In episode 803 of Shark Tank, the Sharks will explore a solution for stopping heels from sinking into the grass — Solemates.
Monica Ferguson and Becca Brown hope the Sharks will look at their solution and offer them an investment.
Two former Goldman Sachs executives and Colombia MBA graduates founded the company in 2009.
The company’s signature product is a pair of rubber slip-one that fit over women’s high-heeled shoes.
The product keeps heels from sinking into grass and generally improves stability and grip.
Solemates has grown from one product to a full line of shoe care for women who love heels.
With each step, they strive to improve the lives of well-heeled people.” They offer blister preventatives, foot cushions, leather protectors, and buffs.
A majority of the Solemates items cost less than thirty dollars, which is reasonable. They sell their products through various online retailers, including Zappos and Amazon.
There must have been some successes for the company since they’ve been around for about seven years. They’re probably looking for a Shark to assist them in extending their line.
Will Sharks consider this a well-funded venture and invest?
What Is SoleMates?
Solemates objective is to make life easier for women who adore their heels. The slip-overs fit over high-heeled shoes to prevent them from sinking into the grass and improve their grip.
The brand has since expanded into a complete range of shoe care products for women who adore heels.
|Entrepreneur||Becca Brown and Monica Ferguson|
|Product||Heel Caps to Protect Your Feet|
|Investment Asking For||$500,000 For 10% equity in SoleMates|
|Final Deal||$500,000 For 20% equity in SoleMates|
|Episode||Season 8 Episode 4|
|Business Status||In Business|
Who Is The Founder Of SoleMates?
Becca Brown and Monica Ferguson created Solemates. Monica earned a BA from Harvard and a BS from Georgetown University.
They earned MBA degrees from Columbia University before beginning their careers at Goldman Sachs.
Becca is also the principal owner of Core Satellite Partners, a member of the Stylecard Advisory Board, and one of the co-founders of Soulmates.
Solemates was founded in 2009 to fulfill the founders’ aim to “enhance the lives of well-heeled individuals with every step they take.”
They created rubber heel slip-overs that prevented heels from sinking into grass, supported hard irregular surfaces, and prevented falls in stilettos. The company started with a $100,000 investment, and both partners owned 40%.
They raised over $1 million by selling at more than 3000 retail outlets, including David’s bridal in Nordstrom.
The company had already reached halfway to its second-year goal of $1.5 million when it was invited to participate in Shark Tank in 2018.
SoleMates Before Shark Tank
Monica and Rebecca met at Goldman Sachs after their undergraduate degrees.
After spending a few years there, they enrolled in graduate school at Columbia. Columbia University is where they developed the concept that would become Solemates.
The company honed its offering, and when it returned to Goldman Sachs, it grew rapidly. Their entrepreneurial goals eventually led them to abandon their employment and pursue them full-time.
They pursued that desire throughout graduate school and their subsequent tenure at Goldman Sachs. The business grew in popularity, and they abandoned their employment to pursue their ambition.
When they entered the Shark Tank, the two business partners already saw success, searching for $500,000 in exchange for 10% of Solemates.
They are beginning to turn a profit, but they need Sharks’ help to expand.
How Was The Shark Tank Pitch Of SoleMates?
The presentation began with Becca stating that women bond with shoes dating back to the early 1900s. While high-heeled shoes make women appear taller and thinner, they do so at a cost.
It was discussed that high heels might cause women to slip in the grass at a wedding and become stuck in cracks in sidewalks. It can be humiliating and expensive.
Solemates are caps that clip onto stiletto heels to increase the contact area between the heels and the shoe.
Thus, the heel is relieved of pressure and prevented from getting caught in confined spaces.
Women can wear high heels with confidence and freedom with Solemates without worrying about damaging their shoes. There were clips-on heels in clear, black, gold, and silver.
A three-color set was available for $30, with each pair selling for $10. A pair of shoes were available for Lori to try on, and they distributed samples to her.
The male Sharks feigned to be unhappy since they had not brought any to test on. Monica and Rebecca both stated that they had brought samples for the panel members.
Mark politely declined, but the others were willing to give it a go.
Robert, who was walking the stage in his heels, said they were comfortable, and the other Sharks affirmed that they immediately noticed a change when the Solemates were clipped on their heels.
The Sharks then got down to business, questioning Becca and Monica about Solemates’ finances after the shoe show concluded.
Monica stated that Solemates made $1.1 million in revenue last year and expected that figure to climb to $1.5 million this year.
Becca told Robert that Solemates were already sold at over 3,000 retail locations, including Nordstrom, DSW, and David Bridal, when Robert asked whether they could make a million dollars a year.
Becca noted that Solemates was not a product that women sought out, but they became lifelong customers once they began using them.
Monica stated that their product is a wonderful fit for the women’s footwear and wedding industries.
Having a gross profit margin of 65 percent, Solomates was breaking even. Becca and Monica invested $100,000 and raised $1 million from additional investors.
However, the two said they controlled 40% of the business even though they would not disclose the actual number of investors.
Monica and Becca ran the company entirely on their own, except for a full-time operations assistant.
Financially, Mark felt that his calculations did not add up. Profits of $650,000 would have been expected if a 65 percent profit margin were applied to $1 million in sales.
Monica indicated that the remainder of the funds were being utilized to construct websites, hire graphic designers, and hire photographers. Each earned $30,000 in profit in addition to an annual salary of $80,000.
Lori viewed Solemates as undesirable; they effectively eliminated half of the human population.
It is common for women to avoid wearing heels to even the most formal occasions. Monica refused, saying that women who wear high heels would feel confident with Solemates. Lori stated that it was not a wise investment for her and exited.
Mark believed that for Solemates to earn $5 million in profits, they would need to produce $50 million in sales, which seemed absurd.
He was also absent. Daymond, too, determined that the obstacle was too great to overcome and left.
In her explanation to the remaining Sharks, Becca emphasized that she and Monica would not have left their lucrative Goldman Sachs careers if they didn’t completely believe in Solemates.
Robert admitted that Solemates was establishing a new kind of fashion item.
The product caters to a small segment of the population, but he thought they would purchase it if it protected ladies from high heels and helped them look attractive.
Robert made a $500,000 offer to Becca and Monica in exchange for a 25% stake in the business.
Kevin also remained in the running, providing $100,000 at 10% and the balance of $400,000 as a loan, valuing the business only at $1 million.
Monica inquired about Robert’s willingness to accept 20% equity in exchange for the $500,000. He studied the offer carefully and ultimately agreed to the proposal.
What Happened To SoleMates After Shark Tank?
Robert Herjavec offered Monica Ferguson and Becca Brown $500,000 in exchange for a 20% stake in Shark Tank Season 8 Episode 4.
Solemates is still going strong in 2021 despite the fallout with Robert. Their product range has been expanded to include shoe fresheners, blister protectors, and winter wear.
They saw a significant rise in sales following their participation on Shark Tank. They eventually collaborated with CVS and began selling online through the Solemates website and Amazon.
As of January 2022, the company expects to generate $2 million in annual sales.
SoleMates Shark Tank Update
Becca and Monica could not agree with Robert despite their best efforts on national television.
With sales increasing dramatically following the Shark Tank episode, they benefited from the Shark Tank effect.
Online reviews for Solemates have been wonderful, and several celebrities have given the game great reviews. They have been dubbed “brilliant” by Oprah Winfrey, and Carrie Underwood, Demi Lovato, and Lauryn Conrad all wear them.
The company offers free shipping on orders over $20 and bridal packages.
Monica and Becca have expanded their product line to include freshener sprays, shoe repair kits, and shoe buffs. Solemates has expanded its distribution network and is now available globally.
Is SoleMates Still In Business?
The two ladies behind soulmates reportedly turned down both Sharks’ offers in an interview posted on their site.
Despite declining Robert’s offer, they appear to have continued to do well following the episode’s airing. It’s hard to be called “genius” by Oprah in terms of reviews.
Carrie Underwood, Demi Lovato, and Lauryn Conrad have worn the heels clips. Free shipping is available on orders of $20 or more on their website.
They also expanded their presence in the bridal market by selling whole bridesmaids’ packages. In addition, Solemates also sells similar items such as shoe fragrance spray, customized shoe rescue kits, and shoe buffs.