Vestpakz on Shark Tank
|Christen Bell Original Inventor of the|
Vestpakz Backpack Vest
Christen was looking for an easier way to carry all her school books and of course, get an A for her invention. She not only received an A+ in the school project, this little girl put her entire Family on a new path that's now led to the Shark Tank Show.
Michael Wooley is Christen's Father, CEO of Vestpakz, and the newest entrepreneur to appear on the Shark Tank in Episode 607. With such an ingenious idea to evenly distribute the weight in this vest/ backpack combo, the Vestpakz officially received a utility patent for this design in 2002. Everyone loved the vest winning several other awards, but finding a manufacturer for the Vest Pack proved to be the difficult problem to solve.
Fast forward 13 years when none other than Oprah Winfrey got a hold of a Vest Pak Vest. She loved it so much that Christen was asked to be on the Show. The video may be short, but the impact was huge and soon lead to the manufacturing/ licensing deal needed to make Vestpakz a major success.
The obvious big-box retailer, any clothing line would like to work with, is of course Walmart. Wooley took the Vestpakz product directly to Walmart with lots of new data after the Oprah Show proving there's a significant demand for this patented backpack vest. Senior Management also loved the product, but the manufacturing issue was once again a major obstacle.
Walmart Executive's contacted Eastport directly and set up a meeting with Michael and the Vestpack product. Eastport Pack's was also impressed with this patented Backpack/ Vest combination, and wasted little time licensing and manufacturing enough Vastpackz for Walmart Stores across the country for the 2013 Christmas Season. To my knowledge, this is the very first Shark Tank product Walmart has had a part in becoming successful before it was on the Shark Tank Show.
Vest Packz Review before Shark Tank UpdateSpeaking of being a Shark Tank product first, VestPakz has also become the first to be featured a few weeks ago at Smithsonian Innovation Festival. This invention may have taken the long road to an overnight success story, but it looks like all the effort and hard work in the past 16 years is finally starting to pay off.
Now the "really" interesting part about the Vestpakz before the Shark Tank is the actual website itself. Currently, the Vestpakz.com website resolves to the Eastport.com site selling the Vest Packs. Hmm, could an exclusive license deal already have been completed before this episode of the Shark Tank? We already know they had an agreement with Eastport, but now it seems it might be exclusive.
The not so good news is all four of the Vestpakz products on Eastport are all "out of stock" one day before being featured on the Shark Tank Show this Tuesday night, January 13, 2015. Maybe they sold all the backpack vests in stock after the publicity from the Smithsonian Innovation Festival and this past Christmas? I don't know, but it seems like an enormous missed opportunity if there's no way to buy the Vestpakz product before tomorrow night's episode.