Buttercloth is a clothing brand designed to optimize both comfort and style. In the words of its founders, wearing a Buttercloth shirt feels like wearing your favorite t-shirt but also looking like you’re a full-time employee. The brand focuses on designing men’s formal dress shirts out of an inventive cotton fabric that is comfortable yet also looks presentable.
Buttercloth is the brainchild of Dahn Trahn, a Vietnamese American fashion designer who is incredibly passionate about this project. The fabric is the star of the business as it is made of 100% cotton fiber and has six-way stretch and breathability. It provides an escape from scratchy and stiff dress shirts that make workplaces and other formal events uncomfortable. The shirts are wrinkle-free, and the biggest testament to their comfort is the endorsement of former NBA star Metta World Peace, an investor in the business.
Buttercloth can be declared as a bonafide Shark Tank success story as it continues to thrive in the niche it has carved out for itself in the online fashion industry. The ease it provides customers, coupled with Trahn’s aura of goodness that he radiated during his TV appearance, made the brand a hit after its Shark Tank appearance. They got a follow-up appearance in a later Shark Tank episode, which showed the brand doing quite well for itself. According to the latest statistics, the business is raking in millions of dollars of revenue yearly.
How Did The Shark Tank Pitch Go?
Trahn entered the Shark Tank pitch with his partner Gary Falkenberg. The duo enthusiastically introduced their product and created a positive, upbeat environment that interested the Sharks. They asked for $250,000 for 10% of their company.
Trahn kicked the pitch off by explaining how he had always disliked formal dress shirts because they tended to be stiff and uncomfortable, so a person cannot freely move in them. Unfortunately, dress shirts are also essential for a formal look. That is why he decided to create Buttercloth, which holds all the comfort of a favorite T-shirt but also helps maintain a proper look. Falkenberg used a very apt analogy to describe the product saying that the shirts feel like a Caribbean hammock but look like you are ready to deliver a NASA lecture.
The duo then elevated the pitch by introducing their third partner as a fiber scientist. The third partner was revealed to be former NBA player Metta World Peace who walked out to exclamations of delight and shock by the Sharks.
Kevin O’Leary noticed that the three made quite an eclectic duo, which roused laughter from everyone. Metta further showed the ease the clothes provided by dunking a basketball while in a Buttercloth shirt. He was cheered on by all the Sharks. The Sharks were curious about Metta’s involvement, and he revealed that he was so impressed by the business that he invested in it. He was also interested in the marketing aspect.
Trahn then told the Sharks his story of coming to the United States as an immigrant from Vietnam to study fashion design. He worked at different fashion houses, then quit his job, sold his house to start this business. Falkenberg attested to Trahn’s spirit and passion, and both the Sharks and the audience could feel the designer’s authenticity.
The Sharks turned the conversation toward numbers. The entrepreneurs told the Sharks that they had made $500,000 in sales in seven months. The Sharks were impressed by this figure. Guest Shark Charles Barkley then inquired about the customer acquisition rate. Falkenberg told the Sharks that they advertised on social media platforms and spent a lot of their revenue on advertising. Robert Herjavec and O’Leary thought their customer acquisition cost was also excessive.
O’Leary was the first to pull out of negotiations as he believed the customer acquisition cost was too high and the profit margins were not sound. Mark Cuban was also concerned about customer acquisition and told them to focus more on marketing than inventory. He also refused to make an offer.
Lori Greiner loved the product, but she was involved with her own clothing brand focused on the kind of clothes she wore on Shark Tank. She felt it was unjust not to give her full attention. Therefore, she could not make an offer.
Charles Barkley emphasized that the clothing industry was cut-throat. He believed he could not safely invest his money in the industry. He also backed out of making an offer.
This left the trio with Robert Herjavec. Trahn emphasized how he had left everything for his passion project. Herjavec said he liked the business and had invested in some profitable clothing ventures on Shark Tank. He offered the partners $250,000 for 25% of the company. Trahn inquired whether Herjavec would be willing to accept 20% equity. Herjavec refused.
After some contemplation, Trahn accepted the offer and broke into a giddy almost child-like reaction which elicited even more laughter from the Sharks. Mark Cuban declared it the best reaction ever. The three partners and Herjavec celebrated their deal with hugs all around.
Our Review of ButterCloth
Buttercloth is an innovative clothing brand that offers a great solution to a common problem. The fabric’s breathability elevates the shirts, and the company also provides excellent designs for their customers. The shirts have major advantages, but a few issues could be ironed out to increase the product’s quality.
Pros of Buttercloth
- The fabric has no synthetic components and is made of 100% cotton
- The fabric is stretchy and breathable
- The shirts are a great fit due to the stretchiness of the fabric
- The brand has introduced other products such as masks, socks etc.
- Wide variety of designs
- Broad range of sizes
Cons of Buttercloth
- Does not provide options for women
- Expensive price points
- Does not have an outlet, so there is no way to try shirts
Who Is It For?
As Metta’s endorsement shows, Buttercloth targets professional men looking to introduce comfort in their daily routines. It is an excellent product for men who are usually in formal settings and want to feel comfortable without compromising their style. The softness and purity of the fabric can also attract people with sensitive skin and issues with synthetic material.
Are There Any Alternatives?
Many brands claim to make comfortable formal wear. However, the softness of Buttercloth remains unmatched. Indochino is an example of a brand that makes comfortable cotton formal wear.
Buttercloth is an innovation in fashion design, but the business also stands out due to its founder’s genuine passion for the clothing industry. While its price point may not be affordable for everyone, the brand provides excellent quality clothing that does not compromise on any aspect, be it style or comfort. These shirts are well-rounded in every aspect.