Switch Witch Before Shark Tank
Rob Bouley and Lara Spear Rily, the brother-sister(in law) team behind Switch Witch, are appropriately from Salem Massachusetts. They started off this new Halloween tradition in 2013 after Rob’s The concept has been around long enough to now be in the public domain, but they wrote their own book and designed their own stuffed toy. Rob’s kids had heard about the concept, and gave up their candy because the Switch Witch was coming. Rob got his sister in law involved in the business from there. They described it as “fun for kids, and a problem solver for parents.” It is a concept to help parents reduced the amount of sugar that their kids are consuming, without being authoritarian about it. In their concept, the kids would give up their candy willingly based on the mythos of the Switch Witch.
So Lara wrote the book, and they headed off to promote themselves. They had their dolls, book and packaging manufactured in America. Their initial quest for funding on the Kickstarter platform fell flat. They attempted to fund 2000 completed products, and only ending up making $3,811 of their $14,500 goal. When this failed, the pair went to the casting call for Shark Tank Season 7. Here, they landed getting on the show, with the help of all the people who reacted positively to their product.
Switch Witch on Shark Tank
The team started off by introducing themselves to the Sharks, coming off as high energy and excited about their product. They asked for a reasonable $55,000 for 25% equity. Then three costumed children paraded out on the stage, each with giant bags of candy. As a nod to the Shark Tank, one adorable little boy was in a shark outfit. Lara and Rob had the children sit on the bed they had placed on the stage. They read from the Switch Witch book, and had the children dump with candy from their bags into the bowls. The book described a “Switch Witch” that comes during the night to turn the extra, cavity causing candy into presents instead. The young trick-or-treaters laid on the bed, to wait for the Switch Witch. They got the fog machine going, and the children were sent off the stage with nicely-wrapped presents.
Kevin started off his evaluation with a joke about getting sued by the children for stealing their candy. Robert was initially confused about the product. He thought that the children would be expected to give up all of their candy in exchange for the Switch Witch doll herself. Lara did a good job of explaining that the children would get to keep some of their candy, and just give up the excess. They elaborated that the Switch Witch “leaves,” and the children get a separate gift instead of the doll itself.
Marc expressed concern that he had not heard of the product before. His view was that the product should be “viral on it’s own,” and should not come off as being too forced. Rob insisted that the facebook page for their business did in fact go viral after Yahoo did a feature on them. However, it was too late. It was already October 30th, and while their sales did jump, it was too late in the season to really capitalize on the publicity. Kevin brought up the fact that it was a seasonal product, with a very limited selling time. He made it seem like that was the reason that it was not worth investing in. Lori and Marc pointed out that Christmas is also seasonal, and is doing just fine.
At this point, the sharks seemed interested, but skeptical. Marc asked for a breakdown of sales and cost per unit, as well as the retail price. Rob said that they sold over 800 units of the American-made doll and book combination in a grassroots manner. The product sold for $29.99. The majority of those sales occured online, with the rest coming from door-to-door sales and craft shows. Their sales were $15,700. This made the sharks, especially Lori take pause. She visibly sighed, looking worried. Kevin interjected, saying that he was concerned that they did not have a copyright or exclusive branding. He said that it was good that they were trying to capitalize on the sugar free trend, but that the method was unviable. Actually, he said that the idea “sucked.” He told them to “take it out behind the barn and burn it,” and bowed out. Robert was the next one out, saying that he loved Halloween too much. Lara and Rob attempted to defend their poor sales, stated that people were paying extra for overnight shipping in order to get the product in time for Halloween. They are trying to build a new tradition, similar to the way Elf on the Shelf became a new Christmas tradition.
Unfortunately, their pleas fell on deaf ears with Lori. She went out next, citing that the other similar holiday products were able to be enjoyed for multiple days, whereas this product was only a one and done deal. Now, only Damon and Marc were left. Marc quickly followed suit. He said that they were not creating a new tradition, but just an extra thing to do, another stressor for the parents. Marc again voiced the concern that the product was not organically viral, and that it felt forced. Damon also bowed out. He stated that the company would function better as a hobby business, and they might be able to grow it up from there. With no sharks left, Lara and Rob left the tank looking a little defeated. In their post interview, however, Rob expressed confidence. He said that the sharks missed out on a great opportunity, and that Switch Witch would be the next big holiday thing, like Elf on the Shelf or Mench on a Bench. It seems like they are missing something in their rhyme scheme.
Switch Witch Now in 2023 – The After Shark Tank Update
Since their debut on Shark Tank, Switch Witch has experienced a significant boost in its sales and recognition. The exposure from the show provided them with a platform to not only expand their customer base but also form strategic partnerships with retailers, which has been crucial to their success.
Not only that but they have also expanded their product range to include more diverse gifts, broadening the appeal to children of different ages and interests.
The Switch Witch update isn’t just about increased sales and product range expansion. The company has also made some commendable strides in its social responsibility efforts. They have partnered with Operation Gratitude, a nonprofit organization that sends care packages to U.S. troops stationed overseas. The extra Halloween candy collected by the Switch Witches is donated to this organization, which has resulted in tons of candies being sent as a sweet treat for our brave soldiers.
Not only that but Switch Witch has also been proactive in responding to customer feedback. They have updated their book design and improved the quality of the witch doll, ensuring they continue to provide a delightful experience for their young customers. These improvements reflect their commitment to customer satisfaction and continuous improvement.
As of 2023, Switch Witch is still in business and thriving.
In conclusion, the story of Switch Witch post-Shark Tank is a testament to how a unique business idea, coupled with strategic partnerships and a strong commitment to social responsibility, can lead to substantial growth and success.
The Switch Witch update shows that this business is not just about swapping candies for gifts; it’s about creating cherished memories, promoting healthier habits among children, and contributing positively to society. As the company continues to evolve and expand, we can only expect more exciting updates from Switch Witch in the future.