Cheryl Rigdon, from South Carolina, developed her product, Spatty, after becoming frustrated at the amount of make up that was wasted because it was out of reach at the bottom of the bottle. When she started looking for a product to buy that would solve the problem, she was surprised to find that no-one was producing one, so she designed and created the Spatty to fill the gap in the market.
The simple, innovative design was something that Cheryl was sure would be in demand, but lacking any previous business experience she needed some help in order to get to get her business up and running. After applying, and being accepted, to be on Shark Tank she confidently declared ‘With just one shark behind me, we could have my product in every home in America.’
Spatty on Shark Tank
Cheryl appeared on the Shark Tank in October 2012 with prototypes of the Spatty, and a larger version with a longer handle, The Spatty Daddy. She was looking for $50,000 in return for a 40% share of her business.
Cheryl began her pitch by focusing on the money-saving benefits of the Spatty, clearly demonstrating the problem with wasted product when a bottle was almost empty. When she introduced the sharks to the Spatty and then the Spatty Daddy, they broke into laughter at the product name.
‘Spatty Daddy, that’s your new name’ Mark Cuban cracked to Kevin O’Leary, and more laughing erupted.
Cheryl tried to continue with her pitch, but was interrupted by another spontaneous bout of laughing before she was allowed to continue. The mood amongst the sharks was upbeat and they were clearly impressed by likeable Cheryl’s attitude and charming manner.
Cheryl, struggling not to laugh along with the sharks, described the Spatty and Spatty Daddy as simple, versatile tools that would pay for themselves in the first week of use. She explained that they could be used on virtually all beauty products in the home, saving the consumer a significant amount of money.
Cheryl then handed the sharks samples of the two products to try out for themselves. As they were getting to grips with it, Cheryl explained that market research indicated that consumers would typically leave anywhere from 17% to 25% of a beauty product unused because they couldn’t reach it.
Robert Herjavec inquired about the current manufacturing process, Cheryl explained that the products were currently just prototypes, and she was making them at this early stage. The $50k investment she was looking for would be used to arrange and fund manufacturing set-up costs.
Robert asked if Cheryl was selling them at that point in time. She explained that she had tested a small amount of both products on E-Bay, mainly to get feedback from customers and to ascertain a good price point. Although she had only sold about 15 of them, all the reviews had been positive and she had decided on a retail price of $2.99 for the Spatty, and $3.99 for the Spatty Daddy.
Robert asked what the initial costs would be in order to get the business up and running. Cheryl explained the molds for both products would cost in excess of $16,000. Robert asked if there was any way Cheryl could further test the potential size of the market, clearly concerned over the unknown level of demand for the product.
Daymond questioned if the Spatty was fully effective, suggesting that a small amount of product would always be left in the bottle, Kevin O’Leary defended it, clearly able to see the usefulness and potential market for the Spatty, Robert and Lori also agreed that there would be some demand for the product.
Robert Herjavec wanted to know more about Cheryl’s future plans for sales opportunities when all the elements of the manufacturing process were in place. Cheryl foresaw future sales activity with QVC, as well as Avon and Mary Kay, both global giants in the beauty products market.
Kevin O’Leary had a problem with Cheryl’s sales strategy, although he liked the product, he felt that the big names in the industry were unlikely to pick up on the idea as it would increase packaging and production costs. The product was interesting and the originality of the idea was good, but the risk was too great for him, and he was out.
Mark Cuban was in agreement with Kevin, at least in part. He felt that Cheryl had a product, but not a company. The time and resources required to formulate an entire company around the product were too much of a commitment for Mark, and he joined Kevin in retiring from the negotiations.
Robert Herjavec was also unsure about the size of the market for Spatty, ‘Spatty Daddy could be brilliant, or it could be dead’ he elaborated, explaining that Cheryl’s marketing strategy would be the all important factor. Cheryl emphasized her non stop commitment to the business, but it didn’t help ‘I have no doubts about you, I have doubts about Spatty as a business’ he explained as he dropped out too.
Cheryl tried a last-minute appeal to the two remaining sharks, explaining she needed funding to take the idea further and underscoring her full commitment and enthusiasm for getting the business established.
Daymond expressed his admiration and respect for Cheryl’s positive personality and homespun charm, shared by all the sharks, but explained that the business was a little too young, with an uncertain future at the current time. He also dropped out
Cheryl had one final attempt to convince the sole remaining shark, Lori Greiner, that the Spatty and Spatty Daddy would be ideal for QVC and would achieve great sales. Unfortunately, Lori didn’t agree. She felt that the low price points would make them unsuitable for that platform. QVC customers would normally pay more on shipping charges than the retail price of both products and that would negatively affect the attractiveness to customers. She saw it as more of a promotional item that had potential for sales through a large set-up like Avon.
Cheryl asked how she would go about contacting Avon and Lori advised her to contact a local Avon distributor to help her find good contacts within the company. She finished off with a glowing endorsement of Cheryl’s enthusiasm and drive, but ultimately, she dropped out too, citing the product as a promotional type item that she wouldn’t want to invest in.
Although unsuccessful, the still smiling Cheryl got a free parting gift from Daymond, who promised to help Cheryl out with a couple of excellent beauty industry contacts.
Spatty & Spatty Daddy Now In 2022 – After Shark Tank
Cheryl received a wave of orders after the segment aired on television. However, she lacked the manufacturing capability to fulfill them, which led to a two-month delay in shipping out the products. The fact that she still had a full-time job didn’t help either.
Fortunately, things got better with Daymond’s help (he had promised to help her by providing her with some makeup contacts). She was eventually able to put the Spatty into production and even managed to land licensing deals with different companies, which significantly increased her retail opportunities.
The product has also been featured on Good Morning America, The Good Life, Dr. Oz, The View, Seventeen, Glamour, and Woman’s World, all of which have given the Spatty good notoriety. By 2018, they had sold more than 500,000 units and had done approximately $2 million in lifetime sales.
As of 2022, the Spatty is available in multiple retailers including Bed Bath and Beyond, Target, and K-Mart. It’s also available on Amazon, where it has a 4.5-star review across 2,465 ratings. Looking at some of the reviews, the general consensus seems to be that it’s highly effective at what it’s designed to do. Some people have said that the spatula is a little small, but most seem to be satisfied with the product.
Cheryl has also released other products including a spatula for the kitchen, which allows you to retrieve leftovers from food product containers such as ketchup and peanut butter bottles.
That’s not all, the company also sells a handyman spatula- a multipurpose tool that easily slides around corners and edges- and a crafting spatula that’s designed to get every last drop out of your craft supply containers. And like the original Spatty, all of these products are made in the USA. For those who are interested, they’re available from their official website. As far as pricing go, it depends on the size of the spatula that you’re getting (they offer multiple sizes). You can also get multi-packs, which offer a bit of savings.
While the exact numbers haven’t been disclosed, it’s estimated that they’re currently making $1 million per year. With that, she’s been able to grow the company through ads and email marketing, according to a recent interview. She has also revealed that she plans on releasing limited edition colors (e.g. glow in the dark, metallic) sometime in the future.