OpulenceMD Before Shark Tank
Anika Goodwin was not your average surgeon. She was a surgeon who liked to look good and she knew how to do it. Anika goodwin was an ophthalmologist which meant that she dealt with eyelid problems. Since her younger years, Anika had found that lashes helped her look and feel more confident. Anika had even experienced trouble in her life and she had found that dressing up and putting on her makeup helped her feel better.
At the time, eyelashes were in fashion and every woman was wearing them. Anika was not one to be left behind. Unfortunately, the eyelashes that were available at the time were just not satisfactory. The eyelashes available were hard to put on correctly and they used harmful chemicals to attach them, the kind nobody wanted near their eyes. Some of the chemicals used to attach the eyelashes on included formaldehyde and the same adhesive used in Super Glue.
Something had to be changed and Anika thought that she could change it. She developed her own eyelashes which were lighter, more comfortable, and much easier to apply. She started a business that sold them and she named it OpulenceMD.
OpulenceMD lashes were applied using a magnetic liner that was painted on the eye. The liner had iron particles and the band on the eyelash extension had magnets and so it would be magnetically stuck onto the skin. OpulenceMD enjoyed great sales and soon became a victim of its own success.
Anika was having a hard time fulfilling orders and organizing the back side of the business. She sought someone with experience to help her run her business. Her journey led her to the Shark Tank and she was on the 20th episode of season 12.
OpulenceMD on Shark Tank
When Dr. Anika Goodwin Hilderbrand went onto the Shark Tank she was looking for $75,000 for 5% of her business, OpulenceMD. This meant that she valued it at $3,000,000. She then showed the sharks her prosthetic lashes and how they were attached to the eye. Kendra told her that her pitch was great. Anika then gave each shark her eyelashes to try on.
Lori then asked Anika what the meaning behind OpulenceMD was and Anika said that she was an ophthalmologist which is an eye surgeon. She specified in eyelids and dealt with matters such as tumors and fractures. Mark then showed the other sharks how he had managed to successfully attach his fake eyelids. He was asked if he would make it a habit to wear them and he suggested that if it was what was trending then he would consider it.
Lori then asked Anika if she had a patent on her lashes. Anika said that she did not have a patent. Anika also said that she neither invented magnetic liners nor its lashes. Anika then said that what she did is make better eyelashes because her eyelashes were weightless.
Kendra then asked her if the eyelashes would stay all day and Anika said that they could be worn for an entire day. She added that people could exercise in them and nap in them. Barbara asked if they were usable and she was told that they could be used up to 40 times. For that reason, it was more economical than the eyelashes that most people knew could be worn 5 or 6 times at most.
Barbara praised the lashes for looking extremely real and extremely light and she wanted to know what they were made of. Anika said that her eyelashes were made of Mink and that most of the eyelashes in her collection were made of mink. Kevin then asked her what minks felt about their hair being used to make the artificial eyelashes.
Anika said that it was the hair from the tail of the mink that was used and it was removed using a cruelty-free process. Instead, the hair was brushed off a Mink’s tail. Kevin had to then confirm with her that no minks were harmed in the making of the product and Anika confirmed it. Kendra then asked her how she went from doing eye surgery to designing eyelashes.
Anika said that she was not just an average doctor. She also liked to look nice and she liked wearing lashes a lot because they made her look confident. She lost her mother and her father 39 days apart and it was a very trying ordeal for her. 3 months after that she lost her marriage. Anika then said that she struggled with her confidence a lot during that period.
The lashes helped her a lot and she didn’t want OpulenceMD to just be looked at as another company. She wanted the lashes to help women own whatever room they were in because they exuded confidence. Lori then asked what the cost of the box she was holding was since mink lashes were the most expensive. Anika said that the box that Lori was holding cost about $245.
The sharks thought that this amount was quite high. Kevin even said that he thought that he could buy his own mink for that amount. She was then asked what it cost to make and she said that the total cost was $20 and so her profit margins were around 88-95%. Mark Cuban then asked her what her sales were and Anika said that she had launched her company in February of that year and in that time she had made around $685,000, an amount the sharks were impressed by.
Lori then asked her how she was getting the word out. Anika said that she relied on paid advertising but there was also a lot of education and community building. For her, it was not just about selling lashes for her, it was also about having the opportunity to tell women to learn how to take care of themselves and also to teach women how to take care of themselves and their eyes.
Anika was then asked if she was making money and she said that she was profitable from the previous month. She had done sales of $213,000 in the previous month. Kevin asked if it was online and he was told that it was all online. Kevin told her that she was not the first person to come onto the Shark Tank selling lashes but she was the one with the best lashes and he thought that even the mink community could support her venture. Lori also asked her what her profit margins were.
Mark Cuban said that he liked the business but it was not his area of expertise so he was out. Anika then said that a percentage of her profit went to supporting people who could not afford eye screening exams. Barbara then asked Anika what her challenges were given the ideal picture that she presented.
Anika said that order fulfillment was her challenge and it was because she had grown so fast that she could not keep up with the orders. Barbara then asked her what she would do with the cash. Anika said that she needed the cash but what she really needed help with was the back end.
Anika said that the only reason her profit margins were not higher was that she was paying a lot of contractors. She wanted help with her supply chain the sharks and their teams could help with that. Kevin then offered Anika $75,000 for 25% of her company.
Kendra also offered Anika $75,000 for 25% and she said that although she had given the same offer as Kevin hers was better because she had over 2,000 women working for her and this should be considered when Anika is making her choice. Anika then asked Kendra if she was ready to do $75,000 for 12%. Kendra said that she was ready to offer $100,000 for 20%.
Anika then asked Kendra if she could do 125,000 for 20% of the business. Kendra declined the offer. Anika then accepted Kendra’s offer. As she left, Anika said that her parents would be so proud and that she wished that they were there to see her.
OpulenceMD Now in 2023 – The After Shark Tank Update
OpulenceMD got a deal from Kendra and has continued to do business on its website as it had been before. OpulenceMD has increased the range of products that it provides. There is also a membership option on her site for those who want consistent delivery.
Anika has said that she does not plan to have her lashes in retail stores so their absence in online stores such as Amazon is explainable. She said that her reason for doing this is that her profit margins would suffer a lot and she would not have as much control over her product. Stores can even refuse to stack products because of their packaging and businesses have to change to meet retailers’ demands.
OpulenceMD was launched in February 2020 which was around the time that the Covid-19 lockdown was in full swing. However, the brand was not affected as much by the lockdown. OpulenceMD has a Pinterest page with over 1,500 followers and 5,900 monthly views. It also has a Facebook page with 5,900 followers. On Instagram, OpulenceMD’s social media page has over 32,300 views. It also has a Twitter page which is its smallest page and it has more than 100 followers.
In less than a year, OpulenceMD had generated $1,000,000 in sales which was much more than it had intended during its first year of doing business. OpulenceMD is still located in Reidsville NC where it is continuing to spread positivity and confidence to women there and across the globe.