expensive at $55). Like the overalls, there are also two sizes to choose from- small and large (small fits 5’6 to 6’0 while the large fits 6’1 to 6’6).

Not only that but they’ve also started selling t-shirts and Muff clips, which go for $32 and $15 respectively. The latter is made in the USA and can be used as a tie clip, hat clip, shotgunning tool, bottle opener, and or shirt/suit label.

As far as we can tell, however, their products are no longer available on Amazon (they mentioned that they sold on the site during the episode). In fact, the Muff Waders and Suspenders have no reviews whatsoever on the site, which makes us question whether or not they were actually sold.

For those who are interested in getting the Muff Waders or Suspenders, you can check out their official website at muffwaders.com (shipping charges are calculated at checkout).

Brooke Carter
Brooke Carter
Freelance writer who loves dogs and anything related to Japanese culture.
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