HummViewer, a remarkable wearable hummingbird feeder mask, has continued its unique journey after appearing on the hit television show Shark Tank. This innovative creation offers a captivating visual experience, allowing individuals to observe hummingbirds up close as they feed, all while providing protection for the face and head with a sturdy plastic shield.
Hummingbirds, native to the Americas, are most commonly found in Ecuador, a South American country. These remarkable birds cover daily distances of approximately 30 to 40 kilometres and embark on journeys spanning up to 2,000 kilometres during the breeding season. With around 325 species, hummingbirds belong to the extensive family Trochilidae.
Many people share a fascination for these agile creatures and desire a closer look. However, hummingbirds are notoriously elusive, making them challenging to observe. Some believe that attracting hummingbirds involves mixing 1/4 cup of white sugar with 1 cup of boiling water to create a nectar-like solution.
For those eager to witness these beautiful hummingbirds up close, the company presented its unique product on Shark Tank. In Season 14, Episode 8 of the show, founders John Creed and Joan Creed made their pitch, seeking a $75,000 investment in exchange for a 10% equity stake, valuing their business at $750,000.
Introducing HummViewer: A Close Encounter with Hummingbirds
HummViewer is a hummingbird feeder mask designed to provide an intimate view of hummingbirds as they sip nectar from flowers. This innovative mask features a plastic shield that completely covers the face and head. The front of the mask is adorned with fake flowers and rubber tubes filled with hummingbird food, a mixture of sugar and hot water.
When hummingbirds come in search of nectar, they are drawn to the fake flowers and rubber tubes, mistaking them for real flowers. As a result, the birds come into close proximity to the mask while feeding on the simulated nectar. This enchanting experience is available for a price of $69.95 and can be purchased from the official HummViewer website.
Meet the Creators
HummViewer was brought to life by John Creed and Joan Creed, who established the company in 2017. John’s passion for hummingbirds and his desire to observe them up close led to the development of this innovative product.
Before their appearance on Shark Tank, John and his family frequently visited Pine Cone Lane in Westcliff, Colorado, during summer vacations. It was during these trips that John pondered ways to attract hummingbirds and create a unique viewing experience for them. After extensive planning, measuring, drilling, and painting, John’s vision became a reality.
Upon completing the Hummingbird Feeder Mask, John took it to their cabin and witnessed its success firsthand. His wife captured a video of the mask in action and shared it on Twitter with Banakar Enver’s NBC affiliate news. The heartwarming story gained recognition, with 9News dubbing John’s hummingbird endeavour as one of the “9 Most Inspiring Stories of 2017.” Notably, a similar product called the Heatstick had been developed in 2008.
Inspired by their success and eagerness to grow their business, John and Joan decided to take their venture to Shark Tank.
The Shark Tank Pitch
When John and Joan entered the Shark Tank with their company, HummViewer, they sought a $75,000 investment for a 10% equity stake. John explained that observing hummingbirds up close had been a challenge due to their swift movements and reluctance to approach humans. To address this issue, he developed the HummViewer.
The mask contains tubes filled with sugar and water, which must be worn until hummingbirds approach to feed. The cost of producing the mask is approximately $10, while it is sold to customers for $59.95. To date, they had sold 500 units of the product.
Their marketing efforts on TikTok yielded impressive results, as their video garnered 5.4 million views. However, the sharks had mixed reactions. Kevin O’Leary connected the mythological significance of hummingbirds as messengers but ultimately opted out. Daymond John expressed personal interest but also declined. Mark Cuban deemed it unsuitable for his investment portfolio. Lori Greiner found the idea novel and cute but considered it more of a hobby than a million-dollar venture and decided not to invest.
Despite not securing a deal with the sharks, HummViewer had no debt and had taken a home equity loan to cover product patents and a minimal inventory amount, amounting to an investment of around $40,000 in their business.
Daniel Lubetzky inquired why the Creeds needed the sharks. John admitted to having spent his career in the electrical industry and lacked expertise in retail and marketing, necessitating a partner to help grow the business.
Ultimately, Daniel Lubetzky extended an offer of $75,000 for a 35% equity stake in the company, which John and Joan accepted.
Post-Shark Tank Progress
Following their appearance on Shark Tank, HummViewer continued to make strides. While the sharks initially laughed at the unique concept, Daniel Lubetzky recognized its potential and invested in the business.
HummViewer primarily appeals to bird enthusiasts, especially those who have the patience to wear the mask for extended periods while waiting for hummingbirds to feed. It offers a one-of-a-kind opportunity to observe these remarkable creatures up close.
One challenge with the mask is the need to maintain the same position for an extended period while waiting for hummingbirds to visit. This can require hours of patience, making it more suitable for dedicated birdwatchers.
Between December 2022 and February 1, 2023, there has been no activity on HummViewer’s social media accounts. However, Daniel Lubetzky’s team took steps to redesign the official HummViewer website after the deal was closed.
As of September 2023, the company reported lifetime sales of $1 million, signifying its continued growth and success.
HummViewer’s Ongoing Journey
HummViewer remains an active and thriving business venture. While the product may not be for everyone, it has found its niche among bird lovers, especially those captivated by hummingbirds. As a testament to its uniqueness, HummViewer continues to offer bird enthusiasts a distinctive opportunity to connect with nature.
This innovative product’s journey from inception to its appearance on Shark Tank and subsequent growth demonstrates the potential of unconventional ideas in the world of business. With the support of Daniel Lubetzky, HummViewer continues to carve out its place in the market, offering a remarkable experience for those who appreciate the beauty of hummingbirds.
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In conclusion, HummViewer’s post-Shark Tank journey showcases the resilience and ingenuity of its founders, John and Joan Creed. Their dedication to creating a one-of-a-kind product has resulted in a thriving business that connects people with the wonders of the natural world.