The idea for Rapid Rope started when Chris Rodgers realized that he was always carrying rope around, but it was always tangled or knotted when he really needed it, even when he’d spent time coiling it around his hand or elbow before putting it away. Chris and his wife Geanie will appear on Shark Tank on Sunday, January 19, 2020 to see if he can get a shark to invest in his product.
The outdoor-loving family says that working and being outside is not just a place to work and play, but it’s their way of life. The rope can be used for tying a Christmas tree to your car or tying down something in a trailer before traveling. The canister fits in a cup holder and does not take up much room in a backpack.
They pitched the product to Lori Greiner, Barbara Corcoran, Kevin O’Leary, Mark Cuban, and guest shark Rohan Oza. The product is a uniquely designed, multi-use rope-dispensing system that is meant to be used in almost every rope application.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. They Were in Ghana When They Found Out They’d Be on Shark Tank
The Rodgers had previously applied to Shark Tank two times, but the third time they decided to go on an open call to increase their chances of getting a callback. Three weeks after that pitch, they got a call that they had made it to the next round, at which point they filled out some more paperwork and waited for an email.
Chris and Geanie do a lot of volunteer work with an organization called Ghana Make a Difference. In June, 2019, they were leading a youth trip mission in Ghana, when they received the email saying they had been selected to film their pitch in front of the sharks.
“We had to sign paperwork and have it back to ABC Shark Tank within 48 hours,” Chris told us in an email. “We managed to find a printer, sign the paperwork, and scan it back to ABC. We were so excited, but we couldn’t tell anyone.”
He said they spent the next few months on phone calls and doing paperwork with their assigned producers, and they had to come up with pitch ideas before going into filming. They did not find out that they would be actually filming in front of the sharks until September.
When they got to California to film their pitch, it was still no guarantee that their pitch would end up on TV, since the show films more pitches than they air.
“The Shark Tank offers more exposure than we can imagine and also the mentorship of a shark is invaluable,” Chris said. “We were incredibly nervous! I don’t think either of us have felt that nervous ever! If you mess up they just keep rolling, there are no do-overs. We felt we had everything riding on our pitch to the sharks! No pressure, right?”
Geanie and Chris spent close to an hour in the tank, but they said the time flew by and at the end of it they could hardly remember anything they said or did because of all the adrenaline. Then, after the experience, they were still not able to tell anyone about it since they didn’t know when, or even if, their pitch would air. They were notified on January 1 that their episode would air on January 19 and have been working to prepare ever since.
2. Friends and Family Have Been Incredibly Supportive
Since the launch of Rapid Rope, friends and family have been pitching in to help make the business a success. A quick scroll through the Rapid Rope Instagram page shows the Rodgers family enjoying the outdoors together; there are pictures of hunting trips, at trade shows, on the beach and more.
“We have had friends helping make rope, do phone calls, help with all PR, redo our website, help with social media, make meals for our family,” Chris said. “It’s been incredible how much support we have had! We are surrounded by a very supportive and amazing community!”
Rapid Rope promises to deliver the best quality of products from their family to their consumer’s family.
3. Rapid Rope is Marketed to All Consumers
Rapid Rope is marketed to anyone who might use ropes in any type of environment, not just avid outdoorsmen or women.
“Rapid Rope is designed for everyone and for almost every task, from tying your Christmas tree on your car to tying down a trailer of goods,” the website reads. “The canister is small enough to fit just about anywhere in your cup holder, in your backpack for a hike, or in an RV for camping. Use it around the house, in the garden, or on the job. Rapid Rope is ready to make life easier!”
The company’s Instagram page shows the rope being used in the kitchen and being used to tie innertubes to the top of a car.
4. The Rapid Rope Sells for Under $25
The Rapid Rope sells two separate products at the time of writing. The canister, which comes with the rope included, sells for $24.95. The replacement cartridge of rope sells for $14.95. It can be bought on the company’s website, or it can be bought at some trade shows.
The Rapid Rope canister order includes the shatterproof canister itself, the cut insert and one cartridge consisting of 120 feet of rope. The refill canister contains 120 feet of rope.
The rope itself comes in three colors, whether you’re buying the rope and canister or just the rope itself. Buyers can choose from white, orange and green. There is also a Shark Tank special where buyers can get $5 off each Rapid Rope if the order is placed before midnight the night the show airs.
5. The Product Launched in 2017
Rapid Rope was launched in 2017, but shortly after the launch, hard times came about, and the family wasn’t able to put as much work and time as they wanted to into the product. The Rodgers have an adopted son from Ethiopa who was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis.
“We went through a lot of struggles and a lot of surgeries with him and we put a lot of our time and a lot of our money and efforts into getting him healthy,” Chris Rodgers says in the company’s story YouTube video. “As of right now, this date, he’s doing great, he’s gaining weight, and through this experience with him and through the adoption process, we’ve done a lot of volunteer work.”
Their goal is to expand Rapid Rope to the point where they are able to give back through the product.
“It’s our life goal, my wife and I, to be able to someday build a school and an orphanage in our son’s name, in Africa…” Chris states in the YouTube video. “Failure’s not an option.”
Tune in to Shark Tank at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT to see if the Rodgers family can get an investment from one of the sharks.