(Photo courtesy of Paige Wolf Media & Public Relations)
Social entrepreneurs Jess Edelstein and Sarah Ribner started mixing up their signature charcoal-based PiperWai deodorant in a community kitchen with a $2,000 loan.
They’ve come a long way since appearing on ABC’s “Shark Tank” in late 2015 and landing a $50,000 deal with investor Barbara Corcoran: The business is still largely self-funded, the founders wrote in an email, but they’ve brought on four employees, launched a new stick applicator and have experienced 6,000 percent revenue growth since the television appearance.
“We’ve expanded our retail presence to 200 independent lifestyle boutiques in the US and Canada, Whole Foods mid-Atlantic and over 3,600 GNC stores nationwide,” the cofounders wrote.
The company has also raised over $17,000 for its charity partners, which include Twist Out Cancer, Living Beyond Breast Cancer, Young Entrepreneurs’ Program and Philly’s own Back on My Feet, through a point-of-sale donation program. The program allows PiperWai to donate 10 percent of every sale to partnered charities.
Although PiperWai will continue that program through 2017, the founders are looking for additional avenues to support social causes. One of those possibilities, Edelstein and Ribner wrote, is through mission-driven suppliers.
The company also has some “exciting products” in the pipeline, inspired by consumer recommendations.-30-
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