RIght now I have two top passions– honest skin care and watching Shark Tank every Friday night. For those who may not yet be addicted, Shark Tank is a competition where aspiring entrepreneurs seek to partner with self-made billionnaires like Mark Cuban ( Yahoo, owner of Dallas Maverick’s) Barbara Corcoran ( real estate magnate ) and Daymond John ( brilliant founder of Fubu fashions). I usually find competition shows banal and mean inspirited, but each week I am blown away by the originality and intelligence of these uber successful moguls.
When I discovered that three Shark Tank winners were exhibiting their products at Cosmoprof in Las Vegas it felt like the mothership was calling me home. While there are literally hundreds of new products at this international beauty show, the Shark Tank products were truely unique:
1. Simple Sugars is a line of scrubs that are not only natural, they actually work by exfoliting and moisturizing at the same time. I tried out the almond scrub on my hands and 24 hours later my skin was still astonishingly softer and smoother– even in dry desert air. Now just 23, Simple Sugars founder Lani Lazzari started making skin care prodcuts to deal with her own sensitive skin. After partnering with Mark Cuban, Simple Sugars is now a multi-million dollar company.
2. Hot Tot is a line of specialized hair products with gentle ingredients just for children. It began when Hot Tot founder, Megan Gage wanted to style the wisps her infant son’s hair into a tiny pee-wee peak. Not only does it work, the Hot Tot formulations are free of everything you don’t want to put on your baby including synthetic coloring, parabens, phthalates, formaldehyde and irritating sulfates. I was so impressed that Megan used her $20K investment from Mark Cuban to do the tests necessary to label her products hypoallergenic. How remarkable is that!
3. KissTixx is a unique twist on lip balm. I have to admit that I was surprised that Mark Cuban choose to partner with skin and hair care products, but KissTixx definately seems to be in his wheelhouse. Developed by Dallas Robinson when he was still in college, KissTixx is a lip balm combo that will revolutionize kissing.
Here’s how it works: Each Kisstixx is a pair of flavored lip balms eg chocolate and strawberry , one applied on each pair of lip…. and when they kiss, kapow! Sales have soared since appearing on Shark Tank. Mark Cuban invested $200,000 in KissTixx and its now available in Walgreens, Bed Bath and Beyond and K-mart. In true Shark Tank style, Dallas has branched out producing special order lip balms. His clients include sport teams, TV show and fashion brands.
Meeting these three personal products entrepreneurs was a unique chance to see close-up how to turn a great idea into a world class business.