The $15 Million Lesson

January 11, 2017 |  

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Julie Pickens and her partner created Boogie Wipes, a moistened tissue Moms use. But all was not well in Boogie land—in fact, the partners’ relationship became strained when Hardin announced she wanted out, forcing Pickens to find a buyer.

Julie Pickens and her partner Mindee Hardin created Boogie Wipes, a moistened tissue Moms use so their sick kids can avoid a raw nose in cold season. They patented their formula and won orders from Rite Aid, Walmart and Target leading to annual revenue of $15 million.

But all was not well in Boogie land—in fact, the partners’ relationship became strained when Hardin announced she wanted out, forcing Pickens to find a buyer for their company. The result would leave Pickens disappointed with her exit while partner Hardin had to file for bankruptcy.

Pickens described her exit as “a disappointment” because along the way she had to give up equity and take on debt in order to finance the 60-day terms retailers insisted on. Contrast Boogie Wipes with another consumer product with a cheeky brand, Dollar Shave Club, that used a direct-to-consumer subscription model. The direct model gave them cash when users subscribed and a direct relationship with customers which facilitated cross-selling. Most importantly, Dollar Shave Club’s subscription model gave them a premium valuation. The difference between Boogie Wipes and Dollar Shave Club comes down to the business model, which is something you will think a lot about in Module 5 of The Value Builder System™—get started now by completing Module 1 here.

What follows is a cautionary tale of what happens when partners decide to go their separate ways.

Click to Tweet: Ep. 77 of Built To Sell Radio, The $15 Million Lesson.

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Our guest

Often referred to as The Boogie Mom®, Julie Pickens, along with her business partner, developed the first ever saline nose wipe called Boogie Wipes® as a solution for their kids’ sore, red, and runny noses. From this concept, Little Busy Bodies, Inc. was formed in May, 2007. Little Busy Bodies tripled their first year revenue in 2009 at $3.4 million and went on to achieve $10.2 million in 2011. In 2013, Pickens sold her interest in Little Busy Bodies. From there she took a role as VP of marketing for a consumer electronics company in Detroit, MI RFA brands, myCharge. Pickens now shares her entrepreneurial knowledge with other inventors and business owners through speaking engagements and media platforms.

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