Husband and wife entrepreneurs Melissa and Rick Hinnant bring Grace and Lace knee-high boot socks to the Shark Tank in episode 511. Melissa first got the idea in 2011 when she sadly lost her infant daughter after giving birth prematurely. As she says on her website, “with lungs not yet developed enough to survive on her own, the Lord took her straight to Heaven.” This tragic moment was the inspiration for Grace and Lace, which are made with “HIS grace and a lil lace.”
During the period of confined bed rest prior to the premature birth, Melissa learned to knit and crochet. Fast forward to 2011 when she made her first pair of boot socks. When people kept asking where she got them, she decided to sell them on Etsy and had more orders than she could handle. In two years, she’s sold over 50,000 pairs of her boot socks.
She and her husband went from a small, craft based business to a full-blown business during the past two years and their designs are trademarked. It looks like they are a business looking for the Sharks’ help getting to the next level.
Grace and Lace Shark Tank Recap
Melissa and Rick enter seeking $175,000 for 10% of their business. They tell their heartwarming story, and the Sharks are impressed. Sales of $1.25 million in the past year always gets the Sharks’ attention, especially when you start the company with $800 and have NO debt. Robert is so impressed he offers them exactly what they’re looking for, but he wants them to make a decision before hearing from the other Sharks.
The Hinnants hold out, and eventually do a deal with Barbara for $175,000 for 10%, but half that amount is a credit line. Barbara, Rick, and Melissa shake on it and a deal is done.
Grace and Lace Shark Tank Update
Grace and Lace were beneficiaries of the Shark Tank Effect. In just 5 days following their appearance, they did over $1 million in sales! They’ve since moved into a bigger manufacturing facility and they employ 20 people. Grace and Lace gets an update segment in episode 609 in season six where we’ll undoubtedly learn more about their tremendous success!
In episode 609, the Hinnnants reveal Barbara is the perfect partner. She introduced them to the editor of Cosmopolitan who features them in their February issue. In the year since appearing for the first time, they’ve done $6.5 million in sales. They’ve also opened two orphanages in India with some of their profits and taken over 100 orphans off the streets!
A more detailed look at the Hinnants occurs in Beyond the Tank episode 201.