Season 13 episode 13 of ABC’s ‘Shark Tank‘ witnessed Michael Malkin and Luce Fuller present their innovative product, Calm Strips, hoping for a life-changing investment. Calm Strips is a new and innovative take on tactile calming products that can stick to any surface and help combat anxiety. While tactile calming devices aren’t anything to write home about, Calm Strips’ mobility and ease of use warranted a second look. Well, here’s what we found out!
Calm Strips: Who Are They and What Do They Do?
Michael Malkin graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Old Dominion University and even holds a Graduate Certificate in Project Management from the same place. Although he spent some time as an English teacher after completing his Bachelor’s degree, Michael soon switched to management and has managed stores for both Dell and Apple. On the other hand, Luce Fuller was employed as a Store Manager for Starbucks and Associate Manager at Coach before entering Apple as a Specialist in November 2013.
Luce’s expertise and talent saw her rise quickly through the company ranks. Over the years, she has worked in different roles, including Preservations and Operations Specialist, Operations Expert, and Schedule Planner. She has been with Calm Strips from the very beginning and at present fulfills the role of the Director Of Public Relations. Incidentally, Michael’s job as an Apple store manager indirectly led to the birth of Calm Strips. Whenever the store got noisy or crowded, Michael would feel anxiety creeping up and taking over his mind.
Michael tried numerous methods to combat the feeling, including drumming his fingers on the tabletop and scraping his fingers together with carpenter’s tape. Although the latter worked to some extent, it got his fingers extremely sticky and thus wasn’t viable. Michael knew that his condition required a more dedicated product like a fidget spinner but chose not to use one as it wasn’t as discreet as he would’ve liked. As carpenter’s tape worked to his liking, Michael began experimenting on the method and tried to improve the product for a wider audience.
Thus, Michael came up with his concept of Calm Strips and realized he had a product ready for marketing. Calm Strips are made of durable vinyl with a satisfying sandy or river rock texture with different artworks. Rubbing the surface provides a highly calming experience. As an added bonus, the strips are highly mobile and can stick to any surface, worn on a lanyard or keyring, or carried inside a pocket, making them quite discreet. Besides, Michael even remembered how the carpenter’s tape made his fingers sticky and made sure to use a non-sticky adhesive, making the strips easy to remove and reuseable, leaving no residue behind.
Where Is Calm Strips Now?
Interestingly, Calm Strips launched in April 2020, in the middle of the pandemic, and immediately found immense success. With people locked inside their homes, anxiety and depression were at an all-time high, and Calm Strips was able to provide the quick relief people were hunting for. Within a short span of time, the business reached greater heights, and at present, Calm Strips have over 125,000 satisfied customers worldwide. Apart from shipping to the US and Canada, the company has also expanded its reach and has customers in Australia and the UK.
Moreover, they are also quite popular in schools and have been highly rated by teachers and guidance counselors. Calm Strips are now available in numerous dynamic designs, and a pack of five reusable strips will set you back by $12.99. Besides, the company also sells packs of 30 for $49.99 and 120 for $119.99. Prospective customers can buy the strips right off Amazon or the official website where the company offers regular discounts.
Interestingly, the company has an incredible method of connecting with the community as they hold regular art contests and feature the winning design on new strips. Thus, with a fantastic marketing technique, and a unique product to back it up, Calm Strips is headed for further popularity and success in the coming years.