What Happened To Baubles And Soles After Shark Tank?

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I really like watching shows like Shark Tank, where ambitious entrepreneurs pitch their ideas to a panel of seasoned investors. One such memorable pitch was by the folks behind Baubles and Soles, an innovative footwear company with a social mission. 

However, I found that not every journey that starts in the Tank ends in glory. In this article, we'll dive deep into the story of Baubles and Soles, what happened to them after their appearance on Shark Tank.

The Baubles and Soles pitch on Shark Tank

When Baubles and Soles stepped into the Shark Tank, the entrepreneurial world held its breath in anticipation of a game-changing moment. Their innovative concept of interchangeable shoes with customizable tops had all the makings of a winning idea.

BaS pitch

In this segment, we'll rewind the clock to the day they pitched to the sharks, exploring the excitement, the hopes, and the entrepreneurial spirit that filled the room.

  • Lisa and Duc Nguyen's inspirational journey: Vietnamese refugee Lisa's remarkable life story led her to Australia before her business venture took her to the United States. A dedicated mother, Lisa was frustrated by her children's quickly outgrown footwear, igniting the idea behind Baubles + Soles.
  • The birth of Baubles + Soles: Lisa's vision gave birth to a versatile, kid-friendly shoe featuring a toe knob for attaching decorative ornaments, resembling Crocs.
  • "Shark Tank" pitch: Seeking a $100,000 investment for a 15 percent stake in their business on "Shark Tank" Season 11. Investors were moved by Lisa's story, but they were not initially convinced of Baubles + Soles' potential.
  • Sweetening the deal: Lisa added a two-year recoupment clause to her pitch, which caught the attention of Daymond John.
  • Investment from Daymond John: Daymond John invested $100,000 for a 25 percent stake in Baubles + Soles, marking a significant milestone for the company.

The excitement of the pitch

For those who might not remember, Baubles and Soles came onto Shark Tank with a novel concept - interchangeable shoes with customizable tops. I remember being captivated by the idea, and so were the Sharks. Their pitch was energetic, and it seemed like they were onto something big.

Personally, I really like when entrepreneurs bring fresh ideas to the table, and Baubles and Soles did just that. Their innovative approach to footwear had a humanitarian angle too. They weren't just selling shoes; they were offering a chance for customers to support impoverished communities through their purchases.

The deal with Lori Greiner

BaS investors

The entrepreneurs, who were seeking $150,000 for a 15% equity stake, managed to strike a deal with the 'Queen of QVC,' Lori Greiner. This deal gave Baubles and Soles the exposure and financial backing they needed. Personally, I was excited for them when this happened because I believed that their product had the potential to make a real impact.

Post-Shark Tank success: a rocky road

The success of landing a deal on Shark Tank can be exhilarating, but it's only the beginning of the entrepreneurial journey. Baubles and Soles experienced the initial rush of victory, but they also encountered a series of challenges in the wake of their appearance on the show.

In this section, we'll delve into the trials and tribulations that tested the mettle of this innovative footwear company.

  • Baubles + Soles in 2022: In 2022, Baubles + Soles was still a presence in the shoe retail business, though not without concerns about its longevity.
  • Website tribute to "Shark Tank": On their website (which has since become defunct), Baubles + Soles paid homage to their appearance on "Shark Tank" through a logo on their "As Seen On ..." banner.
  • Product range remained consistent: The company's product offerings in 2022 remained consistent with what they had originally presented on the show, featuring roughly 20 style options.
  • Limited expansion: While Baubles + Soles persisted, it appeared that the company had not significantly expanded beyond its initial presence on "Shark Tank."
  • Social media signals: The company's social media presence, particularly on Instagram, raised concerns. Despite having over 13,000 followers, their posts received low engagement, with many garnering fewer than 10 likes.
  • The writing on the wall: In retrospect, these observations hinted at the possibility that Baubles + Soles might not have a long-lasting future.
  • Final year of operation: As it turned out, 2022 marked the final full year of operation for this "Shark Tank" venture.

Initial success and challenges

After their appearance on Shark Tank, Baubles and Soles seemed to be on a promising trajectory. They received a substantial boost in sales and brand recognition, thanks to the exposure the show provided. This is where I really like to see entrepreneurs succeed, especially when their ideas have a socially responsible angle.

Baubles and Soles Shark Tank

However, their journey wasn't all smooth sailing. They faced a series of challenges, like scaling their operations and meeting the increased demand while maintaining their commitment to their social mission. This is a struggle many entrepreneurs can relate to, and I found that it was an obstacle that Baubles and Soles had to overcome as well.

The impact of the pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic brought unforeseen challenges to many businesses. Baubles and Soles, like numerous others, had to navigate through these turbulent times. The uncertainty, supply chain disruptions, and changing consumer behavior had a profound impact on their operations.

Personally, I really like to see how businesses adapt and pivot during challenging times, and Baubles and Soles made some strategic decisions to weather the storm. They focused on their online presence and e-commerce, recognizing the shift in consumer behavior towards online shopping.

The present-day Baubles and Soles

Time has brought about significant changes for Baubles and Soles. In the years following their Shark Tank debut, they've evolved and adapted to meet the demands of an ever-changing market.

This section shines a light on the contemporary Baubles and Soles, showcasing their expanded product line, unwavering commitment to their mission, embrace of sustainability, and the challenges they continue to navigate in a competitive industry. 

  • Closure announcement on Instagram: After a prolonged period of quiet, Baubles + Soles officially announced its closure on the company's Instagram page in January 2023.
  • Closing sale: In the months that followed, the company conducted a closing sale, offering products at discounts of up to 75 percent off.
  • Acknowledging support: In one of their final Instagram posts, Baubles + Soles expressed gratitude, saying, "Thank you to everyone that has supported us through the years and during our store closing sale. We appreciate you all!"
  • Uncertain fate: With the substantial closing sale and the discontinuation of the company's website, it strongly suggests that Baubles + Soles has ceased to exist as a permanent addition to the list of "Shark Tank" businesses that have faded away.
  • Hope for the future: Notably, Lisa and Duc Nguyen haven't entirely ruled out the possibility of a comeback. They described the business' closure as a "pause" rather than a definitive farewell. Should circumstances improve, it appears they may revive Baubles + Soles at some point down the road.

Expanding the product line

In the years following their Shark Tank appearance, Baubles and Soles expanded their product line. They not only offered their signature interchangeable shoes but also introduced new designs and styles to cater to a wider audience. I found that this diversification was a smart move, allowing them to tap into different market segments.

Staying true to their mission

One thing that has remained consistent is Baubles and Soles' commitment to their social mission. They continue to work with artisans in Guatemala, providing employment opportunities and fair wages.

BaS product

Personally, I admire their dedication to this cause, as it's easy for businesses to lose sight of their initial mission when faced with growth and profit pressures.

Embracing sustainability

In a world increasingly focused on sustainability, Baubles and Soles recognized the importance of eco-friendly practices. They started using sustainable materials and production methods to reduce their environmental impact. This was a positive shift that aligned with evolving consumer preferences.

Challenges and competition

Baubles and Soles may have faced a series of challenges post-Shark Tank, but they also encountered stiff competition. The footwear industry is highly competitive, with established brands and new startups vying for market share.

Adapting to this environment and staying innovative became crucial for Baubles and Soles' continued success.

Final thoughts

The journey of Baubles and Soles after their Shark Tank appearance has been marked by both triumphs and challenges. While the world of entrepreneurship is never without obstacles, it's inspiring to witness businesses like Baubles and Soles overcome them.

So, if you ever wondered what happened to Baubles and Soles after Shark Tank, you can rest assured that they're still out there, making a positive impact, one step at a time.

About the author 

Peter Keszegh

Most people write this part in the third person but I won't. You're at the right place if you want to start or grow your online business. When I'm not busy scaling up my own or other people' businesses, you'll find me trying out new things and discovering new places. Connect with me on Facebook, just let me know how I can help.

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