Whether you call it a binky, sussy, or paci, it's a pacifier and babies always spit them out. A pacifier does what it says: it pacifies babies by inducing the sucking reflex that calms and soothes them. Unfortunately, babies are always spitting out their pacifiers, which causes them to squirm and fuss. When this happens, parents find the pacifier and stick it back in baby's mouth.
Julie Thompson thought it would be a good idea to figure out a way for babies to get their binky back all by themselves, so she invented Pully Palz as a solution to the lost pacifier problem. Julie pitches Pully Palz in Shark Tank episode 629.
Pully Palz is the only good solution to the lost pacifier problem. There are all sorts of ribbons and string attachments that keep pacifiers attached to the baby's shirt, but they don't help the baby find it when he drops it. Pully Palz solves this problem by having two binkies attached at the end of a string. The string is literally on a pulley mechanism which attaches to a baby seat handle. When a baby has a pacifier in his mouth, he can see the other one suspended above him. If he loses the first one, he can grab the other one; when he does, the lost pacifier is pulled back into view.
Pully Palz works with almost any pacifier on the market, but Julie is developing her own line to accompany Pully Palz. She has a few other ideas in the works, too.
Besides solving the lost binky problem, Pully Palz helps babies develop hand/eye coördination, motor skills, and cause/effect relationships. He also gets to keep sucking on that pacifier! Thompson's been selling Pully Palz for about three years online and in mom and pop baby shops. Her quest into the Tank is so she can get Pully Palz onto shelves in big-box retailers.
My Take on the Lost Pacifier problem
With 5 kids, our family has seen its fair share of binkies. There's an old joke: when a first time parent drops a binky, they sterilize it in boiling water for five minutes; a second time parent wipes off a dropped binky, a third time parent teaches the dog to retrieve it!
While a dropped binky isn't the end of the world, having a product that prevents it can make a parent's life a little bit easier. If the product also teaches motor skills and coördination, that's a bonus. This is one of those ideas that makes you say, “why didn't I think of that?”
While my family is done with babies for a while, I can see this product doing big business. My wife already bought two Pully Palz on Amazon for baby shower gifts. I predict it's going to be one of the “must have” accessories for new parents. I am IN!
Are Sharks Pacified?
Baby products in the Shark Tank are a crap shoot, but Pully Palz has a ubiquity about it that makes it an investable product. EVERY baby has multiple pacifiers, why not a Pully Palz too? Thompson has sales, she's a work horse at getting her product on the shelves; the true test of the viability of Pully Palz will be what kind of money she's invested and what her valuation is.
It's probably not a business Kevin, Mark, or Robert would get involved in – unless it was totally internet based. That leaves Daymond and Lori. Pully Palz needs a Shark for big box retail expansion – both for connections and for the capital required – Daymond and Lori can help with that.
Daymond could bid because of his manufacturing savvy and his connections. Lori could bid if she thinks the product is a hero. Either one of these Sharks would bring value to Pully Palz, the question is, which one will pacify Thompson's need for growth?