Rock Bands from Shark Tank

Rock Bands shark tank
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Rock Bands are the handiwork of fashion model Lee Dahlberg. These stylish unisex leather bands are made of animal skins (such as python, crocodile, tree snake, and calf) and adorned with different semi-precious stones like tiger’s eye and jasper. These stones are said to have healing properties.

Each band comes in a display case shaped as a mini backstage equipment box with short descriptions of the stone and what healing properties it has.

Is Rock Bands Still Active?

Despite having to downsize his operations, Lee is still selling Rock Bands on his website.

How Did Their Pitch Go?

Lee walked in cool and collected. He introduced himself as the owner, designer, and creator of Rock Bands.

“A rock, on a band to give you a rock band.”

His succinctness got a laugh from the Sharks, but it is hard to say if they were laughing with him or at him.

Then he explained how the rocks were healing stones, carved by artisans whose families have been stone crafting since the Ming Dynasty. These bands made the wearer not just look good but feel good too.

The camera cut to Mark, and you could see the skepticism on his face. The Sharks have never taken kindly to anyone hawking pseudo-medicine.

Just as the Sharks were losing interest, in sauntered surprise guest Robin Leach, the voice of the television show Lifestyle of the Rich and Famous. He walked in and immediately began pitching Rock Bands.

He listed over a dozen A-List Hollywood celebrities who proudly owned a Rock Band like Bono, Johnny Depp, Tommy Lee, Britney Spears, Brad Pitt, and Angelina Jolie. Even President Bill Clinton wears a Rock Band.

This little guest appearance and all the name-dropping revived Lee’s pitch and got the Sharks’ attention.

Lee spoke about his passion for Rock Bands and how he sold his house and embarked on an intense guerrilla marketing campaign. It paid off in the end and got Rock Bands on the shelves of America’s top four retail stores.

But he wasn’t prepared for the politics of the retail business, and he honestly admitted all the setbacks he faced as he tried to navigate through, especially with the retailers.

Lee had come to the Shark Tank asking $100,000 for 20% equity to help him optimize his online presence and hire a lawyer to deal with his legal woes.

One particular store had placed a large product order of 150,000 units but then canceled it after the bands had been manufactured. All they said to Lee was, “Just sue us.”

Apart from retail issues, Lee also had trademarked the name Rock Band and wanted a go at anyone who was using that name on apparel in the USA.

When asked about his sales, Lee said he had sold $300,000 over five and half years. The Sharks recoiled in horror; it was like a bullet to the head.

Kevin asked about the production numbers. Rock Bands cost $12 to manufacture with the case; wholesale is $50, and retail ranges around $99 – $150. Mark thought the margins were good.

He was selling about a dozen a week, which the Sharks said wasn’t bad because he was selling for around $100 a band.

Kevin didn’t see any future in the product, but there was potential in the branding and licensing. He offered $100,000 for 100% of the equity and would give Lee a 7% royalty so he could pursue his other passions.

Barbara said he was just unlucky and had five years of nothing. But she also said there were possibilities within the licensing, and Rock Bands was a “shoo-in at QVC.” She joined Kevin’s offer going 50 – 50 with him.

Daymond and Mark offered to give him $100,000 for 40% equity. They could handle the licensing, and Lee would still own 60% of his business and keep designing Rock Bands.

It was like watching a game of tug of war; the Sharks had divided into two teams trying to pull Lee to their side. Ultimately Lee decided to go with Daymond and Mark to keep control of his company.

What Happened After Shark Tank?

The agreement with Mark and Daymond didn’t go through. Lee was dealing with multiple copyright infringement issues at the time, which probably complicated the deal.

Rock Bands still does not have a dedicated online store, and Lee sells them through his personal website.

Lee has expanded his interests and has started a custom-built furniture business called Son of a Bench and also sells his artwork on his website. He continues to model and has also started acting and does stand-up comedy.

In November 2020, Lee announced that he was partnering with Chicton to sell his products, but he has changed the design significantly from what he had originally pitched to the Sharks.

Our Review of Rock Bands

Rock Bands are well-made leather bands embellished with a large healing stone. You can choose from a variety of stones and leather bands.

We won’t comment on the healing powers of the stones. One thing to be noted about the design, however, is that there is no skin contact with the stone, which seems to be the universally accepted way of how stones transfer their healing energy.

Pros of Rock Bands

  • Bandsare handmade
  • Unisex
  • Comes in variety of leather bands and stones

Cons of Rock Bands

  • Expensive

Are There Any Alternatives?

On Amazon, you will find thousands of pieces of jewelry that use similar precious stones to embellish leather bands. Etsy has hundreds of jewelry makers who will make bespoke pieces for a fraction of the price.

Our Final Thoughts

Rock Bands didn’t get the benefit of the Shark Tank effect. There was no surge in popularity, the deal with Mark and Raymond didn’t go through, and even Lee’s legal issues were left on the shelf.

Maybe Barbara was right and Lee is just unlucky. It is a good thing he still has that modeling career to fall back on.

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