EXCLUSIVE | Shark Tank participant and DadWare CEO Nick Baker talks about the transformational ‘Bondaroo’ shirt
'When I first invented The Bondaroo, I was at a trade show when I met a manufacturer from overseas' said Nick
Among many interesting business ideas, ABC’s ‘Shark Tank’ Season 11 Episode 22 saw a product that would change the bonding between a father and his newborn child.
Meet Nick Baker, CEO and founder of DadWare LLC, a Los Angeles based company that focuses on products that can change the parent-child dynamics. Named Bondaroo, Nick developed a Kangaroo shirt for newbie fathers that would allow them with skin-to-skin bonding with their babies.We at MEA Worldwide (MEAWW) got into a candid conversation with the inventor and the father and learned about his experience of inventing Bondaroo and everything that you need to know about this transformational product.
The product stemmed from Nick’s experience with his daughter, Eva. His wife, Dawn went through a painful and traumatic pregnancy when their child was born and was unable to bond with her baby girl. At that time, Nick stepped in to take up parental duties and experienced the skin to skin bonding with his daughter, when he held her shirtless. This made him
realize the importance of such a connection between a father and his newborn child and changed his life!
Along with Dawn, Nick launched DadWare and came up with the idea of a shirt that will help fathers to bond with their babies.
Now that we know the story behind Bondaroo, please give us a personal insight into the product.
The Bondaroo was created mainly because I wanted a comfortable way to do skin to skin bonding at home. I just needed a better answer for what I was supposed to do.
The company has already done over 300K in sales and Nick is proud of how it has touched many lives!
How is the market response to Bondaroo so far?
It has been great! We get wonderful reviews on Amazon, Instagram and Facebook, and we get letters all the time about how we bring fathers closer to their newborns. We’ve done over $300,000 in lifetime sales, so we must be doing something right!
So, what competition do you face and how do you manage it?
When I first invented The Bondaroo, I was at a trade show when I met a manufacturer from overseas. I gave them a shirt to see how much it would cost to produce the shirt overseas with them and within two months, there were knock-offs on Amazon! But with the help of my attorney, we contacted Amazon and got all the knock-offs thrown off their platform because of our patent was pending at the time. With strong intellectual property rights and high-quality made in USA products, I ensure that I keep my competitors at bay!
To introduce the product to the world and expand his business, Nick pitched the idea on ABC’s ‘Shark Tank’. After trying three times, his idea was taken on board and the third time, he got to present Bondaroo on national television.
Tell us about your experience with pitching your idea on Shark Tank
It is indeed incredibly nerve-wracking to have the most important business meeting of your life be presented to millions of people. You have a time limit and you aren’t allowed to use any notes! But at the end of the day, the Sharks are great and just want you to come in prepared and ready to succeed!
What’s the next step for DadWare?
At this point, we are planning to expand our current product line by adding new colors and fabric styles, as well as a long sleeve version that will be out by the end of the year.
Innovators like Nick Baker are inspirations for aspiring entrepreneurs.
For those looking to take the leap of faith and join the innovation bandwagon, Nick advises,“Joining entrepreneur groups have helped me more than you can imagine. But be cautious of scammers who will tell you that they know it all. Do the things that you need to be doing. When I started DadWare, I taught myself everything about the garment industry, learned about pattern maker and a sewer, why Velcro is better than snaps, the manufacturing process, how to package, sell, distribute, and market my product, how to acquire a trademark and now patent! Take everything you hear with a grain of salt and remember that EVERYONE has an opinion. No one knows everything, including you! Be humble, but strong, and it’ll work out great."
Bondaroo made its pitch to ‘Shark Tank’ on Season 11 Episode 22.
You can shop for or learn about Bondaroo on the brand’s website.