Couple brought in 6 figures in less than 24 hours after appearing on ‘Shark Tank’: It was a 'life-changing success'

John and Joan Creed, co-founders of HummViewer, on ABC's "Shark Tank."
(ABC/Christopher Willard)

A bird-feeding face mask may seem like a gag gift, but HummViewer's success since appearing on ABC's "Shark Tank" is no joke.

The company makes clear face masks with sugar-water reservoirs, disguised as flowers, attached to the front — helping you attract and get a close-up view of hummingbirds hovering right in front of you. It first appeared on the show in 2022, when husband-and-wife founding duo Joan and John Creed agreed to a deal with guest investor and Kind Snacks founder Daniel Lubetzky: $75,000 for 33% of their Loveland, Colorado-based company.

On Friday's episode of the show, the Creeds gave a progress report. "In less than a day after appearing on 'Shark Tank,' we sold out of 1500 units, equaling $102,000 in sales," Joan said. "And then people kept buying them — over 2,000 back orders," John added.

In the eight months after their segment, they brought in $350,000 in revenue and quit their full-time jobs, they said.

"The best thing about HummViewer is that, initially when you see it, it does look like a joke," Lubetzky noted. "And then you realize, it's not a product, it's an experience."

The couple hoped Lubetzky could help them with retail and marketing, which he did, John said. But the journey hasn't all been on the up-and-up.

Being on the show was a "life-changing success that came with some problems at the same time," said Joan.

From copycats to quality control

Shortly after the HummViewer aired on television, the Creeds started finding fraudulent copycat websites and a slew of third-party sellers trying to profit off their patented invention.

"They've taken videos and images off of our website, and sell knockoffs or ship nothing," Joan said, adding: "We were beyond angry."

The company hired an attorney to help remove fraudulent sellers and copycats from platforms like Amazon and AliExpress. That doesn't always stop the sellers from bouncing back, however.

"When one seller is removed [from] these platforms, they pop up in other company names," said Joan. "It's a game of whack-a-mole."

Demand prompted another challenge, too: They'd been working with a factory in China, and ordering more units led to a decrease in quality control, they said.

"With Daniel's investment, we were able to purchase 5,000 additional units," said John. "When they arrived, there were scratches, there were smudges, some of the parts and pieces didn't fit. So to make things right, we needed to make a trip to China."

Being hands-on at the factory, making sure the manufacturer knew exactly how to properly assemble the product, made all the difference, he added: "It took some time, but all the issues have been resolved, so the next shipment of HummViewer's is going to come with a lot of improvements."

Guest investor Daniel Lubetzky wears the HummViewer on ABC's "Shark Tank."
ABC | Christopher Willard

Despite the obstacles, the Creeds said they're grateful for the attention and revenue they've amassed since first appearing on the show.

"'Shark Tank' has given us an opportunity to start a new business, learn new things and to grow," Joan said.

"We have friends that are in their retirement mode, and we just started a brand-new business. So [the show] has offered us a whole new lease on life," John added.

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

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I was fired from Facebook in my 20s—now I make $3.3 million running my own tech company
Fired From Facebook In My 20s—Now I Make $3.3 Million Running My Own Company