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No Limbits

No LimbitsErica Cole hopes to hook a Shark for No Limbits, her adaptive clothing for amputees, in Shark Tank episode 1318. This business is an example of “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” Ms. Cole started the business as a result of losing her leg in an automobile accident. Her clothes didn’t fit over her prosthetic leg, so she used her sewing skills to create decorative covers for her prosthetic leg. That evolved into making jeans with zippers that would allow her leg to easily get in and out of them.

At first she wasn’t sure about pursuing No Limbits as a business as she graduated with a degree in chemistry from Iowa University. When she won a series of pitch competitions, she got accepted into the Target Incubator program, “a three-month program geared toward early stage startups with a vision for making life better — for people, and for the planet.” Once accepted, she decided to pursue the business full time.

She got started with a successful Kickstarter campaign that raised $14,236 in May, 2021. The Kickstarter backers got their products in December, 2021. Now, she sells jeans for male and female amputees. The zippers allow easy access for adjusting prosthetics. They also have padding to reduce wear from the carbon prosthetics. Erica has future has plans for “sensory friendly” clothing for people with heightened sensory sensitivity. Plans for wheelchair jeans are in the works too. Erica likely wants a Shark to help roll out her new products.

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Adaptive Clothing by No Limbits

No Limbits Shark Tank Recap

Erica enters the Shark Tank seeking $100,000 for 6% of her business. She talks about the difficulties people with disabilities have dressing. Next, she demonstrates the pants she’s wearing. The Sharks have samples they inspect.  When Erica mentions denim, Emma perks up. There samples of the new wheelchair pants and sensory fabrics too.

Robert wants to know how big the market is which is $2.6 billion. Emma has experience with accessible clothing. Erica says it’s easier to get patents for accessible clothing. The jeans cost $18 landed and sell for $70. Emma says it’s a good price for jeans. Customer acquisition on Facebook is $14. Erica says their ads get shared a lot. She’d like to tap into health care centers and medical providers.

Erica says her accident opened her eyes to things she wouldn’t have experienced. Emma says you shouldn’t have to sacrifice style for accessibility. Erica did $26,000 in sales on her sewing machine. Other than the Kickstarter sales, that’s it for sales. She has a $100,000 purchase order from the VA. Emma and Mark team up to offer $100,000 for 12%. Erica counters with $100,000 for 10% and Mark and Emma agree.

No Limbits Shark Tank Update

The Shark Tank Blog constantly provides updates and follow-ups about entrepreneurs who have appeared on the Shark Tank TV show. The deal with Mark and Emma closed. In the aftermath of the show, monthly revenue grew to $15,000. Erica announced that she’s launching in VA clinics in the spring of 2022. She also relocated the company to Richmond, VA to work with business incubator Lighthouse Labs.

Apparently, the company got good exposure from the show: hundreds of health clinics were in contact and Erica is looking to be in over 3000 clinics in the coming year. They also had a lot of wholesale inquiries from major retailers. She used Mark and Emma’s money to hire 8 people to help manage growth. Erica says she got a dream team: Emma has fashion connections and Mark knows how to scale companies.

In December, 2022, the company received $1.4 million in seed round funding from Halcyon Angels and The Disability Opportunity Fund; Mark and Emma also provided a portion of these funds. Erica says both Mark and Emma have been a big help wrangling her supply chain issues. The company wasn’t profitable in 2022, but Erica says they should turn a Profit in 2023.

The company gets an update segment in episode 1415. In the update segment, she tells how she struggled dressing herself after her amputation. Before Shark Tank, she had $70,000 in lifetime sales. Since appearing on the show, she’s done $130,000 in sales. She’s getting into Wal Mart and hundreds of prosthetic, wheelchair and VA clinics. The company also entered into a partnership with Zappos and Erica is projecting $1.2 million in revenue for 2023. Emma compliments Erica because she is her own customer and knows what customers need. Mark thinks it’s amazing that people with prosthetic limbs can now get stylish clothes. The company was also featured on the Runway of Dreams at New York fashion week. Erica says building the business has given her a sense of purpose.