Trina Barkourasis took an old family tradition and turned it into a business: a stamping kit that creates reindeer tracks to amaze children on Christmas morning. She pitches her stamping kit, called Hoppy Paws, to the Sharks in the 2014 Shark Tank Holiday Special.
Trina actually created the original stamping kit 20 years ago to make a trail of bunny prints for her three daughters on Easter morning. She'd make a winding trail through the house leading to their Easter baskets. Over the years, word about Trina's “trails” spread and people wanted to know how they could do the same thing for their kids. She decided to manufacture, package, and sell her bunny print stamping kit and Hoppy Paws was born.
Each kit has a tray, a foam footprint “stamp,” and some “super secret” powder to create the prints. They sell for seven bucks on the Hoppy Paws website. The line expanded from the Easter Bunny kits to include leprechauns, the tooth fairy, elves, and, of course, reindeer. Trina probably wants the Sharks' help getting into big box stores.
My Take on the Holiday Stamping Kit
I think this is a cute idea. I honestly wouldn't be all all likely to pick this up, but it looks like something my wife would have bought when the kids were younger. It's the perfect holiday impulse purchase item. Line these up near the registers at Toys R Us, Bed Bath and Beyond, Target, or any other store at Christmas (or Easter) time and I'm willing to bet they'd fly off the shelves.
I have to believe Trina has great margins. I'm willing to bet she puts the whole stamping kit together, packaging and all, for under two bucks. Novelty items can make big bucks for a savvy business person – or a Shark. While I wouldn't buy one, I think it's a winner.
Can Trina Make Shark Fin Prints?
This is a pretty straight forward business. It comes down to sales and margins. If Trina can demonstrate she has those two things, has a reasonable valuation, and is running a profitable business, she'll field offers. The obvious target Shark is Lori. This product has Lori Grenier written all over it: it's inexpensive, has mass appeal, and fills a need. While the need isn't tangible, the joy in a child's eye is hard to put a value on.
Other than Lori, I can't see another Shark going for this. This deal gets done with Lori or it's one of those graceful “we love it but you'll do fine without us” answers from the Sharks. Either way, Hoppy Paws' shipping department will be hopping this weekend.