The Ultimate Silver Lining Startup
Posted On Jan 08, 2016
Shark Tank victors and husband and wife duo, Rick & Melissa Hinnant, took one of life’s greatest tragedies and turned it into a triumph. While ordered on bed rest for the reminder of her first pregnancy, Melissa took to sewing to help with the passing time. Tragically, Melissa and Rick ended up losing their child and faced an unbearable mountain of grief. With a strong foundation of faith, the Hinnant’s managed to scale that mountain in the most amazing way possible.
They were soon blessed with the birth of their daughter, Sienna, which granted the couple the boost they needed. Little did the Hinnant’s know that they’d be catapulted into a fashion fortune. With their new daughter and Melissa’s learned knitting skills, Grace and Lace would take root.
In an interview with Small Business Revolution, “Being able to create was an important part of the healing process for me.” Melissa credits the knitting she learned in the hospital with helping her work through her grief.
The Hinnant’s found their niche starting with the Custom Knitted Leg Warmers which had done $40,000 in revenue in two months; considered unheard of for a start up. Their first calendar year then followed with the year-end sales totaling $800,000!
Now, with the help of a hefty investment from Shark Tank world-class business mentor Barbara Corcoran, Grace & Lace sky rocketed to $2.8 million in two years. This included a product line expansion into a full women’s apparel line including beautifully knit scarves, ponchos, comfy tops, arm warmers and more.
This is the point where you know you’ve made it, let someone take it over and retire in beachside bungalow with not a care in the world.
This is my second favorite part … Rick and Melissa have partnered with non-profit Angel House to help construct orphanages in India! To date, the percentage of proceeds from Grace and Lace have built TWO orphanages taking 100 homeless children off the street in India.
Welcome Social Entrepreneurs, come one, come all!
And finally, my third favorite part of this story … Rick and Melissa have employed their friends, family members and neighbors to be part of their team; along with the countless jobs Grace & Lace has created for Stay-at-home Moms.
This is a true account of turning an obstacle into opportunity, with a dose of grace and a stitch of lace.