Lisa Binderow created Nice Pipes arm and leg warmers to give herself a stylish yet comfortable way to keep her arms and legs warm while going to the yoga studio in chilly New York City. She's a yoga enthusiast who wears her yoga pants a lot. Wool leg warmers kept her warm, but they scratched her skin and made her itchy. When she started making her own arm and leg warmers out of stretchy yoga pants material, other women at her yoga studio started asking her to make some for them.
That's how she started her business. Her need fit the needs of others, so she started Nice Pipes and got to work. After starting the business in 2014, she carved out a niche and even sells on Amazon now. The good thing about yoga pants is a lot of non-yoga enthusiast women wear them for their comfort and style. Until Nice Pipes came along, there weren't many ways to accessorize the look.
The product itself is pretty simple. Each pair of Nice Pipes is basically a tube, made from stretch material, that not only warms, but compliments the yoga pants stylishly. They're available in a variety of colors and women buy them. Lisa just hopes a Shark buys in, too.
My Take on Nice Pipes
The other week in church, there was a guy behind me who was really belting out the hymns in a deep baritone; he was a GOOD singer. When it came time to offer a sign of peace, I turned around, shook his hand, and said, “nice pipes.” He smiled and said “thank you.” If I walked up to a woman and said the same thing, I risk getting slapped, because the expression is like saying “nice boobs.” Lisa named her business after the third connotation of the phrase which means “nice muscle development.”
Semantics aside, arm and leg warmers are nothing new. When I was in high school in the eighties, leg warmers were a big fashion rage. Since then, while they aren't a big fashion statement, they are a fairly common item in women's wardrobes – particularly in colder climates. What makes Lisa's product different is the material.
Not a day goes by when I don't see a woman wearing yoga pants. They're everywhere. My wife and all my girls wear them all the time and none of them do yoga regularly. They wear them for the fit and style. While Nice Pipes have a practical function, I think many women will want them for the added style. For that reason, I'm in.
Do Sharks Play Nice?
This one has me intrigued. I think the product has big potential, more for the fashion angle than the sheer utility of the product. I'm just not sure how the Sharks will respond. In season six, Lori and Barbara teamed up to invest in Hold Your Haunches, yoga pants that slim the butt and waistline. In six months, that business did $1.5 million in sales. They weren't selling to yoga enthusiasts either, they were selling to women who like to wear yoga pants.
Lori and Barbara are on the panel when Lisa pitches. Could they team up again and offer a deal for Nice Pipes to complement that business? I think it is a smart move if they did. If the Sharkettes don't offer, I don't think Nice Pipes will get a deal. If she doesn't get a deal and she doesn't have patent protection, she should be wary. Barbara said in an interview with Shark Tank Blog that she collects all the product samples she gets on the show and checks to see if one of her entrepreneurs can copy the idea!
While imitation is the best form of flattery, it could hurt Nice Pipes. She better hope for a deal.