The Mad Optimist is a soap and body care product line featured on Season 11 of Shark Tank. Co-founded by Anthony Duncan and the Mahdi brothers, Mohammed M. and Mohammed A., in Bloomington, Indiana, this unique brand is based on a philosophy of compassion and care, where all products are vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO, halal, and cruelty-free.
The impetus for this company stemmed from the founders’ realization that several commercially available soaps contain animal fat, an unappealing thought for individuals who uphold a vegan lifestyle and believe in animal welfare.
The Mad Optimist offers a range of body care items, including soap, body soak, spray mist, and lip balm. The business model of this brand is based on ‘pay what you can.’
This model empowers customers to create their custom soap using their chosen ingredients, name their soap, and determine the price they wish to pay, all through a user-friendly interface on the company’s website.
Because of this approach, the Mad Optimist positions itself as a true social enterprise in the body care industry.
What makes The Mad Optimist a compelling choice is its commitment to ethical, all-natural ingredients and its unique business approach that encourages consumer interaction and personalization.
The company’s dedication to inclusivity, as demonstrated by its provision of vegan, halal, and gluten-free products, makes it an ideal choice for individuals with specific lifestyle preferences or dietary restrictions.
The customizability of the products, coupled with the company’s ‘pay what you can’ pricing model, provides consumers with an unrivaled level of autonomy, further strengthening the brand’s appeal.
The Mad Optimist’s social enterprise ethos, which includes donating all proceeds from certain sales to charitable causes, demonstrates a tangible commitment to social responsibility, making it more than just a body care company; it is a company that is truly committed to making a positive impact.
|The Mad Optimist
|Anthony Duncan, Mohamed A., and Mohamed M. Mahdi
|Customizable vegan, halal, cruelty-free soap and body care
|$60,000 for 10% equity in The Mad Optimist
|$60,000 for 10% equity in The Mad Optimist
|The Mad Optimist Episode
|Season 11, Episode 24
|The Mad Optimist Status
|The Mad Optimist Website
|The Mad Optimist’s Net Worth
What Is The Mad Optimist?
The Mad Optimist is a personal care brand specializing in custom, all-natural body care products. They focus on inclusivity and personalization, allowing customers to customize their soaps, body sprays, and bath soaks.
The Mad Optimist is a brand in the personal care industry known for its focus on customization, natural ingredients, inclusivity, transparency, and sustainability.
The Mad Optimist offers customers a truly personalized experience by allowing them to customize their soaps, body sprays, and bath soaks. This includes selecting specific ingredients and scents and even the opportunity to name the product itself.
The brand is committed to using only all-natural, vegan, and halal ingredients. This commitment extends to every aspect of their business, including their supply chain. They ensure their suppliers adhere to fair trade practices and source organic ingredients whenever possible.
The Mad Optimist is also committed to inclusivity. This is reflected in their sliding scale pricing system, where customers can choose what they pay. This approach is part of their mission to make personal care products accessible to everyone.
The Mad Optimist values transparency. They provide complete information about their ingredients and processes so customers know exactly what they purchase. They are committed to sustainability, evidenced by their use of eco-friendly packaging.
The Mad Optimist’s overall mission is to change how people think about personal care products by providing high-quality, customizable options that are produced and priced fairly.
Here are some key features of The Mad Optimist:
- Customization: Customers can select the ingredients, scents, and product names.
- All-Natural Ingredients: They use only all-natural, vegan, and halal ingredients in their products.
- Inclusivity: The brand emphasizes inclusivity with a sliding-scale pricing system where customers can choose what they pay.
- Transparency: The company provides full transparency about its ingredients and processes.
- Sustainability: The Mad Optimist is committed to sustainability, using eco-friendly packaging and supporting fair trade and organic suppliers.
Their mission is to change people’s thoughts about personal care products by providing high-quality, customizable options that are produced and priced fairly.
Who Is The Founder Of The Mad Optimist?
A trio of long-time friends founded the Mad Optimist: Anthony Duncan and brothers Mohammed M. Mahdi and Mohammed A. Mahdi. The founders are based in Bloomington, Indiana, and share common values that align with veganism and Shia Islam, which discourage the consumption or use of animal meat and byproducts.
The founders’ shared principles became a significant catalyst for creating The Mad Optimist. The founders became unpalatable when they realized many soap bars were made with animal fat.
As vegans and Muslims who refrain from consuming or using animal products, they found the prevalent use of animal fat in soaps distasteful. This prompted the trio to conceptualize a business idea to offer an alternative to mainstream soap products.
Thus, The Mad Optimist was born in 2012, primarily focusing on producing vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO, halal, and cruelty-free body care products.
Before their appearance on Shark Tank in Season 11, the company had achieved some success with their distinctive approach. The Mad Optimist’s business model incorporated a ‘pay what you can’ pricing structure, differentiating it from other body care companies.
This model allowed customers to create their custom soap, choose their preferred ingredients, name their soap, and decide the price they wished to pay, thus adding a significant level of personalization to the customer experience.
By the time they appeared on Shark Tank, The Mad Optimist had already made $800,000 in total sales. While some might consider this a modest figure, it was a significant achievement for a small company with a unique business model.
However, the founders were seeking additional funding and exposure to take their business to the next level, which led them to present their concept to the ‘sharks’ on the popular TV show.
How Was The Shark Tank Pitch Of The Mad Optimist?
The Shark Tank pitch by the founders of The Mad Optimist, Anthony Duncan and brothers Mohammed M. Mahdi and Mohammed A. Mahdi, was remarkable and stood out due to their business model and their passion for offering a viable vegan, cruelty-free, and sustainable option in the body care industry.
In their pitch, the founders sought an investment of $60,000 for 10% equity in the company. They explained that their products were vegan, cruelty-free, non-GMO, and gluten-free but also allowed customers to customize their soap, choosing the scent, additives, and packaging according to their preferences.
Additionally, they introduced a ‘pay what you can’ pricing model, a sliding price scale where customers could choose their price within a certain range, which was a first for Shark Tank.
The Sharks had several questions regarding this business model, particularly regarding the individualization of each product instead of manufacturing in large batches. They also showed concern about the sliding price scale.
Anthony explained that each soap costs $4.50 to make, and the scale ranges from $6 to $16, with the average selling price being $8.50, leading to profit margins of about 50%.
However, not all Sharks were impressed with the company’s social enterprise angle and the low sales figures. Kevin O’Leary was the first to drop out, calling the business model insane.
Guest Shark Daniel Lubetzky, Lori Greiner, and Robert Herjavec also dropped out, with Lori expressing her love for the entrepreneurs but not believing in the product and Robert agreeing with her sentiments.
Despite the skepticism from other Sharks, Mark Cuban saw potential in The Mad Optimist. He suggested the founders started other businesses focusing on specific markets and offered them $60,000 for a 25% stake in the company, effectively reducing its valuation.
When the founders countered with 18% equity, Mark returned with a 20% offer. The founders accepted this offer with a contingency that all proceeds from sales on the day the episode aired, which fell on the Muslim holiday of Ashura, would be donated to charity.
Mark agreed, resulting in a final deal of $60,000 for a 20% stake in the company.
Following the Shark Tank episode, The Mad Optimist continues to sell its products on its website and Amazon, bringing in approximately $1 million in annual revenue, a significant increase from their pre-Shark Tank days.
What Happened To The Mad Optimist After Shark Tank?
Following their appearance on Shark Tank, The Mad Optimist saw significant growth and success. The exposure from the show helped them increase their annual revenue to approximately $1 million, a substantial improvement from their pre-Shark Tank days.
The Mad Optimist, a company that offers customizable vegan soap and body care products, has experienced a significant positive shift in its business.
The company was founded by Mohamed M. Mandi, Mohamed A. Mandi, and Anthony Duncan, who initially sought an investment of $60,000 for 10% equity in their business.
Mark Cuban, one of the sharks on the show, recognized their potential and offered them $60,000 for 25% equity. After some negotiations, the deal was finalized for the same amount but for a 20% stake in the company. As part of the agreement, the founders committed to donate 100% of the proceeds from the day the show aired for Ashura.
The Mad Optimist’s selling proposition lies in its customization options and ethical credentials – its vegan, cruelty-free, non-GMO, and gluten-free products. Customers can choose the scent, add-ins, and packaging of their soap.
Furthermore, customers can also decide what they can afford to pay for the product thanks to a sliding price scale, ranging from $6-$16.
The ability to customize soaps and other body care products resonated with many consumers, leading to a surge in sales.
Their products’ vegan, cruelty-free, non-GMO, and gluten-free credentials also appealed to a broader, more conscious consumer base, helping them stand out in the saturated body care market.
Moreover, their sliding price scale model, which allows customers to decide what they can afford to pay for the product, helped them reach a wider audience and promoted their mission of inclusivity and fairness.
Their business relationship with Mark Cuban likely brought invaluable advice and resources, further contributing to their success. It’s also plausible that Mark helped them expand into specific markets, as he advised during their pitch.
Post Shark Tank, The Mad Optimist has continued to grow. It now sells its products both on its website and on Amazon. The business has seen a significant increase in its annual revenue, currently at about $1 million. This is a substantial improvement compared to their pre-Shark Tank days.
The Mad Optimist’s appearance on Shark Tank proved to be a major turning point for the business, leading to increased visibility and financial growth.
The company’s commitment to ethical practices and product customization has resonated with consumers and continues to drive their success.
The Mad Optimist continues to sell its products on its website and through Amazon, maintaining its commitment to producing customizable and ethical body care products.
The Mad Optimist Shark Tank Update
After their appearance on Shark Tank, The Mad Optimist has made considerable strides in their business. They successfully negotiated a deal with Mark Cuban, who offered $600,000 for a 20% equity stake in their company. Nevertheless, the deal hadn’t closed by 2023.
Mark Cuban agreed that all sales proceeds during the show’s airing would be donated to Ashura, which he honored. The total amount raised was $80,192.39 to support refugees, homeless individuals, and LGBT children.
Post-Shark Tank, The Mad Optimist continued to sell products through their website and expanded their sales platform to include Amazon.
The company has been maintaining an active presence on social media platforms such as Instagram, though there might be periods of inactivity.
The Mad Optimist’s annual revenue reached $1 million, marking a significant growth in their business since their Shark Tank appearance. The exposure from the show and their continuous efforts have paid off in expanding their brand visibility and customer base.
Is The Mad Optimist Still In Business?
Our research shows that The Mad Optimist is still in business. As of 2023, the company has flourished despite the deal with Mark Cuban from Shark Tank not closing. They have reported an annual revenue of $1 million.
The company thrives on its business model, offering personalized soaps and other skincare products. Each product is vegan and Halal, catering to a variety of consumers.
Their approach to business includes a proprietary process for curing the soap in one day (as opposed to the usual 30 days) and “sliding scale pricing,” where customers choose what they want to pay for products.
In addition, they have also shown commitment to societal issues. On the Shia Muslim Day of Ashura, they donated all sales proceeds from 8 PM to 3 AM Eastern time, amounting to $80,192.39, to organizations that fight societal oppression.
Their resilience and commitment to their values indicate the company’s sustained presence in the market.
What Is the Net Worth Of The Mad Optimist?
According to our research, the net worth of The Mad Optimist is estimated to be $3 million. The valuation of The Mad Optimist was $300,000 after securing an investment from Mark Cuban.
Also, read about other businesses that appeared on Season 11 of Shark Tank: