What Happened After Shark Tank!

Posted by Expert Gadget Reviewer on Saturday, 2 April 2011

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...

While in talks with Robert after filming, the most amazing, unexpected thing happened.  I started getting other investment offers from old friends, new friends, friends of friends, and design experts.  I didn't even go looking for the offers (cuz I already knew I had one!) but excitement from finding out that I was on Shark Tank (even without them knowing the outcome) coupled with their belief in the scalability of my brand made that happen. Also, I had already partnered with L and J Woodworking - Amish Manufacturer - in Ohio when I pitched the Sharks.  They knew I had manufacturing lined up already, and that I was getting a deal from them that is almost unheard of in the furniture manufacturing/design business.  Ray Yoder, owner of L and J Woodworking, agreed to start building (in December 2010) all of my orders on a made-to-order basis.  No minimums. That just doesn't happen!!  He's already built over 100 pieces over the past two months! I could only physically build a little over 100 PER YEAR! Anyhow, back to other investment offers.  When I was in the Tank, I really truly believed that they were my only chance at securing capital.  As it turns out, just by being on Shark Tank, even before it aired, led to other investment offers.


I'm incredibly happy to say that I now have, through other investment deals, capital to grow Mod Mom Furniture AND I got to keep A LOT more of my company and not pay royalties.  It's a total win-win!  The exposure and the experience from Shark Tank is/has been unbelievable.  I couldn't have done it without that call from Shark Tank in August. 


There is SOOOOO much more to this story that includes the kindness of strangers, old grammar school friends, and an amazing Amish community and friends of friends from London.  And I can't wait to fill you in on all of that as well but I have to prepare for a flight to the High Point Furniture Market in North Carolina.  I've been asked to speak at the American Society of Furniture Designer's Annual Dinner on Monday, April 4th.  I'm so excited!!

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 donned on 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.