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How An Entrepreneur Couple Bootstrapped to $5M: RuffleButts CEO Amber Schaub and COO Mark Schaub (Part 7)

Posted on Sunday, Jan 26th 2014

Sramana: Are you still working with the same factory in the Dominican Republic?

Amber Schaub: No. After all the mistakes that we had to deal with in the first order, we had to make a change. We worked with them for a short period of time. Over the years, we have developed relationships with manufacturers. Our product line has expanded significantly and we have different manufacturers in different locals.

That being said, our bows are still hand-made by the same lady who started making them on day one. They are hand-made here in the US. Our apparel products are made primarily overseas.

Sramana: Have you taken external financing?

Amber Schaub: No.

Sramana: What happened at Shark Tank?

Amber Schaub: We participated last October. We had an offer for 9% of the business for $600,000. That was a handshake deal on the show. We were in the Shark Tank for 2 hours and they only aired 10 minutes of it. We entered the due diligence phase and we are still in that phase. I doubt that the deal will happen.

Sramana: What about Shark Tank interested you?

Amber Schaub: We were big fans of the show. I think a show that inspires entrepreneurs is a win. We put a lot of thought into our decision to participate in the show. We felt the ability to showcase the brand was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, as well as a chance to get a strategic partner. We are at the point in our business where we could bring on some major retailers to take us to the next level. We saw the show as a very good opportunity.

Sramana: A lot of entrepreneurs are building businesses as a couple, especially when it comes to capital-efficient businesses. What have you learned as a couple about starting a company together?

Amber Schaub: We use the analogy of the show Survivor a lot. We have watched time and time again that those who win are those who build an incredible alliance. Our partnership is an alliance. There is nobody I trust more than Mark. Trust goes a long way in this business.

The one lesson we learned early on is that we need two separate offices. Mark needs to run his area of the business and I don’t get involved in the day-to-day operations there. We have strategic goals that are aligned, but each of us runs our own aspects of the business. We are fortunate that our talents align with our job responsibilities.

We do find that we sometimes fall into the pitfall of business talk during family dinners or vacations. We have had to learn how to draw the line when we can. My honest answer is that we have a hard time drawing that line, but we are both passionate about what we do. At some point in the evening, we have to stop talking business.

Sramana: I love these kinds of stories. Thank you for taking the time to share your story and inspire our entrepreneurs.

This segment is part 7 in the series : How An Entrepreneur Couple Bootstrapped to $5M: RuffleButts CEO Amber Schaub and COO Mark Schaub
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