Where Is Calm Strips From Shark Tank Season 13 Today?

Anxiety can affect anyone at any age. Self-reported data from the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) revealed that over 32% of adults experienced symptoms of anxiety at the start of 2023. Higher rates of anxiety were observed among young adults in particular. Yet, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), rates of anxiety have also been growing among youth in recent years, with over 9% of kids ages 3 to 17 diagnosed with the condition between 2016 and 2019.

Entrepreneur Michael Malkin was no stranger to anxiety himself. Deciding to share his own story, Malkin and company administrative director Luce Fuller appeared on season 13 of "Shark Tank" to pitch their product, Calm Strips. The founders explained that the textured sticker is designed to discreetly ease anxiety, decrease fidgeting, and boost focus amongst users, particularly amongst school-age children (via Sony Pictures YouTube). As a result, the product has made its way into more than 3,000 schools across the country.

Viewers may remember the moment Malkin revealed that since starting the company the year prior, they had already surpassed $2.5 million in sales. This elicited a collective "wow" from the judges and an exuberant chant of "Calm Strips! Calm Strips!" from shark Kevin O'Leary. The entrepreneurs stated that they were seeking a $250,000 investment in exchange for a 10% stake in the company.

If you or someone you know needs help with mental health, please contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741, call the National Alliance on Mental Illness helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), or visit the National Institute of Mental Health website.

Calm Strips on Shark Tank

In regard to company values, Malkin emphasized that Calm Strips wasn't solely about profit, but about heart (via Sony Pictures YouTube). Rather, the purpose of developing the product was to help individuals and families affected by anxiety and to leave customers happy, he explained. Pricing the product at $12.49 for a five-pack of stickers, Malkin stated that consumers who were not satisfied with their purchase wouldn't have to bother with the headache of return shipping, but would instead receive a prompt refund. It's clear that the numbers speak for themselves when it comes to customer satisfaction, with the entrepreneurs stating they have a less than 1% return rate.

When it came time to hear from the sharks, three of the judges stepped forward with an offer. Robert Herjavec stated that he would give Calm Strips the $250,000, but for an increased 35% stake in the company. With the entrepreneurs exhibiting some hesitation, Kevin O'Leary stepped in, offering to do away with any equity altogether; instead, he requested $2.50 per unit until he regained his $250,000 investment, which would then drop to $1 per unit in perpetuity. With Fuller recoiling at the mention of perpetuity, Herjavec jumped back in to amend his initial offer, saying that he, too, would invest the $250,000 in exchange for $2.50 per unit until he made back his investment, which would then drop to $1.50 per unit until he received $750,000. What happened next proved to be a shocking turn of events.

Calm Strips made a deal, but what happened after Shark Tank?

Moments later, as the entrepreneurs invited Lori Greiner into the conversation, Herjavec abruptly withdrew his offer and opted out of making a deal with Calm Strips (via Sony Pictures YouTube). Because Malkin and Fuller failed to jump at the opportunity, Herjavec stated that he felt "stood up" and no longer had any interest in attending a party he wasn't wanted at, so to speak. With only two offers left — one from O'Leary and a similar offer from Greiner — the entrepreneurs took a swing and went out on a limb. In an attempt to win Herjavec back over, they stated that if he put his offer back on the table, they would take it immediately with no questions asked. In a moment of celebration, Herjavec agreed, and Calm Strips walked away with a deal.

In the aftermath of Shark Tank, Malkin appeared on a 2022 episode of the "Trep Talks" podcast and promoted Calm Strips' bundle packs available for purchase, including school packs, classroom packs, and aluminum keychain tags. Although the company continued to grow following their time on "Shark Tank," Malkin shared that he still experienced occasional moments of self-doubt. "I think the biggest mistakes I've made or failure[s] [have been when] I haven't believed either in myself and the team and the product," he said.

Is Calm Strips still thriving today?

Having garnered over 51,000 followers on Instagram, Calm Strips continues to be alive and well today. You can currently purchase their products in a variety of shapes, colors, and patterns through the company's website and receive a complimentary semicolon sticker to raise awareness around suicide prevention with every purchase made. The stickers can be placed on a variety of surfaces, including laptops, phone cases, stainless steel keychains, and any other easily accessible areas that allow users to discreetly rub or pick at the calming, sensory-adhesive sticker. With textures ranging from soft sand to patterned pebbles, smooth satin, and more, some designs even walk users through different grounding techniques. Not only that, but consumers can also opt to personalize their stickers to support their business, school, or organization. Be sure to order in advance, though, as orders tend to mount during the busy back-to-school season.

During their "Shark Tank" pitch, the entrepreneurs stated that their five-pack of stickers was priced at $12.49. Since then, it appears they've made their products even more affordable, with some sticker packs priced as low as $9.99. If you follow the company on social media, however, you may have a chance to win a pack of Calm Strips completely free of charge, as they routinely offer customer giveaways. Now shipping to over 50 countries worldwide, whatever is next for Calm Strips will undoubtedly continue to be in service of those in need of mental health support.