Pooch Paper Before Shark Tank
Tracy Rosensteel created Pooch Paper in 2018 as an eco-friendlier way for pet owners to clean up after their dogs have ‘done their business’ outdoors. Most dog owners are more likely to use a plastic bag or even the potty bags from stores that are especially made for clean-up; however, those aren’t necessarily safe for the environment. As a dog mother herself, Tracy had some unsettling thoughts about how plastic bags affect our environment, as some other owners may have those same concerns as well. One day, she started looking into it further and discovered that over 500 million dog waste bags and 21 billion dog feces are found in landfills each year. And that’s just within the United States.
Plastic dog waste bags affect the environment in a multitude of ways, as well as it has an effect on global warming. Tracy wanted to find a way around this by creating a biodegradable option. During her research, Tracy discovered that there are two kinds of plastics that are good for the environment; those plastics are plant-based and oxo-biodegradable. Knowing this, Tracy set out to create a biodegradable option for cleaning up after dogs. Thus, bringing Pooch Paper to life. Although it took her a few tries and a few years to find the perfect solution, she was eventually able to, leading her to launch her new company is 2018.
Pooch Paper is an eco-friendly substitute that is used when cleaning up dog feces as an alternative to waste bags or plastic bags. Pooch Paper comes in a pack of 50 biodegradable sheets, with each sheet being 12 inches long and 12 inches wide. These sheets are produced using renewable energy, making them completely safe for compost. Additionally, both sides of the Pooch Paper sheets are applied with a coating which is fluorochemical-free and grease resistant. This makes for an easier mess-free clean-up without the possibility of residue being left on owners’ hands.
Before Tracy launched her Pooch Paper business, she had a series of other business ventures. For instance, she has worked at her first business, Vega Consulting, on Wall Street, for more than 23 years. When she started at this position, she was working on infrastructure trades for the Chicago Board of Trade, the Board Options Exchange, and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. She then launched her own firm in 2007, where she had 15 employees working on her contracts. This venture ended in 2016. Tracy has typically always been working within go-getter, assertive jobs; however, she made an addition when she started doing side hustles.
Tracy became an author and illustrator in 2011. She was also working as a producer, host, and a director for an award-winning series called In Pursuit of Passion. The series showcases a variety of individuals around the world and how they live their lives with the intention of reaching their goals. As for her title as an author and illustrator, Tracy has created a variety of plays and books for children as well. While the founder studied at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota, she has gained a degree in studio arts, as well as her main studies, which covered business and entrepreneurship. Given this, Tracy sure wasn’t new to the world of entrepreneurism when she launched Pooch Paper. Though, she is still hoping that a shark will help her business blow up in popularity.
Pooch Paper on Shark Tank
Tracy Rosensteel makes her appearance on Shark Tank with her Pooch Paper. She is seeking a deal of $250,000 in exchange for a 12% stake in her business. Her business is already worth $2 million. Tracy begins pitching her product to the sharks. She tells them about her background and how Pooch Paper became a reality alternative to using plastic dog waste bags. At this time, the sharks receive their sample sheets, which they analyze while the founder concludes her pitch. She adds that she predicts that her Pooch Paper sheets will reach the shelves of Target in the near future. With that being said, her product does already have a patent.
The entrepreneur then shares with the sharks that she has only done $50,000 worth of sales this year, but that her profit margins aren’t doing too bad. They are at 47%. Unfortunately, this led Mark Cuban, Lori Greiner, and Barbara Corcoran to drop out of the deal quickly. Nonetheless, Tracy does receive her one and only offer from Kevin O’Leary. He is impressed by the product and would like to see how well it does. He offers her a choice between the two offers. The first one being a deal of $250,000 in exchange for 50% of her business, and the second one being a deal of $250,000 in exchange for no stake and a $1 royalty. Tracy accepts the deal of $250,000 and the $1 royalty and Pooch Paper leaves the Shark Tank with a deal with Kevin O’Leary.
Pooch Paper Now in 2023 – The After Shark Tank Update
As of 2023, the deal Tracey Rosensteel made with Kevin O’Leary has not yet been closed; however, Kevin did release a short video of him showing off the Pooch Paper sheets. Though the shark hasn’t mentioned the product on his website yet, he does appear to still be interested in it. Following Tracy’s appearance on the Shark Tank stage, she has quit her job with Vega Consulting, and she now runs her Pooch Paper business full-time. In addition to that, the founder made and appearance on the C-Suite Network and GenBiz, with her dog. On these platforms, Tracy had the chance to showcase her business and her Pooch Paper sheets. This led her to an increase in sales and more online presence. Whole Dog Journal author, Nancy Kerns, issued an article regarding the business. Then, the founder received praise from AKC Family Dog and Business Insider. The two businesses were impressed that these dog waste sheets are completely compostable and biodegradable.
New product additions to the business include Pooch Paper dispensers, bag clips, bulk refill orders, and pouches for the sheets to be stored in. Customers can also now purchase a monthly Pooch Paper subscription for just $11.99 per month. As far as expanding the Pooch Paper business goes, Tracy has successfully landed a deal to place Pooch Paper dispensers around more than 500 KOA Campgrounds around Canada and the United States. Pooch Paper sheets are also now being sold on Chewy, as well as in 1,700 petsmart locations and 1,600 Target locations. Some of these products have even been seen in smaller pet stores and family-owned stores. Tracy continues to expand and grow her Pooch Paper business, while also working with county-level persons in developing municipal dog parks. Pooch Paper is doing quite well, with a valuation of $500,000 and an annual revenue of $1 million.