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In Episode 607, Michael Wooley solicits funding for the Vestpakz, a hybrid vest and backpack. Christen Wooley created the item in 1999 for a science project in the sixth school.
At the age of 11, Christen was already well-known thanks to her appearance on Oprah and Disney Dreamers and Doers Award.
Christen, who holds the Vestpakz patent, was unable to appear on Shark Tank because of her demanding schedule as a teacher, babysitter, and graduate student at Wake Forest’s Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Along with representatives from Eastport, Wooley makes an appearance on the Shark Tank programme in November. Vestpakz goods are now sold at Walmart thanks to a licence arrangement with Eastport.
Wooley appears to be looking for brand recognition and even funding to support the expansion of his company.
Do Sharks attempt to fit Vestpakz?
Sixth-grader Christen Bell created the vestpakz, a vest with front and back pockets, as a more practical method to carry her school supplies.
Compared to traditional backpacks, Vestpakz’s design evenly and comfortably distributes weight.
|Founder||Michael Woolley and Arthur Grayer|
|Product||The vest and backpack work together to distribute weight evenly throughout the body|
|Investment Seeking||$50,000 for 10% equity in VestPakz|
|Final Deal||No Deal|
|Business Status||Out Of Business|
Who Is VestPakz’s Founder?
To carry her schoolbooks, Christen Bell created Vestpakz, a vest with front and rear pockets.
One of the most interesting products to ever appear on Shark Tank, the Vestpakz Vest excels in many areas.
The Vest Pack/Backpack is not a wholly original idea; it was created in 1998 as part of a science project by Christen Bell, then 11 years old.
Before Shark Tank, VestPakz
Michael Woolley and Arthur Grayer, who serve on the VestPAKz board, have recently been approved for the Shark Tank. Arthur is the biggest licensee, and Michael is the main financial officer.
In exchange for a $50,000 investment and a 10% equity ownership in the business, the company has contacted Shark Tank. When she was only in sixth grade, Arthur’s daughter created VestPakz.
Her teacher gave his daughter a simple science project that involved finding a problem and coming up with a solution.
After learning that backpacks were uncomfortable, he created a new model. It is more stylish, practical, and comfy than a typical rucksack.
How Would You Rate VestPakz’s Shark Tank Pitch?
VestPakz is a hybrid vest and backpack with a practical design that aids in equally dispersing weight.
Over his more than 30 years in the backpack industry, Michael has never come across anything quite like the VestPak.
Michael ends by saying that the Sharks can start putting a lot more money in the vest’s front pocket thanks to their investment in the VestPak.
Kevin, who has been looking gloomy the entire episode, suddenly turns his attention to the sales.
About $10,000 worth of goods were sold in January and February, which, as the Sharks point out, is not a lot of money.
When Robert asks about the men’s relationship, Michael says he owns the rights to the good, which he then licences to Arthur so that he can sell it. Only Arthur has the authority to sell VestPAKz.
Following their entrance, Arthur and the two kids gave each shark a lollipop and some samples.
But cranky Kevin says it would be best to get rid of the kids since things are going to turn ugly on Shark Tank.
The system is set up so that Arthur purchases the product and then pays a fee to Michael. Robert then asks for clarification.
When Robert asks for money, Michael reveals that it will be in the form of six and a half royalties. During Mark’s questioning, Arthur reveals that the sale price of each VestPak varies from $14 to $30 depending on the model; the VestPak Mark had a retail price of $14.88 and a manufacturing cost of roughly $4.75.
Robert asks Arthur for the overall sales for VestPakz, but Arthur starts by telling a quick tale.
— Darry Harris (@D_Harris24) January 14, 2015
In November, a licencing arrangement was negotiated, and for January and February, the product was available at a Big Box retailer (Wal-Mart).
Although there will be 75 places where the products may be purchased, the poor sales showed that there was little interest in the VestPakz offering.
The reality was that the product’s production would not be finished until after Christmas, despite Arthur’s intention to have it accessible before the holidays.
VestPakz has not yet received a commitment from Wal-Mart to be ordered again, and Arthur claims he is waiting to see what happens during the “back to school” season in July and August. At this point, they will know if Wal-Mart would place another order.
When a business approaches Robert, an investor, and claims that they have entered the Wal-Mart market but have only sold $10,000 in two months, Robert asks Arthur to put himself in Robert’s shoes.
Robert thinks this is a bad scenario, but Barbara and Mark ask the two to elaborate, and in November, they give Robert some good news.
Michael asks for a brief delay so that he can give some information on VestPAKz, but Arthur says that there is some good news in that Wal-Mart might reorder owing to their significant interest.
After creating the idea, Michael’s daughter took first place in a sixth-grade science competition. The item was subsequently submitted to the Oprah Winfrey program’s “Million Dollar Idea Challenge.”
— Gazette Review (@GazetteReview) September 13, 2016
Barbara reminds out that despite being featured on Oprah and Walmart, they are still only selling $10,000 worth of merchandise; however, Michael reveals that this was back in 2003.
Robert thought that the youngsters who entered the Shark Tank with Michael and Arthur were Michael’s children; however, Michael’s daughter is now 27 years old, which causes all of the Sharks to chuckle or gaze in surprise.
Given that Michael’s children and he were both in sixth grade, VestPAKz was misinterpreted as a recent set of events rather than ten years of the same since Michael had made it seem like a new product with a lot of momentum.
The reason for the ten-year wait is brought up by the Sharks, and Kevin quips that Michael’s daughter was working in product development at the time.
The Sharks have lost their composure and seem to be making fun of Michael’s tardy approach to what could be a very lucrative business.
Lori, on the other hand, wonders why there has been such a long time of inactivity. Michael explains that he lacked the money to launch the business and buy enough products.
Robert asks Mark about the two men responsible for VestPAKz’s 16-year decline in credibility when he notes that his daughter, who is now 27, was only 11 when the company was launched.
Mark agrees with Robert that it would have been better if the two men had alerted the Sharks right away after entering the Shark.
After that, Lori asks about the sales of VestPAKz during the previous 16 years before moving on to more urgent investing issues. However, Arthur affirms that the $10,000 in sales of VestPAKz in January and February were the only ones.
Kevin then offers his opinion, claiming that the “Mandy” backpack design was still very popular at the time the VestPakz were created.
— Business 2 Community (@B2Community) January 14, 2015
Since then, just the addition of VestPakz to Wal-Mart has occurred, and it is unknown at this time if the product will continue to be sold until the start of the new school year.
Kevin was intrigued by this since, until he learned that Wal-Mart would keep it again, he did not think it was worth $500,000 in the first place.
Given the durability of VestPAKz, their collaboration on Shark Tank and working with the Sharks will be a footnote in their history, whether they do so now or in ten years.
Kevin made light of the fact that he would instantly regret his lack of investment if he went to the Smithsonian and saw the VestPAKz.
When Kevin draws Michael’s attention and acknowledges that he is no longer a party to the agreement, Michael initially claims that the Smithsonian will exhibit the goods in 2015. But Arthur acknowledges that the weight of textbooks is a concern.
Through testing, they showed that the VestPak did, in fact, effectively disperse weight and may help youngsters handle their heavy loads.
Robert acknowledges that Michael seems to be an honest person and that the two of them did not come out to trick them, but he has a good reason to be worried.
An investor finds it even worse when a product being offered at Wal-Mart, the biggest retailer in the world, generates $10,000 in sales over the course of two months in 75 stores.
The data are accurate because Robert is no longer a party to the transaction.
Although Mark likes the product, the fact that VestPakz is already licenced through Arthur and the purpose is to invest in entrepreneurs and businesses leaves Mark with too many questions and too much room for doubt. Mark also soon leaves the transaction.
— Business 2 Community (@B2Community) January 14, 2015
The two remaining Sharks are Barbara and Lori, and Barbara shows her passion for the item, which is a reinvention of something that kids buy every other year.
Arthur briefly cuts her off, and Barbara says that this is a sad instance because the product is excellent but the entrepreneurs are incorrect, and she walks away from the sale.
Although Lori acknowledges that the constant rush and bustle might get tiresome, she thinks Arthur and Michael have done well for themselves thus far.
The problem, in her view, is that regardless of whether the Sharks think the product is a good idea or not, the customers speak when a product is sold to so many outlets and only sells $10,000 in two months.
Lori also terminates her employment agreement as the final Shark, as evidenced by the weak sales at Wal-Mart over the past two months.
After failing to acquire funding for their firm Vestpakz, Michael Woolley and Arthur Grayer dejectedly exit the Shark Tank.
What transpired with VestPakz following Shark Tank?
The idea is intriguing, so I was hopeful Michael and Arthur would develop it further. Unfortunately, they haven’t done anything since making their Shark Tank debut. Fantastic product, terrible business people, as Kevin called it.
As of right now, visiting the VestPakz website will take you to a poorly designed Google Forms page where VestPakz will ask for your name, email address, subject, and message.
“Andross Computers,” which seems to be a computer repair company, powers the entire project.
— Scientists Innovator (@Sci_Invent) November 29, 2014
Perhaps the promotion for the Smithsonian Innovation Festival and the holiday season this year helped them sell out of all backpack vests?
It seems like a great chance was lost if the Vestpakz product cannot be acquired before tomorrow night’s show.