Gently Soap Shark Tank Update – Net Worth, Pitch & Deal

Eczema is the worst skin condition, and there are plenty of types, but each comes with pain. And finding the right bath product to ease irritation is difficult.  Our entrepreneur for this episode believes that people with Eczema deserve fun bath products too.

A recent MBA graduate, Kristen Dunning, pitched her product “Gently Soap” in Shark Tank Season 15. Inspired by her battle with Eczema, she put all her botanic knowledge into creating soaps that will change the way every person with a skin condition baths. She asked for $75,000 for 10% equity in her business. Did she get the deal or not? Let’s find out!

Gently Soap Net Worth

Kristen asked for an investment of $75k in exchange for a 10% equity in her company. She valued her company at $750k. She successfully secured a deal with Candace for an investment of $75k in exchange for 25% equity. The investment adjusted the net worth to around $300k. After the show aired, the company gained a good boost in website traffic, sales, and social media exposure. As per my rough estimate, with a 10% growth rate (typical business growth) over the years, the current net worth of Gently Soap is around $400k.

What Happened to Gently Soap After Shark Tank?

After appearing on Shark Tank, Gently Soap experienced significant growth. Kristen got featured in Eco Parent Magazine, Oprah Daily, ELLE, People, Beauty Independent, and more.  The brand is flourishing as they are available on e-commerce stores, Amazon, and their own website. Her soaps are also being carried by online vendors like BLK + GRN and Thirteen Lune as promised by Candace in the show.

Did Gently Soap Get a Deal on Shark Tank?

Yes, Gently Soap got a deal with Candace Nelson for $75,000 for 25% equity. Initially, Candace offered for 30% equity. Kristen counters with 20% equity, but Candace doesn’t want it. Kristen was not ready to give up so she countered one more time at 25% equity and Candace said yes to the deal. Both the girls were happy to lock the deal.

Shark(s) nameOffer & DemandCounterofferAccepted?
Mark CubanOutN/AN/A
Candace Nelson$75,000 for 30% Equity#1: $75000 for 15% equity

#2: $75000 for 20% equity

#3: $75000 for 25% equity
Yes ($75k for 25% equity)
Kevin O’Leary$75,000 for 10% equity and a $1 royalty per bar sold. When he makes back $500k, the royalty drops to $0.20 per bar sold.N/ANo
Daymond JohnOutN/AN/A
Lori GreinerOutN/AN/A

Gently Soap Shark Tank Update

gently soap net worth

Founders Backstory

The idea of Gently Soap started when Kristen was a teenager who used to get steroid shots for her severe eczema and had to use abundant creams to relieve the itchiness. When she went to spend summers with her grandmother, Nancy, she used homemade shea butter and botanical blends on her skin during summers on the family farm in Alabama. Surprisingly, that solution made her eczema better. 

After her grandmother passed away, she began researching and learning of how to make natural products by watching YouTube videos. In college, she spent a lot of time in the campus greenhouse, trying to find something to help her eczema. She pitched her idea for Gently Soap in a college entrepreneurship competition and won.

While she was doing her undergrad at the University of Georgia in 2021, she launched Gently Soap, a line of natural bar soaps for sensitive skin. She had struggled with severe eczema her whole life and had to use plain, unscented skincare to manage it. Her goal was to create soaps that were both soothing and enjoyable to use.

While studying horticultural science and agricultural communication, she researched medicinal plants and perfected soap-making in her dorm room. Kristen discovered that adding the right amount of anti-inflammatory botanicals to her soaps made them both beautiful and effective at calming her skin.

She learned soapmaking using real herbs to focus on creating a product free of synthetics, toxins, and essential oils, which can be too harsh for sensitive skin. She made four different bars, each with her proprietary herbal infusions.

Initial Pitch

what happened to gently soap after shark tank

Kristen initiated the pitch by saying, “Humans deserve to feel joy, and no one should leave that due to their skin condition.” She explained how badly she had suffered from eczema her entire life. Bath products available in the market only cause her extreme pain. Bath bombs, soaps, and bubble baths make her skin cry for help as they are full of additives and chemicals.

She thought she would use plain white boring soap for the rest of her life. But, then she created a joyful yet gentle experience for people like her. Rooted in the legacy of her grandparents in agriculture, Kristen spent 3 years in greenhouses studying horticulture to know more about the benefits of plants for sensitive skin.

She even showed sharks a cute pic of her grandparents and Mark Cubin felt an aww moment seeing the lovely photograph.

Using her years of studies, she created “Gently Soap.” Unlike most natural products out there, Gently soaps are free from essential oils and synthetic fragrances as they irritate sensitive skin. Her product only uses plants, which offer a gentle experience and a nice and soft aroma.

Sharks inspected the soap bundles and checked out the color, fragrance, and overall packaging. Lori loves the lavender soap, which she says is the best seller.

All sharks loved Gently Soaps, especially Candace Nelson, the guest shark on Season 15. She said to Kristen, I am sensitive to fragrances, but your soaps have a gentle, natural, and earthy smell. They also look beautiful with flowers and herbs.

Kristen explained to Sharks that the smell you are experiencing is from the proprietary herbal infusions that she created at her greenhouses. 

Queries About The Product

Mark Cuban asked how she got to this point, such as by doing an MBA and then starting a soap business.

Kristen said that she is an agriculture researcher, she did her undergrad in agriculture communications and horticulture. Her grandparents own an 84-acre farm in Alabama where she used to spend her summers. Moreover, there was a community for black farmers which was empowering for her.

Candace asked where soaps are being sold right now. Kristen said that her business is fully e-commerce and that she is about to launch on Amazon in two weeks.

Kevin asked about sales, and in reply, Kristen told him that she launched the business in February 2021 and that year-to-date sales are $113,000. Between that time, she was also a full-time student and a researcher. He inquired about repeat customers. She said that around 78% of her orders are from repeat customers.

Candace asked if those customers were people with skin conditions like eczema, or if they just loved the smell of soap. In reply Kristen told her that it was a mix of people, she said that 75% of her customers suffer from psoriasis, eczema, and other skin conditions.

Sharks asked about the price. She explained that a single bar of soap costs around $2.38 in making and she sells for $11 in retail. There is also a bundle box of 4 bars available on her website for $40.

Candace asked how big the sensitive skin market in the USA is. Kristen said that around 71% of the American population deals with sensitive skin and the number is increasing day by day. In the last two decades, the percentage of sensitive-skin people has risen to 55%. This means the market for sensitive skin products is huge.

She also got a little emotional, telling how she got bullied in high school due to her eczema, and her hair also fell out due to scalp condition. She went from aisle to aisle in grocery stores, malls, and pharmacies looking for a good product, but she didn’t find it for herself, so she created the product out of necessity.

Sharks’ Responses and Final Deal

did gently soap get a deal on shark tank

Lori said that she loved the product and her passion for how she created something so beautiful but it’s not the right business for her at this time so she is out.

Mark also went out saying that it is not something that he can relate to, as he is not a fancy soap person.

Daymond John said that he is blessed with good skin and has never experienced any skin condition, so he can’t relate to it and is left out.

Kevin O’Leary was interested. He said he liked the profit margins more than the brand story. He offered $75,000 for 10% ownership, as Kristen wanted, but he also added a $1 royalty for each bar sold. Once he earns back $500,000, the royalty would drop to 20 cents per bar forever.

Candace complimented Kristen, saying that she glowed inside out and mesmerized her. Also, she always looks for people with a passion for their businesses, such as herself.

Candace proposes an investment of $75,000 for a 30% equity stake in Gently Soap. She does not require any royalties and additionally offers to introduce Kristen to Thirteen Lune, a major player in the beauty industry.

Kristen made a counteroffer of $75,000 for 15% ownership, but Candace stayed firm on her original terms.

Kristen then offered 20% ownership, but Candace didn’t accept it. Kristen didn’t give up and countered again with 25% ownership, and Candace agreed to the deal. Both of them were very happy and excited.

Product Availability

Gently Soap is now available on their website and on Amazon. It’s also being sold by online vendors like BLK + GRN and Thirteen Lune, as Candace promised on the show.

Four scents are currently available: Reign Cloud, Treasure of the Sun, Breathe, and Gardener Knaufts. She sells for $11 for each soap. You can buy individually or as a bundle for $40.

Conclusion

Being on Shark Tank gave Kristen’s business a big boost. Gently Soap is now featured in Eco Parent Magazine, Oprah Daily, ELLE, People, Beauty Independent, and more. The brand is gaining more attention. Kristen’s enthusiasm and passion for her product, and the story behind it, are very touching. She believes everyone deserves joy in bathing, no matter their skin condition.

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