The Ultimate Bib

The Ultimate BibThe ultimate bib is how entrepreneur Susie Taylor describes her hi-tech, stain resistant fabric invention, Bibbitec. Susie brings the ultimate bib into the shark tank on Friday, February 1. This Florida momtrepreneur invented bibbitec back in 2008 when she got sick of her messy kids using up multiple bibs a day. The straw that broke the entrepreneurial camel’s back was an extremely messy plane trip that left Susie and her kids covered in baby food gook. She realized Old School bibs are absorbent, messy, and too small to provide real protection from the inevitable spills; they don’t clean up easy either.

Building bibbitec

When Susie looked for a solution to this very common problem, she found a fabric that would wipe off easily and “has the strength of a super hero with the adaptability of a super mom.” The ultimate bib covers the entire trunk of a child, rather than a small portion of the chest. Common spills like syrup, applesauce, and water wipe clean with a standard baby wipe and the bibbitec is ready to use again and again. Older kids can even use it for an art smock.

The bibbitec ultimate bib is made from a poly-nylon blend. Susie patented the ultimate bib in 2009 and sells bibbitec in a few local shops and in several online catalogues. She also sells direct on her website. To date, according to reports, Susie sunk about $30K into the business, which is not yet profitable.The design has openings for a child’s head and arms – it’s almost more like a poncho than a bib. Susie manufactures in Miami at three different locations and she’s still making bibs in small lots, but she sure hopes Shark Tank will change that.

Do Sharks bite on the Ultimate Bib?

The ultimate bib certainly fills a need. As a father of five, I used more bibs than I’d care to remember; little kids are slobs! I can see parents buying this product; it would be a great baby shower gift too. The Sharks, some of them with kids and grandkids of their own, will certainly recognize the usefulness of the ultimate bib. The real question is will the bibbitec business model be Shark worthy.

On the surface, Susie seems to have what the Sharks like in an entrepreneur; she’s proven to be resourceful and willing to go the distance with her business. The thing that could hurt her is lack of sales. By all accounts, she’s selling 75-100 bibs a month. Big Box retailers have counseled her to cut her costs by sourcing fabric in China, but she’s sticking to her guns, and her commitment to quality, by sourcing fabric and manufacturing in the USA.

Bibbitec isn’t profitable yet, partially due to the higher costs incurred with her Made in the USA strategy. The Sharks have embraced and rejected this philosophy in the past, how they react to Susie depends on how she presents herself.

As for my own predictions/opinions, I have two tid bits to work on. The first is the ABC video preview of the episode which portrays a Susie being somewhat confrontational with the panel of Sharks. Most of the time (not always) when they show an entrepreneur being confrontational in a preview, it’s done to mislead the viewing audience. The Sharks’ comments are often directed at a different entrepreneur during the actual show, and the entrepreneurs’ comments are taken out of context. When I see that type of portrayal in a preview, a red flag goes up.

The second tid bit is the bibbitec website. Just a week ago, the website was on a free host, was slow to load, and didn’t look as “sharp” as it could. Sometime since then, the site migrated to a private host and got tweaked to be a bit more functional and professional. Most entrepreneurs will beef up their website before airing on Shark Tank so their sites won’t crash in the onslaught of traffic the show always brings. It used to be a new website was a strong indicator of a Shark investment, it’s not the case anymore, every entrepreneur does it.

Whether the Sharks bite or not, between the ultimate bib filling a real need and being made in the USA, I am “IN!”

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.

Comments

  1. I really thinks the Bibb will sell it just needs to be on QVC or infomercial to educate moms. , great idea!!

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