The Monkey Mat was created by friends turned business partners Courtney Turich and Christie Barany. The original Monkey Mats were 5-foot square mats that were easily foldable and storable in small 6” x 6” pouches. They could be used as picnic mats, exercise mats, or play mats for young children and babies. They were washable, easily cleanable, and easily carryable – mostly marketed towards mothers and families. It was helpful in turning any kind of floor into a usable or playable floor area. At first, it was only offered in 4 different colors.
Before becoming friends and business partners, Courtney and Christie became colleagues over 10 years ago, working in a male-dominated medical device company. They first became friends after a wine-spilling accident where Courtney ruined Christie’s white shirt at a corporate event. This chance encounter or accident soon turned them into friends and later business partners.
The idea of the Monkey Mat came to Christie while she was on a 6-hour layover wait at an airport. Trying to keep her two baby girls off of the dirty airport floor and continuously showering them with sanitizer, Christie came up with the Monkey Mat, a portable ‘‘floor’’ that could turn any floor or surface into a clean and usable surface. Courtney, who didn’t have kids at the time, was instantly on board as she was an avid hiker, festival goer, camper, and wine-taster and could think of hundreds of helpful uses the Monkey Mat would provide her.
After months of brainstorming and creating prototypes, the Monkey Mat was born. Although it was first created mostly for children and babies, the multitude of uses it provided allowed it to have a lot of success, even for consumers without families or kids.
Courtney and Christie appeared on Season 5, Episode 22 of Shark Tank. They both gave a demonstration of the product, explained all the details, and provided the sharks with samples of the product. Courtney and Christie were seeking out a $100,000 investment in exchange for a 30% stake in their company.
Christie provided the sharks with details of their sales and revenue after Robert Herjavec inquired, stating that they had already made $60,000 in sales through their online store and a few retailers. She also stated they had even made international sales in three countries outside the United States. The friends turned business partners also provided the details about the production costs and the retail prices.
After hearing about the details of the costs and the retail price, Kevin O’Leary was questionable about the retail price, stating it was too high for a product of this kind. Mark Cuban was quick to point out that the ease of use and portability of the product made the price worth it, but he would still like to bring the price down for the mass retail market.
Robert Herjavec was the first shark to back away, stating the high price wasn’t convincing, and they would struggle to bring the price down. Kevin O’Leary was quick to agree and backed off as well. Barbara Corcoran was next to walk away from the deal again, stating the high price and also adding that the colors weren’t ‘‘hip.’’
Lori Greiner believed that the pair could bring the retail price down and asked Mark Cuban if he would like to partner up on the offer. Cuban agreed with Lori, and the two offered a $100,000 investment for a 35% stake in the company. Courtney and Christie were happy with the deal, and the fact that they were able to get two sharks on board was just another plus.
Our Review of the Monkey Mat
Since making the deal with Lori and Cuban, the pair and company have enjoyed a lot of success. The pair were able to slash their retail prices, making the mats more affordable to all. And although Barbara didn’t buy into the deal, Courtney and Christie still heard her advice and released a number of different colors and patterns for their mats, making them even more popular among different crowds.
Monkey Mat now has a bunch of products in its lineup, including mats for your pets, a quilted mat, a mega and mini mat, and, of course, the original Monkey Mat.
Pros of Monkey Mat
- Easy to Clean: All Monkey Mats are made with ripstop nylon – a fabric that is water repellant, durable, and lightweight. The ripstop nylon helps repel all kinds of dirt, sand, or spills and can be wiped or shaken right off! All mats are also machine washable.
- Attachments: Monkey Mats also come with a centerpiece that has loops built in where you can attach accessories like your keys, kid’s toys, your pet leashes, and much more.
- Corner Weights: Corner weights can be bought separately and also come with the product in the Quilt and Mega version of the mats. These corner weights help your mat stay in place, stopping it from blowing over due to wind. The original mat comes with corner loops that you can stake in order to secure your mat.
- Portable: the mats are easily foldable and come with a pouch for easy carry. The mats also come with folding instructions to make it as easy as possible.
Cons of the Monkey Mat
- Lots of users state that the corner weights aren’t exactly functional, and the mat tends to blow away easily.
- The ripstop nylon’s durability is questionable as manyusers report easy tearing. Some users have also reported the mat coming with a missing strap and also a lot of broken zippers.
Who Is Monkey Mat for?
Though the Monkey Mat was aimed at mothers and families, it can be used by anyone looking for a sanitary multipurpose mat.
Are There any Alternatives?
There are a few alternatives we can find for Monkey Mats. CGear and WeSellMats are good alternatives, and there are many other foldable mats you could try out on Amazon.
Our Final Thoughts
The Monkey Mat is a great product if you are someone who regularly camps, picnics, goes to concerts and festivals, or has children or pets who like to stay outdoors. They are affordable and of high quality, and you won’t be disappointed with your purchase!