Blowzee was one of the products featured on Shark Tank episode 13 and pitched by its founders, Mark Lareau and Mark Apelt, who presented Blowzee as a hygienic cake candle device. But unfortunately, the pair had to return from the show without any investments.
The post-pandemic world has gone through a lot of changes and has brought the importance of hygiene. Blowzee is one such product, created to celebrate birthdays and cake-cutting with utmost care.
It’s a plastic tube attached to a small fan on the end. When you blow at one end, the fan rotates and gives out clean air at the other end. Currently, Blowzee is still operational and delivering its signature product to many families.
After appearing on Shark Tank, their popularity rose, and they have also been featured on ‘Elvis Duran and the Morning Show, NPR’s morning edition, and The Daily Mail news publication.
Finally, they were a part of the opening monologue in the ‘Tonight Show on Jimmy Fallon,’ one of the most watched talk shows online.
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What is Blowzee?
Candle blowing is such an important part of our birthday tradition. It makes young kids feel special and gives them a strong feeling of wish fulfillment. In fact, this tradition has a lot of history and was even a part of Ancient Greek special occasions.
But since the covid pandemic, more people have started to notice that blowing candles can actually cause the person to blow their saliva on the cake.
It can cause the spread of any kind of disease as the rest of the party-goers will be enjoying the cake. In a 2017 study by the Journal of Food Research, scientists have estimated that blowing out candles on cake icing spreads 1400% more germs than a cake without blown candles.
To ease your mind around your and your kid’s hygiene, a new product BLOWZEE is here. Blowzee is a signature-designed plastic tube with a small fan at its end.
There is a small electronic sensor in the middle which detects direct wind. If you blow at one end, the sensor will cause the fan to rotate. This fan will give clean air and is fast enough to blow out cake candles.
There is a small nozzle in the middle, which redirects the blown air out, so the air doesn’t get trapped in the tube.
The fan is attached to a lithium battery and hence cannot be washed with water. But the tube is big enough to clean by hand. This device is completely reusable and can be used by anyone after cleaning the mouth-end.
Although there are other ways to blow out candles, like to wave a paper plate fast enough. But where’s the fun in that? Blowzee is a safe and healthy product, which also keeps the fun tradition of blowing the candles.
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Blowzee Shark Tank Pitch ( What Happened At The Show)
In the Shark Tank episode, Mark Lareau and Mark Apelt came up and presented a cake with candles on it.
Apelt blew out the candle with his breath, and Lareau made the sharks notice how the simple practice of blowing on a cake can spread diseases.
They then presented their product, The Blowzee, and demonstrated how people could use it to blow out candles with clean air. The sharks were quite impressed with the product and the engineering behind it.
They tried the product on their own. Robert Herjavec was clearly having the most fun with the product, and Daymond John stated he would have wanted this as a child.
Then the main discussion is around the finances and numbers. Lareau and Apelt pitched for $100,000 in exchange for a 20% equity stake (making the company valuation $500,000).
The founders also mentioned that there is a utility patent filed for Blowzee, which is most likely to pass due to its uniqueness.
In terms of pricing, the Blowzee is being sold at $6 for Wholesale and $11.99 at retail. The cost to make a Blowzee is $3.20, and they have affiliated with major e-commerce websites like Amazon.
The deal was cheap enough for most of the sharks until they heard the sales figures. Blowzee had recorded a measly $12,000 in sales over the five-month life span of its business, a quite low amount for all the sharks.
Mark Cuban stated that this low figure means the founder does not have good marketing expertise, on which Lareau and Apelt agreed.
It was one of their reasons for appearing on Shark Tank. They were requesting seed funding as well as business expertise as they did not have any good marketing team members.
When asked by Herjavec about the future plans for the product, Lareau and Apelt discussed the opportunity to license Blowzee and customize it to suit any major IP franchise in the world, Like Harry Potter or Star Wars.
They also talked about changing the color of the product. But in the end, having only a single product at this stage is too risky.
Cuban asked about the selling places, which happened mostly through Amazon and Lareau and Apelt’s own website. But the flow to channels was not organic and was mostly being done with PR.
Mr. Wonderful, AKA Kevin O’Leary, was the first to vote out of any deal. The product did not appeal to him, and he did not find any enthusiasm for it.
Cuban encouraged them a lot, telling them they were the prime target of Shark Tank. A group of friends who come up with a crazy idea that can sell. It’s the quintessential American Dream.
But for him, the focus of the founders was more on the product rather than the company. After that, Cuban also opted out of the deal. He implied that Lareau and Apelt need to start focusing on the company and its online marketing tactics.
Daymond John also opted out, stating that the company is very early in its phase, and there is a long way to go for Lareau and Apelt actually to start getting VC investment.
Robert Herjavec stated that even though he is pretty much intrigued by the product, there is not much resale value here due to its reusability.
As a customer, someone will buy this product only once and can lend it to others. He wished the best for Lareau and Apelt and opted out.
Lori Greiner also was not excited by the product. She reasoned that the product could only be used on special occasions. It does not have daily use.
For that reason, she opted out. But before voting out, she gave some helpful tips related to packaging. Lori pointed out that the package did not have the use stated upfront.
Unfortunately, Mark Lareau and Mark Apelt left the stage without any deal. But they did receive good feedback from the sharks. Understandably, the sharks were not keen due to the company’s young age.
Lareau and Apelt left with their heads high and were still confident after the point that people would still have birthday parties.
Blowzee Story Since Shark Tank
Blowzee was also featured in ‘The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.’ Its host Jimmy Fallon mentioned the product in his opening monologue and suggested it as a good idea. Apart from that, Blowzee has been mentioned in NPR Radio and Daily Mail news publication magazine.
With new fame from all the mentions, there is a tremendous increase in sales for Blowzee. After the Shark Tank and Jimmy Fallon episode, Blowzee sold out its complete inventory. They additionally received orders for 10,000 more.
Currently, this is ranked #1 for birthday candles on Amazon, so this is working in the right direction.
Is Blowzee Still in Business?
Yes, Blowzee is currently operating and working towards spreading safe birthday celebration practices.
|Founders||Mark Apelt, Mark Lareau|
|Product||Air tube to blow candles completely|
|Investment Asked for||$100,000 for 20% share in equity|
|Final Deal||No deal was finalised|
|Episode||Season 13 Episode 13|
|Business Status||Still open|
Meet Blowzee Founders
Blowzee founders Mark Lareau and Mark Apelt have been friends for a long time. Mark Lareau comes from a supply chain consulting background and is currently working as a CPO for a fortune 500 company.
Mark Apelt has experience in engineering and teaching, having a UVA degree in environmental science.
Mark Apelt states that the inspiration for Blowzee came from an early viral video on the internet. A small child with a runny nose was trying to blow candles on his birthday cake.
Well, you can understand what would have happened next. Mostly, all the party-goers definitely did not touch after.
Apelt and his friends discussed the idea with friends in January 2020, so they started thinking about it in pre-Covid time. After the pandemic, the hygienic demand rose among people exponentially.
With a background in environmental science, Mark Apelt and his 12-year-old son Jake began working on designing a product to replace the cake candle-blowing tradition. They were later joined by Mark Lareau, Apelt’s old friend, and early investor.
After a lot of tries, both the product and cakes, the team finally got the design right. Apelt and Lareau went on to scour the internet to find the right design and people to help build it at a low cost.
After many iterations, they were able to create this unique product. All this is the result of a team working offshore from all over the world.
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Blowzee Pros and Cons
- It’s a safe and hygienic device to blow out candles.
- It can be cleaned easily using a cloth.
- Its build is strong and sturdy.
- It is easily reused.
- Blowzee cannot be washed with water.
- It is not dishwasher safe.
- Blowzee also includes batteries that are not sold separately, so customers will need to purchase them again.
Blowzee – General Points
How is Blowzee made?
Blowzee is basically a plastic pipe shaped just like a musical instrument. It has an open end and a nozzle that releases the dirty air.
Then dirty air within the tube will pass a specially designed sensor. This sensor will cause the fan to rotate, which is attached at another end. The fan rotation will blow clean air from another end.
Where to buy Blowzee?
Every Blowzee comes with a battery and will cost you $11.99. On top, the company charges $1.99 as a shipping fee. But this fee can be waived if a customer buys more than four units.
Lareau and Apelt have created an official website where you can buy this directly. They also run affiliate programs on many e-commerce websites, mostly Amazon.
Lareau and Apelt have also tied up with many local stores in their town of Richmond. They have targeted bakeries, especially so that the Blowzee can be sold in a package with cake and candles.
Apelt has been approached by individuals and big stores from outside the USA, from Canada, Brazil, Portugal, and the UK.
Lareau and Apelt do have plans to tie up with Alibaba. On the offline front, they are looking to partner with major supermarket chains, like Walmart, to increase their market base and increase sales further.
1. How to use Blowzee?
It’s quite simple. Just blow in the tube and let the fan do its work.
2. How much is the shipping fee, and how long does it take?
If you have bought Blowzee directly from their official website, then you will need to pay a shipping fee of $1.99. But if you have bought four or more, then the shipping will be free.
Blowzee gets shipped from a warehouse based in Virginia, and the supply will start within two business days. Within the United States, the shipping should be completed within three to five days.
All the orders are shipped from USPS First Class Mail. You can opt for ‘Expedite Shipping’ to get your order back. But will be charged additionally. It’s a recommendation to order with some time to spare.
3. Do Blowzee come with Batteries?
Blowzee comes with a lithium battery, and they are included with the delivered device. customers cannot replace the batteries replaced.
4. Is Blowzee cleaned in the dishwasher?
Sorry, but blowzee includes a battery. So, it is not recommended to clean Blowzee using water. Instead, you can clean the mouthpiece with an alcohol wipe if you are sharing this.
5. Is Blowzee returnable?
Sorry, but Blowzee is a hygienic product. It is meant to be used by a single person. Therefore, they do not accept any return.
What People are saying about Blowzee?
Many users have provided positive feedback on the Blowzee Amazon page. Most of the customers have rated it 5-star and like its utility. Some users even used this device for their aged parents.
One user said that he bought this for his 90-year-old grandmother, and she enjoyed using this device while blowing candles. Many users ordered this to keep their children safe, as the device is very sanitary in nature.
But many pointed out that it has one-time usability only, which does not justify its cost. Some also felt that the sensor is unsatisfactory, so they have to blow really hard to get the device working.
In the end, Blowzee is an innovative product designed for a new world. However, it was conceived at the start of 2020, it has been ever since the covid pandemic.
After then, people have realized the importance of hygiene and looked to reduce germ spreading.
With this, people were getting concerned with the tradition of blowing candles on the cake. Many people have noticed that blowing direct causes germs to be spread on the cake. And then this cake will be consumed by fellow party-goers.
Keeping up with the tradition and good hygiene, the founders, Mark Lareau and Mark Apelt, have come up with a great device that stops the spread of germs on birthday cakes.
Overall the cost is also not that high, so you should definitely give this a try.