Black-owned businesses are out here thriving, and we love to see it.
As previously reported by AfroTech, Young King Hair Care launched in more than 1,200 Target and Walmart retailers just shy of two years of becoming the destination for haircare tailored specifically for young men. Now, they are headed for the famous NBC’s “Shark Tank” and founders Cora and Stefan Miller hope that this continues the company’s growth.
“Prior to filming our segment, our business was experiencing exponential growth since our launch in December 2019,” said Cora in an exclusive email interview with AfroTech. “The Sharks were very complimentary regarding the business we built. They actually even called my husband a ‘brilliant marketer,’ which as our CMO, whose professional background is all-around marketing, made him feel so proud.”
The "Shark Tank" Experience
When the couple was contacted by a casting agent last Spring, they knew that their story was rooted within their numbers and exceptional growth in just a short span of time.
“We knew we’d be prepared to pitch to the Sharks to share these wins, our plans for scaling, and why we’d be great partners,” she continued. “After numerous interviews and meetings with the production team and practicing our pitch countless times, we felt prepared and ready to meet the sharks.”
While she admits that one can never be fully prepared for the rapid-fire question often spewed out by the Sharks, after the taping, they had given it their best shot.
“Of course, they poked holes in certain areas of the business, but overall it felt so validating to hear them appreciate what we are building for Black and Brown young men,” Cora recalled. “This type of encouragement for us to keep pushing forward only motivates us, even more, to keep grinding and building our business for the culture.”
The Opportunity of A Lifetime
Not only was this a once-in-a-lifetime experience for the Millers, but the taping of the episode also came just as they were preparing to welcome a new life into the world.
“I was so grateful to be able to share this experience with my co-founder and husband, Stefan — especially given I was nearly nine months pregnant,” she exclaimed. “We leaned on each other throughout our pitch, which helped us both in ensuring we answered each question to the best of our abilities.”
While Cora does admit that she understands not all contestants walk away with an experience like theirs, it assured them that they are indeed on track to building an empire.
“Having such validation from the Sharks is so meaningful. Not everyone leaves with a positive experience in the Tank like we did,” she said. “This assured us that we were built to do this and that our vision of the company is certainly within our reach.”
Prior to the show, Young King Hair Care raised $1.6 million in a seed round, making Cora one out of nearly 100 other Black women to do so in 2021.
They also revealed they exceeded their forecast and achieved 544 percent year-over-year growth in 2021 as well as maintained and grew shelf space in Walmart and Target where their products can now be found in over 1,500 stores and online.
The Millers will appear on “Shark Tank” Friday, March 25, 2022, at 8 p.m. EST.