Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Featured Product and Story of Shannon DiPadova- Tub Cubby




I’m a working mom with three kids and this is my story about how my kids and I invented the Tub Cubby. 

One night about four years ago I walked into the bathroom and couldn’t believe what I was looking at. It was like a bomb went off with toys, shampoo and soap everywhere.

I calmly screamed at the top of my lungs “Marco!!! Get in here and clean up this mess!”

Marco came back in the bathroom and tried to organize his toys by stuffing them under the sink, but there wasn’t room and really no place to put them all.

His two sisters came up with a great idea to take a re-useable grocery bag and stick a hanger through one shoulder strap to hang it from the towel bar. It wasn’t ideal, but it was better than nothing and my girls were feeling pretty smart for their ingenuity.

Later that night the kids were watching Shark Tank, a show about entrepreneurs who bring products to market and they decided they wanted to make bath toy organizers for other kids.

The next day we found an old mesh style beach bag and I helped them cut and sew some pockets in it for soap and shampoo bottles. We bought some suction cup hooks from the local hardware store and the first prototype Tub Cubby was born.

We shared it on social media with my girlfriends who had kids and within a few hours we had several orders before we had even made any real ones.

I figured it would be a good business lesson for my kids so the next day I spent $140 on supplies which only made about 7 Tub Cubbies and took us a week to make, but we sold them all, earning us a whopping $70.

At this point I felt my economics lesson was on the verge of failing, we were out $90, and my kids kept reminding me we weren’t making any money. My doubts were starting to get to me, and I could hear the Shark’s saying, “Cute idea lady but we’re out!"

To make matters worse, the kids’ initial excitement had turned to dread. They were tired of the 2 hours it took to make one Tub Cubby and explained to me that it was eating into their schoolwork, which I knew was code for please don’t do this to us.

But the one thing that kept me going were my girlfriends who had bought them from us. When I asked, “OK, be straight with me would you really pay $10 for one of these?” they all said without a doubt it was a lifesaver and they used it every day.

And more than economics, what I really wanted to teach my kids was perseverance. So, over the next few weeks we did some researched online and found a manufacturer to produce them. 


Against my (usually supportive) husband’s advice I went ahead and invested in 500 units and listed them on Amazon. It took about six months, but they eventually sold out, with many customers leaving us 5 Star reviews. Some left pictures of all the toys they could stuff in the big mesh net bin. One Mom said it even saved her marriage and another funny guy posted a photo of his “Beer” shower caddy.

With all the great feedback my kids were getting excited again and helped me come up with new ideas for making it better by adding soft foam bath toy ABC & 123s letters and numbers.

It’s still unbelievable to me, but the first full year we sold $250k worth of Tub Cubbies, and last year in 2019 we sold $838k, with lifetime sales of over $2.2 million dollars.

We even got a call from the producers of Shark Tank and asked to send in an audition video, so fingers crossed!

The best thing though is now I don’t have to worry so much about my kids’ college tuition, because as I explained to them with a little ingenuity and a lot of perseverance you can accomplish great things. - Shannon DiPadova


https://amzn.to/2UIcKPi


21 comments:

  1. How cool! I hope they can make it on Shark Tank. It looks like a great way to keep toys organized in the tub!

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  2. This is so amazing! What a wonderful accomplishment as a family.

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  3. OMFG CONGRATS ON THIS INSANE FEAT! I am BEYOND impressed and NOW I WANT ONE - hahahaha!

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  4. I think those tub cubbies are a great idea. We have a three year old and she has toys scattered all over the bathroom.

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  5. Great story! Its fun the learn the thought processes people go through when ingenuity comes to mind. Not to mention it's a great product! Have used many version of this type of product myself! Kelli A

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  6. This was so fun to read how you came up with this concept. I hope you get on Shark Tank!

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  7. This looks like a cool addition to the bathroom. For now, my kids are all grown up but this would have been great when they were a bit younger.

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  8. Oh wow! This Tub Cubby is really useful not just for mommies but definitely for kids. And your children are wonderful. They got a very creative mind.

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  9. This is really a very useful item for kids. I remember those times when there were a lot of wet toys in my bathroom!

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  10. What a terrific story of creativity and perseverance! Every great product idea comes from this place of recognizing that there's a better way to do something and knowing that your product addresses an issue a lot of people have.

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  11. How awesome is this to read - I love hearing how people get up and running and what a useful idea Tub Cubby is as well!

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  12. I love your story and how you perservered and created a product that you and consumers love!

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  13. it was quite interesting to know about your story 😂👌 but it is much inspiring..you did an amazing work..(World in Eyes)

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  14. great idea and it makes it easier for kids to help with the cleanup.

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  15. That's great - what a powerful lesson to teach your children! As you said, it really did help to demonstrate the power of perseverance. If you want something badly enough, you have to be able to work through the set backs and obstacles along the way. Congratulations!

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  16. This is extremely creative. I love organization, and this is an excellent lesson for you kids.

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  17. that is so awesome! great lesson to teach your children. very well done!

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  18. This is awesome! I loved how you've used this to teach your kids a valuable lessons about sticking with it/perseverance until the end! There is nothing more rewarding than stepping back and saying 'Yeah, I did that.'

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  19. Seems like a great product, the success is well deserved!

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  20. Great idea! Definitely need it for our bathroom toys! And what a great lesson for the kids! Congrats..

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  21. Congrats to you! What an amazing and inspiring story. Best of luck on Shark Tank!

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