4/2/11

What Happened After Shark Tank! (WIth LINK TO 2013 UPDATE)

I woke up this morning completely overwhelmed with emotion and love for all the amazing feedback, emails, posts, tweets, articles, orders I've been receiving since last night.  I think I'll be tearing up on and off for DAYS.    

The next thing that went through my head was "I wore a tool belt and 4 inch heels on national TV."  And then I remembered the "in the garage" shots and started dying laughing.  I promise to always enter my workshop that way from now on! :)

If you haven't seen the show yet, CLICK HERE!!

Everyone rightly wants to know what's happened since we filmed that in October of 2010!   And I'm so excited to be able to tell you, finally!

AFTER THE TANK...

We filmed Shark Tank in October of 2010.  I was hoping to hear pretty quickly from Robert's camp but that wasn't the case.  I finally ended up reaching out to producers to help me get in touch with Robert and made that happen in January 2011.  When we did reconnect, after a few short calls, Robert told me he believed I was still too small and told me to come back in six months. I decided pretty much then and there I wouldn't be coming back in six months looking for a partnership.

During the time between filming and airing, we are sworn to secrecy regarding the outcome of what happened in the tank.  But when I couldn't get a hold of Robert, I started to get nervous.  Without saying anything either way, I started talking to friends and family about other investment strategies and many offered to invest as a plan B contingent upon when they found out if I a.) got a deal in the Tank and b.) if it went through after filming.  I was thankful that I would be able to secure investments from folks who truly believed in me and in the potential for Mod Mom. 

After the Shark Tank airing, when I was finally able to tell old friends and design mentors that the deal didn't happen with Robert, they all said they are in!  I was so thankful and overwhelmed.  We raised about $30K total. 


The future for Mod Mom Furniture looks very bright and I promise to keep you up to speed on all of it!  From the bottom of my heart, thank you for believing in me. And thank you for all your messages and emails...I'm trying to respond to all of them as fast as I can. :)


My Original  Pitch (without fancy TV editing )
I was fortunate to get through the entire pitch without getting interrupted during filming!


My name is Kiersten Hathcock and my company is Mod Mom Furniture.  I’m seeking $90K in exchange for 25% of the company.

If someone had told me 10 years ago that I’d have an internationally known furniture company out of my garage, I would’ve told them they’re crazy. I didn’t even know what a jigsaw was then.

Just three and a half years ago, we were like most families I know. The toys were starting to overtake the house but we wanted a toy box that was gonna fit in with our modern furniture and frankly, there was virtually nothing on the market or what was, we couldn’t afford so I taught myself how to design and build a toy box.  I knew I wanted it to be eco-friendly, have lids that lift on and off like puzzle pieces so it makes toy clean up a little more fun, and fit in nicely any room of the house. It occurred to me that we’re not the only family with this same need.  At the time I had just left my corporate job to spend more time with my kids, so I was doing whatever I could to bring in money – I nannied and did freelance marketing work. I honestly figured maybe I’d sell a couple toy boxes a month to local stores.  But I underestimated the power of social media and viral marketing.

Which brings me to where I am now.  Seven days a week I’m in my garage covered in saw dust with a backlog of orders having to turn down retailers from 17 different countries because I can’t handle the volume on my own.  My products have been featured in magazines like Elle D├ęcor, Better Homes and Gardens, Dwell Magazine as well as TV shows and international design books.  All without me approaching any of them.  I’m even receiving orders from Hollywood celebrities and famous interior designers now. The other day, I read something online that said mod mom furniture was a “globally coveted brand” alongside a few of my competitors who are making 2 million per year and I have a sneaking suspicion they’re not in their garages at 11pm finishing toy boxes.
With your help, I’ll be able to increase manufacturing by getting it OUT of my garage – where I physically can only build 3 per week -- and into an Amish furniture manufacturer in my home state of Ohio who can build 100 per week.  And that’s just the start.  I’ll be able to grow the brand internationally as well as design products and case goods for existing customers and for larger companies like Crate and Barrel’s kids division, Land of Nod, who reached out to me about exclusive designs. This blows my mind because I don’t have a design degree but my work is being recognized by the design world.
What started with a table saw and a mom has grown into a globally recognized brand which, with the right resources has unlimited potential.  The brand is respected.  The demand is there.  Please join me in making Mod Mom the next million dollar furniture company. 

24 comments:

Wil said...

Well all I can say as a fledling furniture maker...is give some tutorials on how you spread yourself out to sell all that you did prior to Shark Tank. Marketing seems to be so hard....NO ONE KNOWS OF ME! I'm on ETSY..like you..but never sell anything. HELP!!! Wil @ www.hillcountrycedar.com

Wil said...

Ohhh..and by the way....way to go..you inspire me and so many others! Congrads!!!!!

Tim said...

Awesome! Watched the show and wrote about your story over on Handmadeolgoy!

Deidrea - Hot Mama Gowns said...

OOOh Kiersten!! I am so so happy for you...on so many levels!! It IS truly amazing the kindness, generousity and support of those that surround us, sometimes we just don't know how to ask or want to ask..but an opportunity like Shark Tank puts all the cards on the table and allows those around us to step up. You have a truly amazing story, and I wish you continued success and I applaud you for keeping your building not only state-side, but in your own community..ONLY good will come to you and your family!! So excited to watch your business grow!!! XOXO Fellow Shark Bait

christina said...

My husband (Tim, 2 comments above) and I watched the show on Friday and were so excited to see you on there! We have been doing business on Etsy since 2007 & are also from Ohio...only a 45-minute drive from Amish Country, actually, so we were doubly excited to see the success of a fellow Etsian AND Ohioan! God bless with your business! We just had our first baby and we hope to get one of your amazing toy boxes as he gets a little older! :)

Dave Hauck said...

Saw the show and within a minute fell in love with your product. But what happened? You made a deal with Robert, but on your Blog it sounds like you didn't need the deal and that it may not have happened. Did you do the deal with Robert that you agreed to? I know you said a lot of other people helped out since and invested. I think your product is great and have forwarded it to some people I know with kids. I've "liked" you on FaceBook so I can follow your success. If you need any Graphic Design help, I'll be happy to give you a bid. Keep doing wonderful things.

Kelli Brewer said...

So what happened to Robert in all of this? Is he just out of the picture now?

Katie Anna said...

I saw you on Shark Tank last night ( I watch internet tv so I'm not really "current") I love your boxes and your story was amazing. Good for you!!

Mod Mom Furniture said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mod Mom Furniture said...

Hey guys! Sorry I'm just now responding...I'm in North Carolina at the International Furniture Market. Very cool! Met Ty Pennington --super nice guy. Pics to come.

As for Robert, we still have the door open; however, for me, I couldn't be happier because I wasn't so keen on the royalty pay out. As I said in the blog, I was so fortunate that just being involved with Shark Tank not only got me connected with Robert but also brought in additional offers from new friends, old friends, family members and furniture design experts. I'm so thrilled that Robert had faith in me but even more thrilled I don't have to pay royalties!

Jay said...

congratulations to you! i saw your schpeel on shark tank the other night and loved, loved, LOVED your product. your story was even more "loveable!" i wish you luck in your exciting ventures. :)

Anonymous said...

WOW! I have never felt lazier. We caught you on Hulu last night. You were soo awesome. I wish we were neighbors so I could help!You should be crazy proud of yourself!

AmyD said...

Just watched it with my son. Fantastic! I am so happy for you and inspired by you too!

Marcie said...

Such an amazing story! I blogged about you today! Check it out here.

http://lemonsandlaundry.blogspot.com/2011/04/product-push-inspiration-mod-mom.html

xo Marcie

Poppies and Sunshine said...

I saw you on Shark Tank and I just love what you do! Your story is great and you are soo creative. I am so glad Robert invested in your company!

sara k said...

I'm just back to town and catching up. Congratulations, not only for getting on the show but for coming across so knowledgeable and well spoken (not to mention gorgeous) -- You never know what editing is going to do and they kept you real and amazing. Your story and blog just keeps getting better and better, I am glad I've been able to ride along on your journey. Keep on inspiring!

Diana said...

Congrats! Just saw the clip of Shark Tank from another blog and I have to say your product is so beautiful and fun! I love that you taught yourself, you're a true inspiration to women and men every where!

rex said...

wow.. I saw your work on poppies and sunshine blog....just loved it!! Im from australia and I think your designs are brilliant.. well done

LLcLady said...

Great story and congratulations. You took control of your life and your financial situation and didn't stop until you created a successful company and was able to secure assistance from the shark's to boot! Bravo! Great Inspiration to everyone.

Anonymous said...

I am a little disappointed that Robert may not be involved. I hope if that is the case that he is very happy with that decision. Otherwise, it seems someone else should have had the spot on Shark tank, someone that would really have taken advantage of the offer and not used it to make other connections.

Mod Mom Furniture said...

Anonymous, are you asking if Robert was upset about not doing a deal with me? Um, in short...no he wasn't. Why would he be?? He's worth millions of dollars and primarily invests in IT companies. I'm a mom who built over 300 pieces of furniture in her garage.

To recap, we filmed in October of 2010 which means I got the "TV Deal" in October where I poured my heart out and cried because I was so scared about our future and not being able to provide for our kids thinking it was my only shot at raising capital. I ending up hearing from him in.....JANUARY 2011. Does that sound like someone who's really torn up over not getting a deal with me? In December, l put a call out to friends, family, and industry leaders I know for a back-up plan in case he didn't ever contact me. Those "connections" you speak of were not made through Shark Tank and they did not mandate royalty payments as part of the investment deals. The investors I lined up are people who believe in me, care about me, and know the design industry. The irony about what you're saying is that if I had taken a deal with royalties (basically, a loan) over a deal without royalties in the Shark Tank, the Sharks would have beaten me up big time for making a stupid business decision.

When you put your name in the hat for Shark Tank, there's something driving you and in most cases, the entrepreneurs are/were like me...desperate for help. Having the courage to sign yourself up for a show like that where you know you have no control over what gets aired, how it's edited, what they'll cut, and just about everything from what you can wear to what you can say is not something any of us took lightly. But that's the gamble you make for the opportunity to pitch your idea. And if you're one of the 30 whose pitch is chosen to air on TV (out of 20,000 applications), you're lucky AND your story makes for good TV.

While I'm really grateful for the experience and the exposure it's given Mod Mom Furniture, it makes me hot under the collar when I read comments such as yours that throw me under the bus for doing what's best for my family and my company.

Orlando Mendoza said...

Here is what I think, Robert just wanted to help you because you have a wonderful story but then, he realizes that you can get better offers from others investors/friends so he stays out of your company. That's great for you, your company and family. PD: I know, my English socks, I'm just studying ESL.

amanda said...

This is great. I just saw the episode on shark tank. You were great, glad to see it is going well.

Mod Mom Furniture said...

To the "anonymous" person who just submitted a comment and caught a spelling error, I thank you. You're right. I misspelled a word.

With that said, I will send you lots of positive energy because clearly you are covered up in negativity if you felt the need to write something so mean spirited. Clearly, there are some issues you're dealing with and I wish you the best of luck with them.