SlumberPod is a privacy pod designed to help toddlers sleep comfortably at night. It was created by mother-daughter duo Lou Childs and Kate Mallory, who appeared on Shark Tank with the hopes of scoring an investment from the esteemed panel of judges.
“Not only are we providing a product that we believe will help countless families, but it’s been an absolute dream come true to be part of this Shark Tank experience with my mom,” Mallory told PR Newswire.
Did Childs and Mallory win over the sharks? Will SlumberPods become a household item? Here’s what we know about the portable sleeping chamber and its founders:
1. SlumberPod Is a Quick-Assembly Pod That Helps Toddlers Sleep During Travel
SlumberPod is a “quick-assembly privacy pod that helps babies/toddlers get a good night’s sleep.” The pod is easily transferable, and is intended to help children adhere to a consistent sleeping schedule. According to the official SlumberPod website, it is compatible with standard mini-cribs and various inflatable mattresses, so that parents can keep their child close by.
SlumberPod is specially designed to shield a child from bright and unfamiliar places. It has a dark lining on the inside that creates the optimum sleeping environment, in addition to ventilation windows and breathable fabric for maximum comfort. Other attributes include:
- Safety Standards – passes applicable consumer product safety tests
- Bottomless Design – designed to enclose a standard sized travel crib
- Lightweight & Compact – can fit inside carry-on luggage
- Quick & Easy to Disassemble – Pack up and be on the road in a matter of minutes
A single SlumberPod costs $149 and can be ordered here with free shipping. In addition to the pod itself, the order comes with a special suitcase that has premium fabric canopy, a set of two poles, and a fabric carry bag with a shoulder strap.
2. Mallory Thought Up the Idea for SlumberPod During a Holiday Trip In 2014
The idea for SlumberPod came about when Kate Mallory and her family visited her mother in 2014. Because it was the holiday season, the house was especially crowded, and Mallory and her husband were forced to share a room with their daughter. Whenever they got up during the night, the baby would wake up and start crying.
“The idea for SlumberPod came from many sleepless nights while visiting family or staying in a hotel with our first daughter,” Mallory told PR Newswire. “She was a great sleeper at home, but when we were in the same room together, she’d see us across the room and be up all night. It was miserable.”
Mallory searched for something that could provide her daughter with a good night’s sleep, but was unable to find anything that fit the bill. She tried to come up with a homemade solution, but she worried that it was unsafe for the baby, in addition to being cumbersome during travel. By the time she had twins in 2016, Mallory decided it was time to pursue a safe and lucrative solution to her problem.
3. Childs & Mallory Launched a KickStarter Campaign In 2018
Mallory partnered up with her mother Lou Childs and launched SlumberPod in 2016. The product started out slow, but things took off when the mother-daughter duo launched a KickStarter campaign in 2018. The Ledger-Inquirer reports that the campaign met its goal 9 times over, and brought in an estimated $45K.
“We have product in hand and our Kickstarter went really well,” Childs said at the time. “It’s getting a lot of buzz with mom groups and mommy bloggers, so we’re very excited.” In addition to shattering their initial goal, the KickStarter campaign helped boost sales, and ship over 10,000 SlumberPods to families throughout the world.
4. SlumberPod Won the 2019 National Parenting Product Award
SlumberPod has been given numerous accolades since launching in 2016. According to All Shark Tank Products, the portable sleeping pod was given the 2019 National Parenting Product Awards – Baby and Toddler Products, as well as the Creative Child’s 2019 Travel Product of the Year for Babies and the Parents Pick Award at the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association convention.
Childs told PR Newswire that the success of the product has a lot to do with convenience and affordability. She notes that parents no longer have to spend money on adjoining rooms, and can now watch their toddler without disrupting their sleeping pattern. “In order to rest well while traveling, parents are resorting to shelling out additional money for an adjoining hotel room or suite.” she remarked.
Childs added that the SlumberPod makes it easier for families to connect, as they no longer have to worry about sleeping accommodations or having to sneak around so as not to wake the baby.
5. Barbara Corcoran Made an Investment In SlumberPod
SlumberPod is available to purchase online on Amazon, Buy Buy Baby, and Bed Bath and Beyond. It’s also available in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore through their official website. Childs and Mallory have not yet gotten their product into retail stores, and they were looking to the Shark Tank judges to help them take that next step.
Childs and Mallory asked for $400K for 20% of their business. They told the panel that they made $556K in 2019, despite doing minimal promotion. They also assured the panel that they do not have debt. Lori Greiner and Barbara Corcoran felt that Childs and Mallory were doing well enough that they didn’t need to seek out investors, but Corcoran still made an offer.
Kevin O’Leary made a competing offer, but the mother-daughter duo were hesitant on the grounds that the interest was too high. Childs and Mallory asked if Corcoran would lower her interest rate from 25% to 20% to match their original offer, and she acquiesced. The final deal was just as the businesswoman had hoped: $400K for 20% of their overall business.