LOVELAND, Colo. – The founders of Beau & Belle Littles, a local company that makes and sells swim diapers for newborns and toddlers, won the $10,000 Grand Prize in On Deck’s Seal of Approval contest this week.
On Deck is a leader is small business lending.
Along with the cash, Paul and Rachelle Baron will get a one-on-one consultation with Shark Tank investor Barbara Corcoran.
“I’m really looking forward to talking with her,” Paul said. “I want to ask, what’s the most cost effective way to expand our product lineup, whether it be online or retail, and what’s the smartest way to expand into retail?”
The Barons started their home-based company last year.
“Beauregard was six months old when he first went swimming. Someone gave us a different, reusable swim diaper, that was too tight around his legs,” Rachelle said. “It didn’t work, so we bought disposable diapers and were throwing them away after each swim.”
The Barons told Denver7 they were concerned about the number of diapers ending up in landfills, that’s why they decided to create a better “swim” diaper.
“We tried sewing some,” Rachelle said, “but I’m not a seamstress, so we had to find a manufacturer.”
“I was looking to make money,” Paul said. “We put them on Amazon first, to prove the concept and it took off like a rocket.”
Click here for a link to the shop on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2gh4EdY
Rachelle said Paul has always been an entrepreneur.
“He was selling drawings outside the supermarket as a kid,” she said.
“I’d say, ‘do you want this?” Paul said. “It was a good sales pitch, because I didn’t ask if they wanted to buy it, I asked if they wanted it. Of course, it was grandmas. They’d say, ‘yes’ and then I’d say, ‘well, it’s five cents.’”
Now his pitch is more fine-tuned.
“We’re on a mission to save landfills,” he told the audience on the Rachel Ray show, where the On Deck winners were announced.
The Barons say they are revolutionizing the way families with babies spend time in the water, with their adjustable swim diapers.
“You snap it up to fit tight around the legs,” Paul said, “and then around the waist, so that no ‘escapees’ get into the pool and ruin your day.”
Paul told Denver7 that they sell 1,800 swim diapers a month during the spring and summer peak and 800 a month during the off season.
When asked about their ultimate goal, Rachelle replied, “He said he wants to get a company valued at over $10 million in what, five years?”
Paul replied, “Why not?”
The couple said they plan to use the grand prize money to expand their product line.
“We want to launch a new product, hooded towels,” Rachelle said. “That’s what we want to talk to Barbara about.”
Paul said they are also committed to giving back to the community.
He said they already give 5 percent of their profits to charity.
“We give to Compassion International,” he said. “We help provide food and clothing to a little girl in Burkina Faso.”
He said as their company grows, they’d like to do even more.
“We really want families to have fun together, to make memories,” he said, “so my goal, whether it’s with Beau & Belle Littles, or another company that I start, I want to leave a lasting impact on Colorado.”
The Barons say they will meet with Corcoran, a real estate investor and Shark Tank judge, on January 26.
Paul Baron said they’ve entered another business-related contest, one that relies on votes.
Here is a link to that contest: https://calvertfoundation.wishpond.com/entries/139476782
In addition to Beau & Belle Littles, B’More Organic and Harball Cider also won grand prize money from On Deck and a chance to visit with Corcoran.
The three companies were selected out of more than 1,000 submissions.