Nerdwax entered the Shark Tank on October 9th. Heavy interviewed Don Hejny, the creator behind the beeswax that stops eyeglasses from slipping off. Here is what he told us about…
To read all of Heavy’s Shark Tank coverage, click here.
How the Idea Came About
The idea for Nerdwax all started five years ago. At the time, I was a Touring Audio Engineer and we used to do outdoor concerts during the summer. There were times when I would get so sweaty that my glasses would literally fall off my face. I searched the internet for a solution, but anything I could find was either annoying, uncomfortable or ugly. I can remember the exact moment I had the idea for Nerdwax. We were at a summer festival in Texas and the artist I was working for was on stage. She was wearing these huge aviator sunglasses looking directly into the sun and every two seconds, her glasses would slide down her face and she’d have to stop playing guitar to push them back up. It was super distracting and I can remember wanting to walk on stage and just hold them on her face. It was just a lightbulb moment. I thought, ‘I wish there was something I could rub on my glasses that would keep them stable when I need it and would wear off naturally over time without making a mess.’ I went home and ordered a bunch of all natural and organic cosmetic grade materials and turned our kitchen into a lab! It took me about two to three years to get the formula right where I wanted it. I would make a batch, take it out on the road with me to test it out and then come home and tweak it and go back out. We started giving it to friends and family to see what they thought and pretty soon people were asking us where they could buy it!
Being a Family Business
My wife Lydia and I are still running the business out of our home. Our kids have loved being a part of launching Nerdwax and it’s been really fun to watch them get so into it! They love Shark Tank and were so excited we were going to be on the show that there was no way we could leave them behind! So they came into the Tank with us. It was so incredible to all be there together.
The Evolution of the Word ‘Nerd’
Sliding glasses and the iconic single-finger glasses push has always been associated with nerds, but our generation has really reclaimed the term ‘nerd’ and made it our own! Really, ‘nerd’ means someone who is super into one thing. so there’s Crossfit nerds and gaming nerds and fantasy football nerds and music nerds and you get the point. Nerdwax is for anyone who is annoyed by their glasses sliding!
The Kickstarter Experience
We launched our Kickstarter because we were so tired sitting on our product waiting to save money to start a business. We decided we had to take Nerdwax to the Kickstarter community and we are so glad we did. Kickstarter is such a great place to learn so much about your business in a safe zone. Our backers were so generous and understanding when things when wrong in our campaign and we loved being able to interact with them and really make them part of the process of our launch.
Entering into the ‘Tank’
We had some friends who were on the show back in Season 5 and when they saw our campaign they told us we had to go on the show! We sent an email to the casting director and the rest is history. We were pretty nervous going in. I had never raised money or pitched our business to anyone before so doing that in the Tank for the first time was crazy! But as soon as our feet hit the carpet it was game time, and I settled right into the flow!