Beard Head entered the Shark Tank in Season 7 debuting their novel knit hat with a detachable beard. Back then, we interviewed owner David Stankunas who told us that the company came about after his face got chapped during a snowboarding expedition.
As his episode re-airs, we caught up with him again to see how business has been after facing the Sharks. Although he did not get a deal on the reality show, the brand has enjoyed substantial growth. Here’s what he told us about…
Sales ‘More Than Doubling’ Since the ‘Tank’
Appearing on Shark Tank was a great boost to our business. Since the show aired, our sales more than doubled compared with last year. We actually would have probably tripled our sales if we didn’t run out of inventory for a lot of our most popular styles. I’m really kicking myself for not stocking more of our Classic Santa Beard Head after Mr. Wonderful wore it for nearly half of our segment. He looked amazing in it! Maybe I should ask if he would be interested in doing a bit of male modeling for us. The guy can move units!
His Thoughts on the Sharks’ Assessments
I think the Sharks were fair in their assessment. Beard Head is a solid brand and a profitable company. But the Sharks are looking for something that can become huge. I believe there are opportunities to build Beard Head into a $5 or $10 million-a-year brand, but I think the Sharks are looking to create something bigger. Even though we didn’t get a deal, the Sharks were still very complimentary about our Beard Heads, and said some really nice things about me personally. Who can argue with that?
Advice for Future ‘Tank’ Contestants
As far as being on the show and pitching goes, know your business inside out, prepare for any and every question you can think of, especially the hard ones that you hate thinking about. Practice in front of friends and try to have fun! I had a blast pitching the Sharks! I wish they would have grilled me for another two hours. It would have given me more time to talk about how great Beard Head is!
Their Website Crashing During the ‘Tank’ Airing
After the show, make sure your website is capable of handling a lot of traffic pouring in all at once. I spent at least a month beforehand working with our hosting company to set up a dedicated commercial class server, and to optimize our website to handle the traffic. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough, and our website crashed when our Shark Tank segment aired. The site was down intermittently throughout the entire night, and we probably lost tens-of-thousands of dollars in revenue because of it. I’m still kicking myself.
Future Plans, Including a Pet Line
I’m looking to launch a new line of knit products that will focus on pets. It won’t be a Beard Head because the mustache/beard combo is really difficult to fit on a dog. But it will be in a similar vein. I’d love to tell you more, but I want to be a little further along in development before I share all the details. I’m also working on altering Beard Head’s overall business model. Before, we focused on both wholesale and direct sales. However, after hearing about how well Robert is doing with Tipsy Elves by adopting a purely direct sale strategy, I’m looking to emulate that success. By focusing on direct sales, we have a lot more control over how our product is represented, and we can spend more time and resources on marketing and building our brand. To be honest, that kind of stuff is a lot more fun than dealing with wholesale customers anyway. I’m really excited about our current direction, and charged up for what the future holds for Beard Head!