We interviewed Bryan Cantrell who created the product with Brent Davidson, his partner in a beauty product company specializing in waxing products. Cantrell explained he was “a sweaty mess” before pitching to the Sharks, but Davidson remained “cool as a cucumber.”
Since launching in September of 2017, the retailers who sell Radiate have had to turn over inventory three to eight times. Aside from Amazon, they can be found in stores in the LA and San Diego area, such as Adventure 16, Hobie Surf Shop, Warshaw’s Provisions and Rove.
Here’s what else he told us about…
How the Idea Came About From Excess Wax
Brent and I have a company that manufactures beauty products, mostly on the waxing side of the industry. During the course of producing waxing products, you end up with overages and extras that we would put in five or 10 gallon metal buckets until they are full of wax. When we were messing around with these, adding many wicks, or giant paper wicks, we created these huge bonfires in these buckets. It was pretty fun to take them tailgating or camping, but they weighed 30 or 40 pounds, not exactly convenient or marketable. But there was some sort of business simmering there. A long time later, I had a bunch of danish cookie tins lying around. (I gave cookies to my clients every Christmas, though I’d end up going through a few containers myself.) And I thought these containers might be the perfect size for a campfire. We started experimenting with the packaging, wicks, and waxes and the Radiate was born!
Advice for Future ‘Tank’ Contestants- ‘Know Your Numbers’
It’s been said a million times that you need to know your numbers and that will always hold true. I believe I have watched every episode of Shark Tank at least once and some more than five times and I’m amazed that people don’t understand the need to value your company correctly. It is the one thing that the Sharks harp on more than anything. Mr. Wonderful is going to tear you a new one on national television if your valuation is out of whack! Prepare, prepare and prepare again. Then be ready because they are probably going to ask questions you didn’t prepare for, so be honest, calm, and take your time. Your pitch is way longer than the 8 minutes the viewer sees.
How They Ensure Safety
We are selling a fire product so safety is at the top of our list. We have warnings and instructions as soon as you open the lid. The same warnings and instructions are on the bottom of the unit. We have warnings printed on the side of the Radiate. It is a product that should only be used with adult supervision as any barbeque, fireplace, fire pit, heater, and cooking appliance should be. Once it is understood that it is a fire product that gets extremely hot, the comparisons to other fire product will become apparent. Our campfire has no embers. It’s completely contained and can be extinguished easily by carefully sliding the lid on. The threat of wild fires caused by flying embers is gone with the Radiate. We also have a lot of videos on YouTube and our website showing the use of the Radiate.
Other Shark Tank products for camping: