Entrepreneur Nikeytah Ramsey had a tough childhood that involved living on the streets and sleeping on an empty stomach. Nickey always wondered if there was a way to turn her life around and break out of the vicious cycle of generational poverty, so when the opportunity arose, she didn’t hesitate to embark on her entrepreneurial journey.
Nickey was seeking a $100,000 investment for a 10% equity stake in her company, Junobie, which produces sustainable and reusable storage bags for breast milk.
Scroll down to know how the Sharks reacted to her pitch!
What Is Junobie?
Junobie is a company producing plastic-free and reusable storage bags for breast milk designed to assist mothers in feeding their newborns. The bags are made from 100% food-grade silicon and are eco-friendly. Unlike the copycats in the market, Junobie bags have embossed lining for measurements and can stand on an even surface. They are supplied with slide-in openers that prevent leakage and are fool-proof in mechanics.
Entrepreneur Nikeytha Ramsey aka Nickey took the Shark Tank season 13 to pitch for her business, Junobie. She opened her pitch by highlighting a problem all breastfeeding mothers encounter, i.e., the inability to store their breast milk. Nickey shared that when she became a mother, she turned to the single-use plastic bag to store her breast milk, but those bags were not designed for storage and would tear apart quickly. She reminisced how she cried over spilled milk quite literally more than once and was desperate for a viable solution but couldn’t find any.
So, she resolved to help herself and other mothers and designed Junobie to allow mothers from across the world to store their breast milk without the threat of it going bad in a few hours. After introducing her product, Nickey handed out the samples to Sharks, and they began to investigate.
Kevin wanted to know about the hygiene aspect of the product, and Nickey explained that the bags were dishwasher-approved and heat-resistant. Barbara praised the sturdy slide-in opener that made the bags air-tight and spill-free.
Lori was curious about the origin of the business, and Nickey’s story made the Sharks sympathetic to her pain. She was a traveling therapist when she gave birth to her son and learned that he had a condition called “lip tie,” which led to him needing a lot of nursing. Nickey quickly realized she had to store her milk, but when she searched for a suitable bag that could hold 5 to ounces of milk, she couldn’t find any, and that’s how Junobie came into existence.
Kevin inquired about her selling price and cost of production and was impressed by Nickey’s margins. Guest Shark, Emma Grede, reminisced how she breastfed her children, but since they came early, it was challenging for her. She then asked Nickey about her competitors, and the entrepreneur revealed a lot of knockoffs in the market, but none of them were on par with Junobie’s design. She had tested one of her competitors’ bags which couldn’t even withstand a single squeeze and ended up spilling everything.
Emma then inquired about her sales, and Nickey shared that they had $86,000 in sales and were projecting $300,000 by the end of the year. Kevin asked if they were on Amazon, and Emma replied that they were but not anymore; now, they sell exclusively from their website as they could not meet the growing demand. She elaborated that the business is self-funded, so it needs more capital to speed up production, and that’s why she wanted a Shark to help her out.
Kevin reasoned that he invests in businesses that allow him to tell a story, and Junobie doesn’t fit the bill. He felt disconnected from the product, so for that reason, he was out.
Following Kevin’s lead, Mark stepped away from the deal for the same reason.
Lori didn’t think it was a good investment for her and pulled out of the deal.
Nickey’s vision for her company resonated with Emma, and she thought Junobie had a very defined audience, but the company needed a lot of help to get out of its inventory crisis. Still, she offered Nickey $100,000 for 25% equity stakes, and the rest of the Sharks called the deal reasonable enough.
Barbara told Nickey that she would have given her the same offer, but now that Emma was onboard, she was out.
Nickey countered Emma with $150,000 for 12%, shocking the rest of the Sharks. Mark encouraged Nickey to take the deal because, in the end, she’ll still have 75% and a lot of help from Emma.
Nickey amended her offer and asked for $100,000 for 15%, and the rest of the Sharks looked visibly frustrated. Emma decided to go down to 22.5% but told Nickey that was her last offer.
After much contemplation, Nickey closed the deal with Emma for a $100,000 investment for 22.5% equity stakes in her company.
A few months after her appearance on Shark Tank season 13, Nickey made 1 million dollars in sales. The deal with Emma turned out to be life-changing for her.
Our Review of Junobie
Pros of Junobie
- Dishwasher friendly
- Heat resistant
Cons of Junobie
- Sells exclusively from their website
- Inventory issues
Who Is Junobie for?
Junobie is for mothers who breastfeed and want to store breast milk for later use. It caters to the growing storage needs of working mothers who don’t have the time to nurse their babies as frequently as they should. They need storage bags like Junobie that can be refrigerated and measured for their contents easily, and Junobie is right on the money with its products.
Are There Any Alternatives?
Although Nickey has a patent pending on her breast milk storage bags, there are many variations of Junobie available in the market, namely Lansinoh, NUK, Kiinde Twist Pouch, Dr. Brown, and Medela. Each of these alternatives is marked with lines for easy measurement, and some, like Kiinde Twist Pouch and Medela, even come with a pump.
Our Final Thoughts
We think Nickey has tapped into a niche market that will only grow as more and more mothers turn to alternative means of breastfeeding. The Shark Tank effect has been fruitful for Junobie, and once the company lands in retail, it has an excellent chance of raking in a lot of sales. Nickey can even take the business back to Amazon and meet the growing demand, as Emma will be able to help with inventory this time round.