Of all the pitches we’ve watched this season on Shark Tank, one pitch in particular stood out to us. This pitch was given by Melanie Disbrow, founder of Milk Snob, a lifestyle brand for the modern parent. Milk Snob is best known for their stylish and well-fitting car seat covers. Beyond being mom crush worthy, KILLING IT (in all caps), is the only appropriate way to describe Melanie's success. During her time in the tank, Melanie received several amazing offers and eventually accepted an offer from Lori Greiner. After getting to know Melanie, we can see why the sharks were fighting over her! Here are the highlights from our interview:
Tell me the names and ages of your children.
Quinn 15 months, Eli 8, Josephine 13
When did you found your business and what inspired you?
I am originally from Germany where baby products typically have a very modern design. When I moved to the US I noticed all the baby products featured traditional pastel colors and were very babyish. I missed the product design from my home county and it inspired me to create a lifestyle brand built of products that reflected my modern taste.
Where do you manufacture your product and what is that relationship like?
We manufacture locally in Dallas, Texas. (She shared this while in the tank and got a big reaction of support from Mark Cuban.) At the start we worked with a group of local seamstresses. They were amazing and really helped us grow.
One funny story about our manufacturing journey. When we first launched I didn’t have a real inventory and just put up a quantity of 500 as a placeholder. I didn’t think about the possibility that they would sell out and that I would have to sew them! Well they did and I had to sew every one at home with my simple brother sewing machine. That was a wake up call. I brought on the seamstresses shortly after and I am very grateful for their help.
When we opened our store front in Dallas people would bring the old ones I sewed myself to show me. I was totally embarrassed. The pro seamstresses do such a better job! We have since outgrown the seamstresses due to demand volume and now have our own factory.
Ok you were on Shark Tank and many people, including myself, love to fantasize about what it must be on the show. You are one of the few people who have actually done it! Can you tell us what that experience was like?
Everyone wants to know what it was like in the tank and that is the one thing I am not allowed to talk about. Here is what I can tell you about the experience. I did Shark Tank because I wanted a strategic partner. We went to Dallas and tried out in person. It was a really fun vibe that day. You go in front of producers and have 1-minute to pitch. My husband and I stood in line for 5 hours and had to leave in the middle of those hours to rush our son to baseball practice. It was a crazy day!
Once we arrived for filming we got to meet the sharks and they were all super nice. The actual process from filming to your air date is very mentally challenging. It was a roller coaster of anticipation. You have to be very mentally strong.
Hardest part about being a mom and running your own business?
You have to be 100 percent invested. For me it is a lot easier because I found amazing people that work for me and help me keep things on track so I can have balance. You cannot do it all.
Advice for moms out there looking to start their own thing?
It is about spending quality time. Do your work and then when you are home be fully present. Listen to your family and enjoy them.
What are you most excited about that Milk Snob has in store for us?
I am most excited about all of our new products in the pipeline. They will be essentials for mom and baby that make life easier. One of the pieces will be our baby wrap that I am looking forward to bringing back. Also included are a couple new ones that are top secret. We are also looking forward to being sold in retail stores like Target and Anthroplogie.
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