Startup Directory


Sarah Ribner ‘16BUS

Sarah Ribner ‘16BUS and Jess Edelstein, best friends and business partners since they sold lemonade together in 4th grade, founded PiperWai in March 2014. Before Shark Tank, the charcoal crème deodorant had created thousands of die-hard converts who swore they couldn’t give up their clinical antiperspirants.

After experiencing clothing stains and reading about the potentially harmful effects of conventional antiperspirant, Jess decided to make a change in her underarm regimen. However, she quickly realized that existing natural deodorants and popular DIY recipes online either didn’t work, easily melted, or turned her sensitive skin bright red.

Jess set out to create the perfect natural deodorant. Six months and about a hundred test batches later, she gave the final product to Sarah to try during a service trip in South America. After several weeks in a blazing hot tropical climate, PiperWai was put to the test – and everyone was hooked! After launching PiperWai, Sarah and Jess handcrafted their product in a community kitchen in Fishtown, Philadelphia, until a successfully funded Indiegogo campaign allowed them to contract with a co-packer a year after their launch.

Shark Tank

After a successful appearance ABC’s “Shark Tank,” a cult favorite natural deodorant became an overnight phenomenon.

Immediately following the episode where PiperWai Natural Deodorant made an investment deal with real estate mogul Barbara Corcoran, the two-woman company in Philadelphia experienced a sales surge beyond anyone’s expectations.

While it’s not unprecedented for a company to generate $1 million in sales within 48 hours of appearing on the hit show, a variety of seasoned business advisors cautioned against preparing more than 10,000 jars in advance of the airdate. But those sold out just minutes into the East Coast airtime on December 11.

The company has seen revenue of $2.8 million since the airdate. The spike in revenue, along with the investment from Corcoran, will go toward the development of a stick applicator product, currently in high demand from customers.

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