Rafael Guerrero Naperville Sun, Ill.
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Lindsey Fleischhauer and her father Stanley Valiulis are the inventors of "Totes Babies." Their signature product is a hammock-style canvas car seat holder which is designed to fit inside a shopping cart.
The "sharks" were good to Totes Babies Friday night.
Lindsey Fleischhauer and her father, Stanley Valiulis, made their pitch for investment money for their baby seat carrier on ABC's "Shark Tank" show Friday night and walked away with $100,000 from Lori Greiner, who will have a 25% stake in their company.
"We feel excited, so appreciative of all of the support we've had and we're ready to keep working hard to grow the Totes Babies brand," Naperville resident Fleischhauer said Monday.
It was "beyond difficult" not disclosing anything about their appearance or the outcome ountil after the show aired, she said. They taped the episode in the summer.
"We've been hearing from so many amazing friends, family and happy customers," Fleischhauer said. "It's been very rewarding and motivating."
Totes Babies is a hammock-style canvas car seat holder designed to fit inside a shopping cart. It's rolled up like a tube to be tucked away when not in use and unfurled when it's ready to be placed inside a chart. Plastic rods on either side of the canvas hold it place on each side of the cart, and a child's car seat is placed between them, keeping it elevated so merchandise can be placed beneath it.
Fleischhauer called it a "fun, safe and simple" way to shop when you have to bring a baby with you to the store.
"With a baby, time is of the essence," she told investors on the show. "Groceries or baby — there's only room for one," she told the investors. "Not anymore," her father added.
In addition to Greiner, Friday's episode featured "sharks" Mark Cuban, Robert Herjavec, Kevin O'Leary and Daniel Lubetzky.
Fleischhauer and Valiulis explained the carrier's origins, including the first makeshift prototype that drew curiosity while shopping. It was the "massive anxiety" of shopping with a newborn that fueled her desire to up with a product that would make shopping easier for mothers, Fleischhauer said.
She also talked to the judges about how much it meant to her to work with her father, getting emotional at times. Valiulis, who lives in Rockford, has more than 40 patents in store fixturing.
"If I ever thought of something, who else would I want to to work with?" she said.
Valiulis said: "I just can see stuff, I know a lot of the manufacturing processes. For me, it's a lot of fun."
They launched Totes Babies in August 2018 and have been selling the carriers for $39.95 at amazon.com and buybuybaby.com. So far they've had $220,000 in sales, Valiulis told the investors.
While Cuban and O'Leary passed on the proposal, Greiner and Herjavec each offered $100,000 for 25% stake and Lubetzky jumped in at the last minute with an offer of $100,000 for a 22% stake.
"The fun is building," Cuban said as the offers came in.
Lubetzky and Herjavec then joined forces for a joint $100,000 offer in exchange for a 25% stake. But the daughter/father duo were sold on Greiner and chose her offer.
"I feel like I'm your best partner," Greiner said. "I work with my entrepreneurs, I hustle, you can call me anytime day or night. ... I want to be in it to win it with you."
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