DadWare – Bonding Shirts for Dads

dadwareThe third time was the charm for DadWare creator Nick Baker. He applied to Shark Tank three times with his product – a kangaroo bonding shirts for dads with infants called the Bondaroo. The Bondaroo is named after his daughter Eva’s nickname: the little Bugaroo. Eva was instrumental in the creation of the Bondaroo too. He spent a lot of time bonding with her skin to skin after her birth in 2015.

The aspiring actor and stand up comic would lie around the house without a shirt on, holding his daughter on his bare chest to promote skin to skin bonding. The Academy of Pediatrics recommends skin to skin bonding with mom or dad for 60 minutes a day in the first three months of a baby’s life. Mothers typically provide more skin to skin bonding than dads since many mothers breast feed. Skin to skin bonding helps a baby thermoregulate, breath more rhythmically and it helps develop their immune system. Whether mom or dad does it, it has physical and emotional long term benefits for babies.

All that sounds good, but it isn’t always practical for a dad to walk around without a shirt. Baker’s first iteration of the DadWare Bondaroo was a tee shirt he cut holes in. His wife didn’t care for that look, so he started cutting flaps in shirts and he designed the now patented Bondaroo – DadWare’s first product. In 2016, he took the leap and started a business, leaving his acting career behind.

In addition to a trademark on the DadWare name, Nick also trademarked MomWare. He has over $300,000 in sales and has some other ideas in the works. Will the third time be a charm for the Sharks too? We’ll see how they like the Bondaroo!

My Take on Dadware

When my kids were babies, I did the skin to skin thing, usually shirtless in my bedroom while watching a little TV. I never really felt the need to do the skin on skin in public, but knowing my wife and my family, somebody probably would have bought me one of these shirts as a gift. I definitely see the utility of it and, at $39.99 on Amazon, it isn’t going to break the bank.

This pitch reminded me a little of Father Figure from season 9. Like DadWare, that business pitched the idea of “paternity clothes.” Father Figure didn’t get a deal, but they didn’t have a patented product – just shirts with burp pads built in. The Bondaroo has more utility, so they may have a better chance.

Do Sharks Bond-a-deal?

Unlike Father Figure, Nick has a lot of sales. Father Figure had only $33,000 in sales in the Tank, most of that from a Kickstarter. DadWare has $300,000. Perhaps Nick was lucky to be turned down twice before to avoid the “too early” objection. Daymond is on the panel tonight and his objections to Father Figure shaped the other Sharks’ opinions during that pitch. If Nick can sell Daymond, he’ll have an easier go of it.

Robert is also on the panel. While his kids are beyond the skin to skin bonding stage, he may see the benefits. Robert also has a good track record with online clothing companies. I’m not sure if Mark, Kevin or Lori will be interested, but Daymond’s reaction could shift their opinion one way or another.

About Rob Merlino

Entrepreneur, auteur, raconteur. Rob Merlino is a blogger and writer who enjoys the Shark Tank TV show and Hot Dogs. A father of five who freelances in a variety of publications, Rob has a stable of websites including Shark Tank Blog, Hot Dog Stories, Rob Merlino.com and more.

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