Susie Taylor Bibbitec Update Interview

susie taylorSusie Taylor and her husband Steve didn't get a deal in episode 413, but the story about their Bibbitec bib resonated with viewers, even though the Sharks didn't invest. Kevin O'Leary thought the Taylors should take the bib “out behind the barn and shoot it,” but Susie Taylor is one tough, driven, momtrepreneur; she doesn't give up easily. I caught up with Susie Taylor to get her side of the story about Bibbitec, the Shark Tank, and how things have been going since she and Steve aired.

Susie Taylor Racks up Serious Sales for Bibbitec

“We put a lot of resources into the website so it wouldn't crash. It was a huge decision to spend the money on the website instead of inventory, but it ended up being the right decision. We had 75K visits on show night and 150K visits over the course of the weekend. Sales went from 2-3 a day to 1,500 a day for a few days; it's since leveled off to around 50 a day. We basically sold what we were looking for an investment!”

“It was crazy, on show night I was watching the sales go ‘ticka ticka ticka' with sales!” We had my mother, mother in law, and sister, all helping out with shipping right out of the house.  It was AMAZING to watch the company go from an idea in a small niche to completely blown up in one night.”

Susie Taylor on the Road to Shark Tank

Susie Taylor taped in mid July. “It was horrible waiting to hear, you don't even know IF you will air after taping, let alone WHEN. In September (2012), we were shown in a clip on ABC's made in America show, so we had an idea we would probably air, we just didn't know when. We were in the Shark Tank for about an hour.”

“As a classically trained actress, I decided to play the part of stay-at-home mom. That's what I am, so I thought I'd relate to people like me. A lot of people reacted to the whole $400 a year on bibs line, but the truth is, you don't think about it; it's like a cup of coffee. One woman commented on our Facebook page that she spends way more than that. The thing is, the Targets of the world want you to buy 5 bibs for twelve bucks, then come back and do it again next month and the month after that.”

Susie Taylor on Made in the USA

“When we first started, I didn't care where we made it, I just wanted to make a better bib. I started noticing at trade shows, people wouldn't approach our booth until they realized we were made in the USA. My family was in the textile business in New York, so I always enjoyed watching things being made. When I realized having something made in the USA was important to other people, that's when we decided to keep it here.”

“There are very few textile manufacturers left. We manufacture in Hilea, FLA. 30 years ago, the area was packed with manufacturers. There's very few now and it's hard to get a factory to work with you if you're doing short runs, but the bottom line is we've created a job for 2-3 people making our bibs. Those jobs weren't there before.”

“We're embroidering now, too, and customers can choose custom trim for their Bibbitec. There are a few places we can cut costs, but our fabric is expensive. I'm just glad I stood up to Kevin O'Leary when he said we should make them in China; that's not what we want to do. I can make a quality product and control the quality and price selling online. We'd like to have it in stores some day, but for now, I want to educate people about the product.”

“We've been approached by retailers; big box stores, Amazon and the like. The thing is, retailers want to sell you bibs again and again. Moms are the major customers – like me, they don’t know what to do – they spend too much on bibs, but they don’t think about what they spend. Retailers said take it to China and make it from material that would wear out;  they need those moms back in the store in another month.”

“I just wanted to make a better bib. It's so much more too: a smock, burp cloth, as a rain cover, breast-feeding cover;  it reduces laundry too. Because it's a cool design, kids want to wear it, it feels like cashmere. Older kids can wear it for cooking or art projects. The bottom line is it cleans easy and it works. In the retail world, where you put your money, you're voting for that product, good or bad, if you keep buying it, they’ll keep making it.”

Susie Taylor beyond the Shark Tank

“I've heard rumors that people are knocking us off. We have three patents, so we'll wait and see. I was flattered at first, but they’ll make a bad version, we make a good brand. There are some other products coming too, stuff moms need made from the same fabric.”

“I'm proud we never took money from family. Right now, we're dumping almost everything back into the business. We're taking a little off the top, just so we can say we are. Steven does the back end office operations, he also runs a law firm. He doesn't do patent law, but we have three patents!”

Susie Taylor used to be a big fan of the show. “I can't watch now, it's just too stressful. Before taping, I saw Daymond on a Google Plus Hangout. He recommended Napolean Hill's Think and Grow Rich. I'm really good at imagining a situation and creating it in my mind – that’s how I do things as an actress.”

“What I want to do with this company is  passionately and  ethically kick ass. If its going to make me sick, I wont do it. I want a business built on good ethics, money was never the desire, it was solving a problem.”

Susie had one more question to answer. Get her answer on The Hot Dog Truck.

 

About Rob Merlino

Entrepreneur, auteur, raconteur. Rob Merlino is a blogger and writer who enjoys the Shark Tank TV show and Hot Dogs. A father of five who freelances in a variety of publications, Rob has a stable of websites including Shark Tank Blog, Hot Dog Stories, Rob Merlino.com and more.

Comments

  1. Rob,
    I wish I could send a email to Susie Taylor about her Bibbitec bibs. I think she should contact “The Honest Company” even at the retail price today. I think if The Honest Company would put their seal of approval it would really make a difference for her business.

    Harry

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