Spirit Hoods – Faux Fur Hats

spirit hoodsChase Hamilton, Alexander Mendeluk, Marley Marotta and Ashley Haber, four friends and business partners bring some spirit to the Shark Tank in the form of their line of faux fur hats called Spirit Hoods. They started their company with a conscience in 2010 and turned on LA hipsters to the “wild side” with animal themed headgear. 10% of sales go to one of a number of animal related charities and Spirit Hoods even won  a Peta Libby Award for Best Animal-friendly Clothing Company in 2011 and 2012.

They used a guerilla marketing strategy  to get Spirit Hoods noticed and they cater to the young, music festival type crowd. It worked: they did $9 million in sales last year! Their marketing features young, sexy models wearing Spirit Hoods, usually with a snarl on their face. Their success is because, as Ashley puts it, Spirit Hoods are “cute/sexy/fierce depending on how you sport it.”

My Take on Spirit Hoods

My 9-year-old has a Panda hat that I wear from time to time when I’m feeling a bit silly. I would definitely wear Spirit Hoods, I don’t think it would come off as “cute/sexy/fierce” on me, even if I did snarl a bit; I’d just look like a middle-aged goofball! That’s OK though, Spirit Hoods are fun and I like to have fun. I am sure just about any kid would love to have one, too. They also look warm,  – so they’d keep my melon toasty through those cold New England winters.

I also like the new feature they’ve added to Spirit Hoods: built-in, washable speakers. I’m not an ear bud guy, I just don’t like sticking things IN my ears, so the speakers fit the bill. I also like the zippered pocket for stashing cash. When you’re all bundled up for winter, it can be a pain to dig into pants pockets.

Do the Sharks Have Spirit?

With such good sales numbers, the Spirit Hoods gang is probably a business that went on the show knowing the producers cut the royalty clause out of the appearance contract. Giving up 2-5% of sales is a significant number when you’re doing millions in sales.

I think the sales figures will make the Sharks take notice. Based on the smiling faces in the picture above, they all seem to like the product. I think Spirit Hoods will field multiple offers (including a Mr. Wonderful royalty pitch), but I get the feeling they won’t be willing to give up enough of a percentage to the Sharks. Spirit Hoods already has a good thing going and they’re sure to see a big bump in sales from The Shark Tank Effect, so they might not even need a Shark.

While I don’t think they leave with a deal, I am ALL IN, with a Red Wolf Spirit Hood!

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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