Rufflebutts before Shark Tank
Rufflebutts/Ruggedbutts is a clothing company for little girls and boys founded by Amber Schaub and her husband Mark that focuses on fashion, quality, and affordability. When Amber was young, her mom would buy her bloomers which she referred to as “rufflebutts.” When Amber went on a search to find a similar product for her own children many years later, but failed, she knew she found an opening in the market she could fill.
Amber also had the feeling to start a company when she got an “entrepreneurial” vibe at her old job, so with these two goals in mind, Amber and her husband started their company.
Ruffflebutts was already profitable their first year of business which is very rare. The company was growing at a massive pace every year as Amber and Mark already had multi-million dollar sales in their fifth year of business. Amber’s business background along with her creativity was helping in accomplishing this.
Amber mentioned that she met Mark Cuban a while back and his background was also a motivator for her when she was starting a company. After learning Mark Cuban was on Shark Tank and learning about the expertise all the sharks brought, Amber and her husband applied to be on the showing hoping to get a business partner that would help them with their ideas and were invited for Season five.
Rufflebutts on Shark Tank
Amber and Mark Schaub entered the tank with their children seeking $600,000 for 7%. Amber began their pitch with how their search for a product that they couldn’t find led them to starting a company that has been drastically successful. Amber and her daughter handed out samples which impressed all the Sharks. Barbara immediately dove into the valuation because of the large ask.
Mark Schaub brought up their sales of nearly $4,000,000, how they have been profitable since starting, and having no debt which amazed all the Sharks. Kevin asked how many SKUs, distinct products based on color, size, etc, they had and Mark Schaub mentioned they had over 2,000 which upset Kevin.
The sharks moved aside from this issue as Robert asked what they needed the money for and the Schaub family explained that they valued the partnership the sharks brought as the company is growing. Amber went into detail about how her passion for the business came and depicted that their company had no specific competitors.
Kevin went back to his concern with the SKUs and gave everyone an example about a company he was a part of that nearly fell apart by having so many SKUs. Because of this, Kevin went out. Mark Cuban and Robert addressed that they didn’t know the clothing business well enough to bring Amber and Mark Schaub value so they went out as well.
After this, however, tension rose in the Tank as neither Barbara nor Lori would say a word. Barbara accused of Lori of trying to go last so she could make a better offer than her. Lori disputed this, mentioning she was thinking about the valuation rather than trying to go first or last.
Barbara, tired of waiting for Lori, stated that she was heavily impressed with Amber because of her creativity and business knowledge. Because of this, she offered Amber and Mark $600,000 for 12%, but half the money would be a line of credit. Amber immediately thanked Barbara for the offer, but felt the valuation was too low and mentioned the equity would be coming from their kids because the company would eventually be theirs.
Lori, also impressed with Amber, offered them $600,000 for 10%, but half the money would have to be paid back in the first year, while the other half would have to be paid back by the second year. Barbara tried to sell herself by mentioning she builds “power brands” while Lori only sells products, but Lori disputed this and mentioned her expertise was in retail while Barbara’s was in real estate.
Amber and Mark Schuab stepped out to consider both offers. Meanwhile, Mark Cuban told Lori that the offer she made was the worst she has ever offered anyone and that is was a “Kevin deal” by being a loan. Mark Schuab and Amber came back in and countered both Sharks at $600,000 for 8%. Barbara countered at 10%, and Amber mentioned that she wanted to really make a deal, but couldn’t get to that valuation.
Lori also mentioned she felt 10% was right, but was willing to go down to 9%. Seeing value in the lower equity ask, Amber and Mark Schuab took Lori’s offer. Immediately after they left, Mark Cuban and Barbara were shocked that they took Lori’s offer because it was a loan. Mark Cuban felt that and Amber and Mark Schuab didn’t really understand the offer, but felt that Lori got a great deal.
Rufflebutts Now in 2023 – After Shark Tank Update
While they didn’t land a deal on the show, the exposure and publicity that came with appearing on Shark Tank provided an invaluable platform for Rufflebutts to showcase their products. This resulted in a significant spike in website traffic and sales.
And over time, they became a multi-million-dollar business, expanding not only in terms of sales but also in product range. More specifically, they extended their line to include dresses, swimwear, and apparel for boys under the brand name RuggedButts. Not only that but they were also able to secure partnerships with major retailers like Nordstrom and Bloomingdale’s, further enhancing their distribution and reach.
The Schaubs also leveraged their Shark Tank experience to refine their business strategies. They took the feedback received from the Sharks into consideration and used it to streamline operations, improve product design, and strengthen customer relations.
As of 2023, Rufflebutts is still in business and going strong.
If anything, their journey serves as an inspiring example for aspiring entrepreneurs who seek to transform their business dreams into reality.