Michael Malkin, the brain behind Calm Strips, worked in an Apple retail store before realizing that the extremely busy and stressful work environment was triggering his anxiety every day. He would use a regular carpenter’s tape to rub around his finger, and that helped to ground him. This was the point when the idea for Calm Strips came to his mind.
What Do They Make?
Calm Strips are not just regular stickers. They are sensory adhesives with a textured surface. They can be rubbed or scratched to reduce the need to fidget with other substances. The restless energy that anxiety brings needs to go somewhere, and Calm Strips provide the right texture on an easy-to-reach, convenient surface so that you can reach out to play with it, rub it, or scratch it to manage and calm your anxiety.
The stickers can be placed anywhere, like on your phone, laptop, or necklace pendant. The Calm Strips come in two textures: soft sand and river rocks. The strips are available in a circle shape as well as strips.
What Makes Them Unique?
Forty-five million Americans struggle with anxiety every day. Calm Strips introduced a new way for people to reduce their anxiety. They are reusable and residual-free.
Are They Still an Active Company?
Calm Strips is still running successfully, and the product is popular among kids and adults in the USA and other countries.
The product has received mixed reviews on Amazon. However, their versatility makes its wide use possible in thousands of schools.
How Did the Shark Tank Pitch Go?
Michael Malkin and Luce Fuller from Newport News, VA, appeared on the show in season 13.
They were seeking $250,000 in exchange for 10% of their company. The duo explained their product model and provided Calm Strips samples to the Sharks. Michael explained the theory behind his sensory adhesive tapes and how they helped him manage his anxiety in a bustling, busy work environment.
Lori asked them about their market research data, as they only claimed that it “worked” for people. Luce explained that they sold Calm Strips to over a hundred thousand people, and they have a return rate of less than 1%.
The company launched early in the previous year and crossed $2.5 million in sales. They offer a full refund to people who claim their product to be ineffective.
Robert inquired whether the sales continued to increase at the same pace during the last three months. Michael responded that they had made $400,000 through their sales last month and $193,000 in profits in the previous year.
Michael explained that this was their slow season, and Luce clarified that school season was the most stressful for children and teachers, and that is when their product is sold the most. The Calm Strips were already being used in almost 3000 schools across the USA.
The company had taken doctors and special education teachers on board, and they all agreed that Calm Strips were an excellent way to channel the excess energy and anxiety out of your body in a safe way.
Robert agreed that sensory stimulation worked to reduce anxiety. This was because his kids were always struggling to calm their anxiety.
Michael had a five-year-old son who was recently diagnosed with autism, which was why he wanted to promote the company to help other people and children who were fighting with their anxieties every day of their lives.
Daymond appreciated the numbers, but he still didn’t understand the concept behind the strips, so he went out.
Mark thought it was a great business, but for it to be investable, it should introduce multi-products on a large scale. For that reason, he went out.
Robert commented about fidget spinners and how their sales died down along with their hype. What if Calm Strips would stop selling in the future as well?
Michael said that they were working on newer product models and planning to die-cut the stickers into specific shapes that would allow people to trace them with their fingers. The product could be molded in a lot of different shapes and designs.
Robert was interested in making an offer. However, he also wanted to get money out of his investment. He offered them $250,000 for 35% stakes. The duo wanted to counter the offer since Robert was asking for a lot more equity than what they came up with.
Kevin jumped in with his offer. He would ask for no equity, but the company should give him $2.50 per unit till he gets his money back. Then the percentage would decrease to $1 perpetuity.
Robert countered by saying he’ll give them $250K, for $2.50 per unit, and then $1.50 per unit until he gets three times the initial money he invested. He commented that the reason his deal was different was that it lands.
While Kevin and Robert grappled with defending their offers, Michael and Luce turned to Lori and asked whether she was interested in making an offer. As a result, Robert went out, saying that they obviously weren’t interested in a deal with him.
Lori said that she would do the same offer as Kevin, but with an 8% equity.
Robert still didn’t understand why they wouldn’t consider his offer since it was a lot better than Kevin and Lori’s. He was asking for $2.50 cents per unit until he got his $250K back, and then a dollar and fifty cents until he got $750K back.
Michael made another offer and asked whether he would give $250K for 20% equity. Robert declined the offer.
Finally, they asked him if he would put his initial offer with 35% equity back on the table. Robert agreed, and they all made a deal.
Our Review of Calm Strips
Calm Strips are an expensive alternative to buying carpenter’s tape or Velcro tape to rub your fingers on while you’re anxious. The high price will not motivate any customer to buy another pack of Calm Strips once they wear out.
Pros of Calm Strips
- Beautiful packaging and pretty designs on the strips
- Excellent customer service
- Calm Strips come in two textures: soft and rough
Cons of Calm Strips
- The strips do not stick well to a variety of surfaces
- The textured surface wears out after some time
- The surface is not rough or textured enough
- They are a bit expensive for what the product is actually worth
Who Is Calm Strips For?
Calm Strips is a great friend to have nearby when you are having an extra rough day. Some days get the best of you, and nothing seems to be right. That is when these strips come in handy, as they will ground you and manage your anxiety while you are managing to get a hold of your surroundings.
Are There Any Alternatives?
- Anxiety Sensory Stickers by brand Eersida
- hand2mind Finger Focus Highlighter
- ROSYKIDZ Bundle Sensory Fidget Toys Set
Our Final Thoughts:
Robert’s offer was a bit more demanding than what Michael and Luce had in mind. But their combined passion and enthusiasm will definitely take the company to a whole new level.