A belt with no holes makes an appearance in the Shark Tank in episode 422 as entrepreneur Zachary Holzapfel pitches the Mission Belt to the Sharks. The Mission Belt with no holes is a fashionable and moderately priced leather belt that can be worn with a suit or jeans. It's a unisex belt, so women can wear them too.
While a belt with no holes is not a new idea (think about those canvas belts the Boy Scouts wear), a leather belt with no holes is something novel. Normal belts have holes which may not always exactly match a person's waist line leaving pants a bit loose or constricting a little too tight. The Mission Belt lets you size your belt to your exact size.
The Belt With No Holes has Another Mission
Mission Belt has two missions: sell belts and help curb world hunger. Instead of allowing disadvantaged people in underdeveloped countries to tighten their belts due to lack of food, Mission Belt donates $1 from every sale to fund micro-loans through Kiva.com. The micro-loans aren't used to buy bags of rice either; Mission Belt believes in the “teach a man to fish” way of battling hunger. For instance, a recent micro loan was made to a Cambodian family to buy piglets that became both a sustainable food source and an income generator. Other loans funded agricultural improvements in a Kenyan village, cattle in Uganda, and livestock in Armenia. As the Mission Belt website says, the micro loans are “a hand up, not a hand out.” It's a noble mission that has demonstrable results.
As for the belt itself, it looks like a nice, quality leather belt that I'd wear with casual or dress clothes. As a guy with a sometimes fluctuating waistline, I like the concept of the belt with no holes as a sizing option. Everyone needs a belt to hold up their pants and most people own multiple belts. Mission Belts come in a wide variety of styles and colors too, so there's sure to be one (or two) to match any wardrobe.
Will the Sharks Belt Up?
Belts are such a common item, the Sharks may have a problem with the large amount of competition from just about every fashion brand out there. Mission Belt will need to show they have decent sales and solid margins to justify any valuation Zachary puts on his business. The ABC press release says Zach is a “natural-born salesman,” so perhaps his sales acumen can win them over as the Sharks often invest in the person as well as the business. The added ‘mission” of the company is, in addition to being a decent and caring way to do business, also a clever marketing strategy.
The fact that Mission is a belt with no holes may help Zach's prospects for an investment too. There are other belts without holes on the market, but solid branding (and 8 million viewers) can put Mission Belt at the top of the heap. This seems like another Daymond or Lori play; Daymond could brand it well and Lori could probably sell the Mission Belt on QVC. If the buckle technology is patented, Mr. Wonderful could make his standard licensing offer too.
I am not sure about a Shark Tank investment on this one, but I am “IN” with a size 36 belt!