For years, Rashid Mahdi and Intisar Bashir's company flew under the radar.
The husband-and-wife duo launched Columbus, Ohio-based Browndages, which sells a diverse array of skin-toned bandages, in 2018. On Friday's episode of ABC's "Shark Tank," the co-founders said that sales were initially slow — until June 2020, when Black Lives Matter protests swept across the U.S.
Consumers started seeking out small, Black-owned businesses. Suddenly, Browndages had visibility. During that month, Mahdi and Bashir said, they brought in roughly $130,000 in revenue in just six days.
Now, add another accomplishment to the list: On Friday's episode, the couple landed a $100,000 investment, alongside a $75,000 line of credit, from the trio of Mark Cuban, Lori Greiner and Daymond John. Cuban even added a sweetener to the deal: He told Mahdi and Bashir that he could get the NBA's Dallas Mavericks, which he owns, to wear and distribute the bandages themselves.
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That, Cuban said, could have a ripple effect — helping the brand "extend into multiple communities, so they can all feel represented." For example, the Mavericks "partner with schools all around [Dallas]," he said, noting that those schools' nurses could also distribute Browndages' bandages.
That type of business insight is exactly what Mahdi and Bashir hoped to attain on the show. The couple said their sudden popularity in June 2020 was a double-edge sword: They sold out, but struggled to keep up with inventory, and couldn't replenish their stock for the next six months. They requested help from the Sharks with distributing and marketing, with the goal of expanding into more hospitals, schools and big-box stores.
The Sharks asked Mahdi and Bashir how Browndages intended to keep up with bigger bandage brands, like Band-Aids. Bashir cited competitive pricing as one way to gain an edge: Browndages' paper boxes retailed for $3.99 each, and only cost 63 cents to make. The duo also spoke about the promise of building a legacy for their children to appreciate.
"We wanted to instill in our children and show them that even a product as small as a bandage should take you into consideration," Bashir said.
Bashir and Mahdi asked for $75,000 in investment money, in return for 7.5% of their company. Robert Herjavec declined, saying the scale of Browndages' competition was insurmountable. Kevin O'Leary quickly stepped in, offering $75,000 and the chance to network with larger companies for 15% equity.
That launched a bidding war, wherein Cuban, Greiner and John put together a joint deal of $100,000 for 30% equity. John and Cuban both said their industry connections – Cuban with the Mavericks, and John with clothing labels Coogi and Fubu – could help expand Browndages' branding. Greiner said she could help get Browndages into retail stores.
Mahdi and Bashir countered, asking if Cuban, Daymond and Greiner would be willing to go down to 7.5% each. Cuban said they still wanted 30% but would add in a line of credit. O'Leary, appearing to grow restless, matched the trio's offer of $100,000.
Turning back to the trio, the entrepreneurs asked if the three Sharks would be willing to split 25% equity. Cuban, Daymond and Greiner accepted. O'Leary congratulated the duo, noting some surprise that they didn't take his offer.
"I can't even fathom right now exactly what this means and what it's going to do for us to have Mark and Lori and Damon all on the Browndage team," Bashir said. "But I only expect things to go up and for us to continue to grow and leave an even bigger legacy for our children."
Correction: This story has been corrected to reflect that Browndages is based in Columbus, Ohio.
Disclosure: CNBC owns the exclusive off-network cable rights to "Shark Tank."
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