Entrepreneur Dahlia Rizk, who came up with the idea for Buckle Me Baby Coats, appeared on ABC’s Shark Tank to see if she could get one of the investors to invest in her baby coat company.
The entrepreneur pitched her baby coat company to Sharks Mark Cuban, Kevin O’Leary, Daymond John, Barbara Corcoran and Lori Greiner. The baby coats are meant to be a safe alternative for children to stay warm while in their car seat.
According to the episode synopsis, Rizk “alerts the Sharks to a safety hazard for kids in the winter.”
Here’s what you should know about Buckle Me Baby Coats on Shark Tank:
1. The Coats are Compatible With Car Seats
Buckle Me Baby Coats were created to be compatible with car seats, as many puffy coats for children are not safe to wear while buckled in.
“Buckle Me Baby Coats have been crash tested at an independent University crash test facility where they not only outperformed traditional puffy coats but also tested similarly to no coat at all,” the website’s FAQ reads. “The coats have been evaluated by CPSTs who give them two thumbs up!”
They also provide a YouTube link to crash test footage for the coats.
2. Rizk Founded the Company After a Viral Photo
According to a story posted by Rizk on Starter Story, she first founded Buckle Me Baby Coats in 2017 after a photo of her nephew wearing the coat went viral.
She originally came up with the idea after learning that the traditional puffy coat is not safe to use in car seats because of the extra space the puffiness creates between the child and the safety harness.
While she was trying to comply with that in order to keep her children safe, she had a hard time and wanted to come up with something better.
3. The Front of the Coat Unsnaps for Safety
In order to use the Buckle Me Baby Coat correctly, the child is placed in the carseat with the coat on. Then, the front panel is pulled aside and the child can be buttoned like normal.
Then, the front of the coat can be pulled aside by rolling it, or it can be laid flat over the harness in order to keep the child warm while riding in the car.
In order to keep everything safe, the back of the coat is thinner than the front. Due to this, there is minimal extra space created between the child and the safety harness, so, according to the website, it works “as if your little one has no coat on at all!”
4. As of 2019, Rizk Took Care of the Marketing, Design, Production & Shipping
In her Starter Story, which she posted in October 2019, Rizk said she’s been taking care of the marketing, design, production and shipping. At the time of her writing, the company was making around $50,000 a month in revenue and was continuing to grow.
She shared that she went through a lot of hurdles when first starting her business, the first coming to trying to find a manufacturer with whom she could work to create the prototype. She originally had the coats produced in New Jersey, but she found it was much too expensive and moved production to China.
She also used Upwork to find a person to create a logo and a sourcing agent.
5. The Founder Has a Master’s Degree in Counseling
Rizk has a Master’s Degree in Counseling, which she was pursuing while she was trying to figure out how to manufacture a coat specifically for use with a car seat.
“As time went by and I completed my degree and founded a multi-clinician private practice with a business partner, I would find myself thinking about the coats even though my kids had outgrown that stage,” she wrote.
Since then, Rizk wrote that she has learned to trust her gut more than she would trust an expert and that it’s important to gain as much information as possible.