Roq Innovations Before Shark Tank
Roq Innovations is a company that creates creative solutions in order to make people’s daily lives easier. For instance, the company makes Neks and beanie hats with an LED light on the front of it. These beanies are called Headlightz, and they were created to make nighttime tasks and activities easier. Rather than having to take a flashlight around outside. The LED light is rechargeable with the USB cord and shines a bright 140 lumens light directly in front of the person wearing it. Neks, on the other hand, are alternative ways to getting children to wear scarves. Though, they’ve been working on introducing more products as well.
Raquel Graham, the founder and creator of Roq Innovations, came up with her company in 2014 with an intention to “develop, solve, and invent solutions daily to meet the needs of our families.” Prior to her work as an entrepreneur, Raquel was a marketing strategist and consultant. She had the opportunity to work in branding, marketing strategies, partnerships, sponsorships, and managing events, which helped her greatly when it came to creating her brand. Before Roq Innovations, Raquel had another company called Roq Marking Group, which she launched in 2009. Roq Marketing Group was a way for corporations to seek marketing strategies and solutions in order to help them better their businesses.
During her time with Roq Marketing Group, Raquel worked as an executive producer for McDonald’s 365Black Awards in 2010. This led her to make an appearance on TVOne network. Aside from all of her assistance with digital strategies, media planning, marketing, etc., Raquel would also make helpful Honey Can Do videos, which was a company in which helped with storage and organizational solutions. She spends some of her free time helping with mentoring young girls at Girls, Inc. of Chicago. During which she guides the girls towards learning the knowledge and skills they may need for success. To conclude some of Raquel’s successes thus far into her career, she has been seen on live television a multitude of times. For instance, she has made an appearance on the Home Shopping Network a variety of times, as well as The View and Good Morning America. Additionally, Raquel has worked with partners such as EBONY’s, where she was in charge of negotiating their first public partnership. She has also worked with Procter and Gamble, Clorox, the NFL, and more. All in all, Raquel has certainly outdone herself and managed to create a successful business, with $1.9 million worth of sales already in the books. However, the pandemic did drastically decrease her sales and she would like a shark to help her get those numbers back up.
Roq Innovations on Shark Tank
Raquel Graham appears on the Shark Tank stage searching for a $200,000 deal for 15% of Roq Innovations. Beginning hr pitch, she tells the sharks about the Headlightz, while they check out their samples. She demonstrates how they work and shows the sharks how they are hands free. Daymond John makes a fashion statement by putting his Headlightz on his head sideways. Lori Greiner mentions how bright the LED lights are. Raquel continues her pitch by jumping straight into the numbers. She explains that she’s been featured on Good Morning America, Oprah’s O List, and more, though she’s most often been on HSN where she sells her products. Her HSN sales alone are between $25,000-$40,000.
Before the sharks begin their offers, Raquel concludes her pitch, telling them that she has mad $2.4 million in lifetime sales. $1.4 million of those sales are from her Headlightz alone, and she is on track to reach $1.7 million by the end of the year. Kevin O’Leary jumps in to ask Raquel about her insurance. To which she responds saying that she has a patent; however, it has been pending from 2018. Despite the patent still pending, Kevin makes her an offer of $200,000 in exchange for a $2 royalty from the Heeadlightz. Once the $200,000 is returned, he will drop the royalty down to $1. Guest shark, Peter Jones, states that he thinks Raquel is a bit all over the place with her business and that she will need help.
In response to Kevin’s offer, Raquel makes it clear that she doesn’t want to have royalties in her deal. Peter is also intrigued by the products, and he believes he can help get her products distributed across the world. With that, he offers Raquel $200,000 for a 25% equity in Roq Innovations. The first shark to go out on the deal is Lori. She cannot invest given that she has already invested in a similar company. Following Lori, Mark Cuban goes out as well. He doesn’t believe that he could add anything new to the company. The last shark to leave the deal is Daymond. He is too concerned about the patent and the fact that it is still pending.
Although three of the sharks went out, Kevin and Peter remain interested in Roq Innovations. After hearing Raquel’s story, and relating to it himself, Peter asks Kevin if he would consider teaming up with him. They negotiate for a bit and finally agree on an offer of $200,000 for a 20% equity in Roq Innovations; however, they would also like a royalty of $1 per unit sold until $600,000 in returned to them. Putting aside her wishes of not dealing with royalties, Raquel decides to accept their offer.
Roq Innovations Now in 2023 – The After Shark Tank Update
Since her appearance on Shark Tank, Raquel Graham has been successfully keeping her company, Roq Innovations, up and running. As of 2023, it has not yet been announced if the deal Raquel accepted with Kevin O’Leary and Peter Jones has closed yet. This likely means that they are still in negotiations; however, considering Raquel has successfully reached her $1.7 million sales goal for 2021, she might be able to do without the investment. Raquel has continued staying true to her goal in creating life-changing products, and she has even added some new ones as well. For instance, she launched another LED beanie that is more catered towards the colder winter months, as well as glove lights and face masks.
Referring back to her initial creations, when Headlightz was launched, the beanies were quickly and successfully sold out after being featured on HSN on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The hats were noticed by Oprah herself, who added them to her O List during 2019 and 2020. They were also featured on Oprah’s Favorite Things list of 2021 and The Drew Barrymore Show. Raquel’s Neks scarves were led down a similar path of success. They were featured on HSN as well, which led consumers to buy them all out after just an hour of appearing on the show. Raquel got the opportunity to be featured on Martha Stewart’s American Made as a nominee, after Martha Stewart noticed her products. Neks was also named on The Grommet’s platform and can now be seen in about 40 NCAA colleges. The Neks are even sported in the college’s team colors.
As far as publicity for Roq Innovations goes, Raquel’s products have been featured in an array of new media outlets. More specifically, Entrepreneur.com recently wrote an article about the products. They’ve also made appearances in Forbes and Black Enterprise. Additionally, Roq Innovations was awarded for the Chicago 2022 Minority Supplier of the Year award in July 2022. Overall, Raquel Graham has done a great job keeping her business up, as well as following up with more successful achievements. At this time, given how well the company is doing, she predicts that she will reach $4 million in sales by next year.