Shark Tank has played a vital role in the growth of many small businesses and startups. Aspiring entrepreneurs use this platform to present their business ideas and gain investments.
Numerous business owners have gained funding through this program along with valuable support offered by sharks (investors).
Pat Yates appeared on the show in episode 519. His company “Happy Feet” had been producing and selling comfy slippers since 1996. The entire pitch went real smooth, and the Sharks seemed quite impressed with the oversized slippers.
While Lori Ginner and Kevin O’Leary were evaluating their offer, Robert Herjavec snatched the deal and offered $375K for 25% equity in the company. It was quite a dramatic end to the deal, but Pat got what he was looking for.
Happy Feat was a small and successful business before it was featured Shark Tank. Today, this company is using the leading e-commerce websites to serve customers from all over the world.
LOVE Shark Tank products just like we do? Check out Amazon Launchpad for the most amazing offers!
What is Happy Feet, Really?
Happy Feet is a company producing comforting footwear. This brand specializes in crafting large-sized slippers that look like huge shoes. But as soon as you put these on, it feels like you are walking on the cloud! That’s what draws buyers to Happy Feet products.
Pat Yates had created this product and he has been selling slippers since 1996. The company’s sales were quite impressive before Pat came to the Shark Tank. A major reason behind the popularity of Happy Feet has been the quality and features of slippers.
This brand offers slippers in various amazing shapes, such as animals, toys, NCAA shoes, NFL shoes, MLB shoes, etc. Each slipper feels extremely comfy and therefore Happy Feet is rapidly expanding its service region. The majority of sales currently come from Florida, California, and Kentucky.
ALSO READ: Brush Hero after Shark Tank Update
Who is the Founder of Happy Feet?
Pat Yates is the founder and the president of the Happy Feet company. He was the one Shark Tank fans liked a lot in episode 519.
Pat’s journey as a businessman began in 1996. He was selling a variety of products in the mall. In fact, it wasn’t even his idea to produce Happy Feet slippers!
His parents saw mockup slippers at a local trade show and they believed it can be a perfect product to sell at kiosks. Pat welcomed their idea and that’s how Happy Feet slippers were born!
Pat used to sell Happy Feet slippers at numerous kiosks in various malls located in the USA, UK, Spain, and Canada. Pat’s parents were also assisting him until they retired in 2002.
The Happy Feet company initially started with a small range, but they quickly launched 10 more options as the sales spiked.
Now, this company produces Animal, NBA, NCAA, UEFA, NFL, MLB, Disney, DreamWorks, Snooki, Marvel, Young Money Entertainment, Zlipperz, Flipemz, DC Comics, and slippers inspired by various other characters.
Pat had decided to take his products online in 2002. It was the right move but the transition wasn’t as easy as he expected.
The internet was in its infancy period and Happy Feet was looking for ways of reaching the target customers. Pat and his family were really nervous before making the move online. But once they launched their e-commerce operations, the sales kept growing.
Pat’s Happy Feet slippers already appeared on various TV shows before he went to pitch his proposal on Shark Tank. He got the opportunity to pitch his business proposal on Shark Tank in 2014. The pitch was perfect and he secured the deal with Robert.
Shark Tank has not only helped Pat gain funding but also offered a free promotion to the brand. All five Sharks were impressed with the build quality and comfort offered by Happy Feet slippers. This really served as an endorsement by these sharks!
Therefore, viewers took interest in this product and its sales increased rapidly.
Happy Feet before Shark Tank
As mentioned earlier, Pat had been selling Happy Feet slippers since 1996. His parents were the ones who decided to sell HappyFeet mockup slippers on their kiosks in the mall.
They had limited outlets at local malls, but increasing sales allowed them to capture new cities.
Pat started expanding his business at the beginning of the 21st century. This brand was drawing buyers wherever its mockup slippers were promoted. The only place Pat could not enter was the retail industry.
Happy Feet slippers are much larger than regular footwear sold at supermarkets and department stores. Therefore, this company could not find a way to enter the retail industry. But that didn’t stop Pat from expanding his business.
The e-Commerce market was pretty new when Pat decided to sell his products online. He was not sure how this move would change things for the company. He realized that the online market is generating huge sales and thus company reached untouched regions online.
As Pat had stated in his Shark Tank pitch, the company had made $2.6 million a year before he went to the reality show. It had gained $2.2 million in revenue through online commerce. He went to the shark tank because he wanted to enter the retail market.
Happy Feet was not a huge brand before featuring in Shark Tank. Some influencers were using their platforms to promote this brand, but they were eating up a huge chunk of the revenue.
Shark Tank has certainly helped Pat gain more profit from the products he sells. A journey that had begun in 1996 is going pretty smoothly for the Happy Feet Company.
How was the Shark Tank pitch of Happy Feet?
Sharks were already pretty curious when they saw products showcased before the pitch. Pat enters as a confident businessman and introduces the product. His pitch was quite exciting and he handed out HappyFeet slippers to all sharks.
Every investor looked impressed with the build quality of the slippers. Pat was asking for $375,000 for a 15% stake in the company. First Barbara, then Robert, and then Mark Cuban refused to invest in Pat’s idea. Kevin and Lori were only two sharks interested in Happy Feet, but they asked for a larger chunk of the company along with royalty.
Kevin and Lori made a deal for a 30% stake in the company because Pat refused the royalty model. But even a 30% cut from the company was a lot for Pat, and he politely declined. That’s when Robert came in asking for 25% and snatched the deal from Pat!
Robert had first refused to collaborate with pat because he could not do more than sign the cheque. He decided to invest in the company when Pat agreed to give 10% more shares in the firm. He sacrificed 10% more shares than what he had originally decided but secured a great deal.
How Happy Feet is Performing after Shark Tank?
Happy Feet has become a global brand since Pat secured a deal on the Shark Tank show. It was already producing a variety of products and Pat quickly increased the product line to draw more buyers.
The entrepreneur has expressed that the company’s sales increased by $4.2 million, thanks to Shark Tank. Robert always likes to work with entrepreneurs and therefore he has helped Pat overhaul the company’s website.
Happy Feet has licensed all the famous movie characters from studios producing animated movies. This company now has a team of 16 employees working day and night to market and serve new regions.
Robert believes that licensing deals with big brands (like Disney) will help Happy Feet in generating more profit in upcoming years.
Pat sincerely believes that Shark Tank helped him add more value to the brand. He had a great product and now that product is used by thousands of people across the USA and Europe.
SUGGESTED: Latest Update on Bottle Bright
Is Happy Feet still in business?
Pat had appeared on Shark Tank in 2014. He got the investment and an experienced investor as the business partner. Pat has now captured all the possible channels to market his comfy, oversized slippers.
Today, Happy Feet slippers are sold on all the leading e-commerce platforms, such as eBay, Amazon, Walmart, etc. Online sales are great and the company is constantly increasing its annual profit through e-commerce platforms.
Not all businesses, which gain investments through Shark Tank, survive! When the investor gets involved and helps the entrepreneur develop effective business tactics, the business survives and thrives.
Robert knows what it takes to establish a brand and promote it across the globe. He has helped Pat reach more buyers online. Happy Feet slippers impressed buyers and free word-of-mouth marketing did the rest of the work.
Today, this company ships high-quality and comfortable slippers all across the globe!
Shark Tank works as a catalyst for people who have a great business idea. It may seem like the show is just for investment deals, but the business can really thrive under the mentorship of these big sharks!
This platform has supported the growth of several startups, which went on to become several multi-million dollar businesses.
Happy Feet’s pitch was unique because the Entrepreneur swiftly accepted the first deal he found acceptable. Now, this company is growing and serving millions of people looking for comfortable footwear.
They have got the most unique slipper a person can think of. Kids have become Happy Feet fans due to the fun and unique shape of these slippers. It has further inspired enthusiasts like you and me to try our luck in Shark Tank and secure a deal of a lifetime.