Kat Nouri made nutritional lunches and snacks for her children, brought her own lunch to work, and was committed to purchasing chemical free, healthy foods. But like many people who are health conscious, she was not only concerned with the physical health of her children and herself, but also concerned about the impact her decisions make on the environment and the health of the earth.
She knew that her choice of containers and bags for packaging and storing food could have a negative impact on the health and nutritional value of the foods she had so carefully purchased and made for her family. Plastic containers and bags are certainly very handy, cheap and easy to obtain. But plastic is a petroleum-based product containing toxic chemicals and cooking in plastic can leach chemicals and gasses that are hazardous to human health, as well as toxic to the environment.
In 2005, drawing on her background in marketing and sales, and her innate sense for design, Kat had founded Modern-twist, a San Francisco based studio with the ultimate purpose of working toward a plastic-free world. Modern-twist was already creating beautiful and functional items for the household from 100% pure food grade silicone, a polymer made from sand and oxygen that is heat and water resistant.
Based on her knowledge that 20 million plastic sandwich bags are discarded every day in the U.S., and it takes over 500 years for a plastic bag to break down in a landfill, creating the Stasher was a natural next step for Kat’s already innovative company.
Because this particular item was designed to store and cook food, Kat and her team made the decision to manufacture the Stasher with an even higher grade of 100% pure platinum silicone, satisfying all U.S. and even stricter European standards.
The Stasher comes in several convenient sizes: sandwich bag, snack bag, and a half-gallon storage bag. The non-porous nature of silicone inhibits bacterial growth and the bags are safe for use in the microwave, standard oven, or a pot of boiling water — up to 400°F.
Production of the Stasher was officially announced on January 29, 2016. On August 10, 2016 they were featured on The Grommet as an innovative new product. They are sold online and in numerous boutique stores around the country.
Modern-twist and Stasher are not just designed to be successful financial enterprises, however, but are based on a sincere commitment to making the world a better place. They became certified as a b-corporation™ (b corps), joining more than 1,800 other b corps in 50 countries, as leaders of the global movement of people using business as a force for good, meeting higher standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability. Both the websites for Modern-twist and Stasher contain a wealth of information on practical ways to change wasteful consumption habits, cook and store healthier foods, and simple steps to reduce our negative impact on the environment.
Stasher in the Shark Tank
During her appearance on Shark Tank Season 9, Kat Nouri of Stasher asked for $400,000 in exchange for 5% equity in her company, implying an $8 million valuation. Despite competition, Kat believed her products were more convenient and effective. She had impressive sales of over $1.5 million in the first year, with half of these sales coming from e-commerce.
During the pitch, Kat mentioned that the company held patents on the bag seals and emphasized the durability of the platinum silicone used in the products, which could be reused thousands of times. She projected that the company would become a $100 million company within four years. However, the Sharks found the products pricey.
Robert Herjavec and Barbara Corcoran dropped out without making an offer. Mark Cuban initially offered $400,000 for 20% equity and a $400,000 line of credit. Kat countered with 15%, and Mark accepted, resulting in a final deal of $400,000 for 15% equity.
|Ask||$400,000 for 5% equity|
|Final Deal||$400,000 for 15% equity|
|Valuation||Implied $8 million|
|Sales||$1.5 million in the first year|
|Unique Selling Point||Patented bag seals, reusable platinum silicone|
Stasher After Shark Tank
After appearing on Shark Tank, Stasher experienced significant growth and development, although the deal with Mark Cuban did not close. Founder Kat Nouri described the failed pitch as a blessing in disguise, as it increased the company’s visibility and led to a $500,000 investment from an outside investor. In 2019, Stasher was acquired by SC Johnson for an undisclosed amount. The company’s products continued to gain popularity, being featured in notable publications like CNN and Bon Appétit. By 2021, Stasher had generated $12 million in sales. Additionally, Kat Nouri received the Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2020. The company expanded its product lineup, achieved B Corp certification, and was available in various global markets and major retailers such as CVS, The Container Store, Williams-Sonoma, Target, and Walmart.