Start-ups

How this butt spray company scored a deal worth $50,000 on 'Shark Tank'

Source: ABC

There have been a plethora of oddball products that have scored deals on ABC's "Shark Tank," and on Sunday's episode, "butt spray" caught the Sharks' attention.

Cousins Jessica Karam Oley and Brandon Karam from Dallas, Texas walked into the tank, seeking a $50,000 investment for a 20 percent stake in their business, Pristine Cleansing Sprays, which produces a spray aiming to revolutionize the way people wipe.

The founders claim that dry toilet paper and wet wipes don't always get the job done. Pristine Sprays — which are sprayed directly onto toilet paper for adults — provide a more thorough cleaning, they say. The eco-friendly, non-irritating sprays, according to the co-founders, can also be used during diaper changes (sprayed either onto a cloth or wipe or directly on a baby's butt).

"Sharks, we envision a world where Pristine is to the butt as shampoo is to hair," Karam says during the pitch. "Where the butt is given the same respect as the rest of the human body."

The idea for Pristine blossomed when Oley, a mother of three, found that one of her children was irritated with every brand of wipe. Another of her kids, she explains, was flushing non-flushable wipes, leading to an exploded toilet and flooded yard. Meanwhile, Karam, who has always been a wet wipe user, eventually developed a skin allergy.

Source: ABC

"That came up at the dinner? The Thanksgiving dinner?" Bethenny Frankel, a guest judge on the show, asks.

Actually, yes, Karam explains, and the idea for Pristine was born. Oley explains they would use the $50,000 to buy an automatic, no-touch sprayer for diaper changes and sell it under their Pristine brand.

Though the Sharks are amused by the story, Pristine's sales weren't impressive: they'd only done $11,000 in sales from Amazon. There are also around 10 other adult toilet paper sprays sold on Amazon, they admit.

Robert Herjavec is out, citing too many marketing challenges. Mark Cuban is invested in a company called Dude Wipes, so he declares that he's out due to overlap. Frankel is also out, as is Daymond John.

But Lori Greiner is interested.

"Everybody laughed when I invested in Squatty Potty," Greiner says of the toilet stool that positions you to squat when go, which got its big break on "Shark Tank" in 2014. "And look what happened; we literally surpassed $100 million in retail sales. So, I'm sitting here trying to think to myself, would you fit within their arena?"

(By the end of 2017, Squatty Potty reached nearly $33 million in sales, its creator, Judy Edwards told CNBC Make It in 2018. "We're going to probably hit $100 million within the next few years.")

But Greiner doesn't know whether Squatty Potty is already working on a product similar to Pristine Sprays. (Sprays that deal with odor are the only ones currently available on its website.) Still, she wants to give the cousins a deal, but with a contingency: She offers them $50,000 at 25 percent, contingent on a partnership with Squatty Potty.

The founders accept Greiner's deal.

Though as of Monday a deal has not been finalized, Karam tells CNBC Make It, since the episode aired, the interest in Pristine Sprays has been "overwhelming," he says. And website sales increased by over 5,600 percent and Amazon sold out of Pristine before midnight on Sunday, according to Karam.

"Our experience on 'Shark Tank' was surreal," Karam tells CNBC Make It. "We had no idea how the Sharks would respond to our new butt-wiping innovation. Fortunately, we had a humorous and exciting time in the Tank, full of poop puns, and we are thankful that the Sharks seemed receptive to the idea. We couldn't be more grateful for the experience, and we hope that the viewers enjoyed it. Pristine is a funny product, and it is incredibly helpful for the environment too!"

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Disclosure: CNBC owns the exclusive off-network cable rights to "Shark Tank."