Father Figure is a clothing brand introduced in Season 9 of Shark Tank. The company was established by Andrew Bentley, a former Google employee who became a dad and recognized a gap in the market for stylish, baby-friendly clothing for fathers.
He noticed that the significant role of fathers, particularly millennial dads, in their children’s care was often overlooked and lacked recognition. Thus, Father Figure was born to celebrate and recognize involved dads.
Father Figure featured three core products: a denim shirt, a t-shirt, and a burp rag. Bentley’s idea was to create apparel that fused style and practicality – clothes that offer a sense of coolness for dads while ensuring comfort and utility when caring for their babies.
Bentley’s passion for advocating for fathers extended beyond his clothing line; he also partnered with Fathers Incorporated, a non-profit organization that educates the public about fatherhood issues.
Father Figure’s niche lay in its potential appeal to the modern dad who wanted to maintain a sense of style while being an engaged and caring parent.
In this respect, it can be seen as a unique and thoughtful choice, especially for soon-to-be fathers or those who wish to make a fashion statement while carrying out their parental duties. However, it’s essential to note that the brand’s potential was not fully realized due to various issues.
The product line was met with mixed reviews during its pitch on Shark Tank. While the sharks were impressed with Bentley’s sales of $33,000 in less than a year, they were less impressed to learn that most of these sales came from the Kickstarter campaign.
The cost of producing the clothes, particularly the denim shirt priced at $76 to make and sold for $128, was seen as too expensive, leading to concerns about profitability and market appeal.
Ultimately, the sharks didn’t believe there was a significant market for paternity clothing, leading to Bentley not securing the investment he sought.
Unfortunately, Father Figure did not sustain its operation despite its early promise. The company shut down in 2019, the website became non-operational, and its social media accounts have been inactive for some time.
The closure was likely due to various factors, including high manufacturing costs and a lack of sustained demand in the market. However, the vision and concept behind Father Figure undoubtedly struck a chord with many, highlighting the overlooked needs of new fathers and offering a unique solution to the challenge of parenting with style.
|Company Name||Father Figure|
|Product||A company that manufactures paternity clothing|
|Investment Asking For||$80,000 for 15% equity in Father Figure|
|Final Deal||No Deal|
|Father Figure Episode||Season 9, Episode 6|
|Father Figure Business Status||Out Of Business|
|Father Figure Website||Visit Website|
|Father Figure Net Worth||$0 Million|
What Is Father Figure?
Father Figure is an innovative clothing brand that Andrew Bentley established with the distinct aim of catering to fathers, a demographic he perceived as underserved in the clothing industry.
His inspiration stemmed from personal experience, as he noticed a significant gap in the market for paternity clothes after the birth of his child. From birthing rooms to at-home care, Bentley wanted to ensure that fathers could look cool and keep their babies comfortable.
As a response, the brand debuted with a clothing line uniquely designed for new dads, expertly combining fashion with functionality. A key highlight in their collection is the “Luca” shirt, a jersey t-shirt that offers comfort, durability, and style suitable for a newborn’s homecoming.
Beyond fashion, Bentley established Father Figure as a public benefit corporation, aligning with his vision to empower fathers. The company partners with Fathers Incorporated, enabling it to have a broader positive impact at a societal level.
It showcases the brand’s commitment to supporting and uplifting fathers and father figures beyond providing stylish and practical attire.
Who Is The Founder Of Father Figure?
The founder of Father Figure is Andrew Bentley, a former Google executive from Brooklyn, New York. Bentley enjoyed a successful career in the tech industry, but his life trajectory shifted drastically after he became a father.
Despite the immense joy of welcoming his first child, Bentley felt disconnected in the parenting product market, observing a significant lack of products catering to new dads.
In the period leading up to his child’s birth, Bentley noticed that while there were countless products aimed at expectant mothers, there were virtually none created with fathers in mind.
This omission somewhat diminished his role as a soon-to-be father, inspiring him to make a change. Once his son was born, Bentley juggled his responsibilities as a Google executive while serving as a full-time caregiver to his child.
Amidst fatherhood’s daily challenges and joys, he found himself fashioning his makeshift accessories tailored to active dads, filling the void he had previously perceived in the parenting market.
After interacting with other fathers in his local community, Bentley learned he felt overlooked by parenting companies. His experiences and feedback fueled his idea to launch a clothing company to provide fathers with apparel designed specifically for their parenting needs.
To bring his vision to fruition, Bentley turned to Kickstarter to secure funding, initiating a campaign to raise $30,000 to launch the Father Figure business. The campaign ran for 30 days in June 2016, and despite some initial doubts, a surge of interest in the final days saw it succeed with $30,500 in funding from over 340 backers.
Following the success of his Kickstarter campaign, Bentley was able to transition his focus fully from his position at Google to a growing Father Figure.
His father-friendly clothes were manufactured in the US at a factory in LA. Shortly after fulfilling initial orders from the Kickstarter campaign, he attracted the attention of a Shark Tank producer who had noticed his campaign.
Bentley undertook a rigorous application process before Father Figure’s appearance on Shark Tank. Once selected to appear on the show, he dedicated much time to preparing his pitch.
He rehearsed extensively, even enlisting his wife to play the role of “Mr. Wonderful” or Kevin O’Leary, one of the sharks. Despite these preparations, nothing could truly mirror the range of reactions from the actual sharks during the presentation in the tank.
How Was The Shark Tank Pitch Of Father Figure?
The founder of Father Figure, Andrew Bentley, presented his business idea to the Sharks on Shark Tank to secure an investment of $80,000 in exchange for 15% equity in his company, valuing Father Figure at %533,000.
Andrew’s concept was based on realizing a significant gap in the market for clothing specifically designed for new fathers. He conceived the idea for Father Figure after struggling to find essential items, such as burp rags, when he was left alone with his newborn child for the first time.
He began designing clothes with unique features, including loops for burp rags, soft patches for comfortably holding children, and durable necklines for t-shirts and bandanas. Andrew was so passionate about his concept that he left his job at Google to dedicate himself fully to the project.
During the Shark Tank pitch, Andrew tried to convince the Sharks that his product filled an important niche and his designs were not just a luxury but essential for new dads. However, the Sharks had mixed views on his product.
Lori Greiner saw potential in the concept but suggested it would be more effective as a ‘toolbelt for babies’ than a full clothing line.
Mark Cuban felt that the products were not essential items that customers would feel compelled to purchase. Hence he dropped out.
Kevin O’Leary was the most vocal critic of the product, explicitly stating his dislike for it and communicating his belief that it had no future success. He subsequently dropped out as well.
Andrew strongly desires to partner with Daymond John due to their shared backgrounds and Daymond’s experience in the clothing industry. Nevertheless, Daymond believed it was too early for him to get involved, as the product sales were not impressive enough, and he also dropped out.
Guest shark Sara Blakely was the last remaining shark. Despite showing initial interest in Father Figure, she felt she couldn’t add value to the product and ultimately dropped out.
Ultimately, Father Figure did not receive any offers from the Sharks. While passionate and well-intentioned, Andrew’s pitch did not convince the Sharks of the necessity or profitability of the product.
The company ultimately ceased operations in 2019, and as of the most recent updates, all its social media platforms and website have been inactive, making it clear that Father Figure did not secure any additional funding or support post-Shark Tank.
What Happened To Father Figure After Shark Tank?
Unfortunately, Father Figure, the paternity clothing company, faced difficulties after its appearance on Shark Tank. Andrew Bentley, the founder, could not secure an investment from any of the Sharks during the show.
Despite this, he initially continued to pursue his business idea with determination. However, the lack of a significant market need for the product and the absence of essential funding took a toll on the company’s operations.
As of the latest update, it appears Father Figure ceased its operations in 2019, a year after its appearance on Shark Tank. No products are available for sale, indicating that production and business operations have been halted.
Further, Father Figure’s digital presence has also faded. The company’s Instagram page hasn’t been updated since 2018 when they appeared on the show. The link to their website from the Instagram page is broken, which makes it hard to find any current information about the company. The lack of updates and communication implies the discontinuation of the business.
It seems that, though novel and founded on personal experience, Andrew Bentley’s vision for paternity clothing did not resonate with a broad enough audience to sustain a viable business.
This could be due to various reasons like insufficient marketing, an underestimation of the niche nature of the product, or inadequate funding to support the operations and growth of the company.
Father Figure, unfortunately, did not succeed significantly following its appearance on Shark Tank. Despite the founder’s passion and belief in his product, the company ceased operations and is no longer active in the market.
Father Figure Shark Tank Update
Andrew Bentley, the CEO of Father Figure, appeared on Shark Tank in October 2017, seeking an $80,000 investment. Although he did not secure a deal, he viewed the experience as a blessing and valued the exposure and lessons gained. He mentioned that the journey proved worthwhile for him.
Father Figure, a lifestyle brand for dads offering clothing and gear designed specifically for fathers, did not secure a deal on Shark Tank. Despite facing challenges such as production delays and shipping issues, the brand managed to gain recognition through major media outlets.
They continue to focus on supporting fathers and advocating for causes such as postpartum depression awareness and parental leave policy change. Father Figure is active on social media platforms, engaging with its followers and promoting its products.
Father Figure’s website and social media accounts were offline at that time. It is mentioned that Andrew Bentley, the founder of Father Figure, currently works as a Project Leader at the Harvard Kennedy School Government Performance Lab.
The report suggests that starting a new company seems unlikely for Andrew, given his commitments as a father and project leader. Father Figure received no offers on Shark Tank and eventually shut down in 2019.
The founder, Andrew Bentley, recognized the need for paternity clothes after struggling to find a burp rag when caring for his newborn. However, the Sharks were unconvinced about the market demand, and the brand received no investment offers.
Is Father Figure Still In Business?
According to our research, Father Figure, a clothing company for dads, faced challenges and eventually closed in 2019. Andrew Bentley, the founder of Father Figure, now works as a Project Leader at the Harvard Kennedy School Government Performance Lab.
What Is the Net Worth Of Father Figure?
According to our research, the net worth of Father Figure has been $0 since the company went out of business in 2019. The valuation of Father Figure was $533,000 when it appeared on Shark Tank.
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