Ryan Landis was only 8 years old when he invented Hang Ease, a break away hanger that lets you yank a shirt right of a the hanger without breaking it or wrinkling and stretching the shirt. He hopes one of the Sharks will hang with him when he pitches Hang Ease in episode 526 on May 2. Ryan, now 19 or 20, has a patent for Hang Ease and he sells them on his website.
With over 8 BILLION hangers sold each year, the market is HUGE. Hangers are a low cost item every person needs. A “smarter” hanger like Hang Ease could sell quite a few units with a very small market share. Ryan has some other inventions in the works from his “parent company,” JemmBin, but Hang Ease is what he'll pitch to the Sharks.
My Take on Hang Ease
Like every one else, I have a closet full of clothes on hangers. We have wire hangers, wood hangers, and plastic hangers. When I need a shirt, I just yank on it, bending the wire hanger in the process. When I go to re-use that hanger, I bend it back. I see where Ryan is coming from with his idea and I'll probably have some Hang Ease hangers in my closet at some point; he'd like it if everyone did!
This isn't a sexy product; it's just a new twist on a widely used one. Lots of people will like this idea and if it's easy to buy, he'll sell a bunch of them. I don't give hangers an awful lot of thought, but I'd pick up a pack if I saw them on the shelves somewhere. That's what Ryan needs: to get on shelves at big retailers.
Will the Sharks Hang an investment on Hang Ease?
Ryan has a patent for Hang Ease, which the Sharks will like. They need to like the product, too. I'd think this is right up Lori's alley. Hang Ease is a widely used product, it's low in price, and it's easily demonstrated. I can't find a way to buy them on the website, so I'm not even sure they're in production. Ryan looks as if he needs a lot of help taking this product to market and Lori is just the Shark to do it. With QVC and her Bed, Bath and Beyond connections, she could have Hang Ease in a lot of closets in a very short period of time.
I'm not sure any of the other Sharks go for this and I'm not totally convinced Ryan gets a deal at all. His web presence doesn't have that “I got a deal on Shark Tank” feel to it. The Hang Ease website is sparse and their Facebook Page only has one post on it from three years ago. If Lori doesn't invest, I think Ryan will have to hang it up.