Rick and Melissa Hinnant are the owners of Grace and Lace – the women’s clothing company that started out selling lacy boot socks. It was an “accidental business” built out of tragedy. After losing their first child, a stillborn daughter, Melissa started to knit and sew. When the Hinnants appeared on Shark Tank, they made a deal with Barbara Corcoran who has helped the business grow but – as with any company of any size – there are always hurdles to overcome.
Grace and Lace continues to run a dynamic e-commerce website but it’s the wholesale business that’s really growing. Rick Hinnant says: “We’ve been approached by bigger names but haven’t felt like it’s what we want to do. Our mentor catered to big box retail stores, but the further we got down line, I don’t know if we want to be in big box. They squeeze margins. They may order 100,000 items, but we have no control over how they market it; if it bombs, we don’t get paid. We would rather have control and take our own risks.” Corcoran will visit the Hinnants on Beyond the Tank which airs Tuesdays at 10pm on ABC, right after a new episode of Shark Tank.