Entrepreneurs Joe Denim and Rachel Connors brought their sustainable hammock business, Yellow Leaf Hammocks, to the sharks on ABC’s Shark Tank to see if they could get a deal from the investors.
Yellow Leaf Hammocks are weaved by weavers hired directly by the company in order to cut out the middle man, and they come in many colors and sizes.
The founders pitched their hammock company to Sharks Mark Cuban, Kevin O’Leary, Lori Greiner, Robert Herjavec and guest Shark Daniel Lubetzky, the founder of Kind. The episode is the season finale for Shark Tank.
Here’s what you should know about Yellow Leaf Hammocks:
1. The Company Was Founded in 2011
Yellow Leaf Hammocks began when they partnered with the endangered Mlabri tribe in Thailand in 2011 after Denim visited when he was on vacation at the time, and the company was then funded by a Kickstarter.
The Kickstarter campaign, which started in 2012, had a goal of $10,000, and it raised $11,400 from a total of 90 backers.
The company was founded with two objectives in mind, according to the Kickstarter campaign. The first is to help stressed out Americans have fun, relax and tap into their creativity. The second was to foster sustainable economic development for marginalized communities while combatting social ills like child labor and deforestation.
2. The Hammocks are Weather-Safe
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Wanted to let you in on a not so secret, secret 🤫⠀ ⠀ Did you know, each Yellow Leaf Hammock is named after a favorite destination? It's just one more way to add "vacation inspiration" to your backyard!⠀ ⠀ This one is inspired by the mesmerizing explosion of molten lava entering the able seas of Hawaii's Mt. Kilauea 🌋
While they were originally designed for indoor use, they are also weather-safe, so they can be hung outside. The hammocks also have enough space for up to three people, so friends or family can squeeze in together and spend time wherever the hammock is hung up.
On the website, customers can buy tree straps or adjustable hammock stands depending on where they want their hammocks to be set up, and there are also other options for installation.
The hammocks are also compatible with other stands, and they can also be hung in different ways from trees or ropes.
3. The Hammocks Come in Different Sizes and Colors
There are different options for the hammocks including the signature hammock, which is the most popular one. It’s handwoven with weathersafe yarn that’s “ultra-soft and deeply comfortable.” It comes in various colors and sells for $199.
The cotton rope hammock is best for indoor use but can also be hung outside. The website says that each of the cotton rope hammocks are hand-dyed and woven with 100 percent cotton. They also sell for $199 with free shipping and come in two colors.
The chair hammock is “best for some ‘me time,'” but has room for the dog. The chair hammock comes in various colors as well, and it retails for $179 and free shipping.
4. They Cut Out the Middle Man and Hire Weavers Directly
According to the Yellow Leaf Hammocks website, they “cut out the middleman and get money directly into the hands of our weavers.”
The company cares about the positive impact and sustainability of their product, as “there are still more than a billion people round the world living in extreme poverty on less than $1.25 a day.”
The website says that there are more than a million members of hill tribes in Thailand that exist on the margins of society and have been denied citizenship, shut out of the formal job market and are vulnerable to exploitation and trafficking.
“Instead of organizing a patchwork of charitable donations to provide water, nutrition, clothing, etc., we are working directly with families to build a comprehensive, dignified, long-term strategy toward a brighter future,” the website reads. “The causes behind systemic poverty are complicated, but long-term financial stability is within reach.”
5. Yellow Leaf Hammocks Believes in Hiring and Empowering Women
Yellow Leaf Hammocks hire women in order to turn them into breadwinners for their families. The website reads, “turning women into breadwinners not only builds self-esteem, but improves their standing in the community and enables them to pool resources and improve infrastructure.”
They also state that creating jobs for women is important to them because it’s important for community transformation, and research shows that women spend up to 90 percent of their income on health, nutrition and education for their families.
Tune in to Shark Tank’s season finale on May 15, 2020, at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. central to see if Yellow Leaf Hammocks gets a deal from the sharks.