Given all the uncertainty and chaos in the world today, it’s nice to hear about success stories and news where you feel inspired and motivated to face the challenges that come your way. if a young girl was able to succeed and reach her goals, then what’s stopping you from at least trying? You see, in this article, we’ll be talking about the M3 Girl Designs company, which was founded by a 10-year old girl named Maddie Bradshaw.
It all started when Maddie wanted to stylize her school locker and make it unique from the other students until she ultimately came up with ‘Snap Caps.’ We’ll explain more about what these Snap Caps are, but they became popular enough among her peers that she and her family decided to make a jewelry and accessory business out of it.
Many years have passed since then, and many of us wonder how M3 Girl Designs is doing and what they’re up to now.
What Is Shark Tank?
Before anything else, let’s have a brief overview of what Shark Tank is for those who aren’t familiar. Shark Tank is an American reality TV series related to business, and it first aired on ABC in 2009. The show is all about entrepreneurs pitching their business ideas to a panel composed of five investors, otherwise known as “sharks.”
Depending on how good or practical the business presentations are, the “sharks” will choose whether to invest in the idea. Of course, even if none of the show’s “sharks” choose to invest, other people in the business world will have seen the pitch on TV, and many have chosen to reach out to the presenters if they liked their ideas.
Since Shark Tanks’ 2009 premiere, the television series has seen considerable success and positive ratings, so much so that it even won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Structured Reality Program four times from 2014 through 2017. The show is ongoing until today, as ABC has renewed Shark Tanks for a thirteenth season. It’s expected to premiere in October 2021.
An Overview of M3 Girl Designs’ Pitch
It’s important to note that Maddie Bradshaw was already an entrepreneur at the young age of 10 years old, even before they decided to get on Shark Tank in 2012. In fact, Maddie’s business was already booming in 2008, as she was able to sell 50,000 necklaces per month and grossed more than $1.6 million in sales.
Since then, M3 Girl Designs only seemed to become more successful as more and more tweens became interested in their Snap Caps. M3 Girl Designs, which was composed of the company president Maddie Bradshaw, vice president and assistant designer Margot Bradshaw, and mother Diane Bradshaw, were featured in various publications and shows even before they got featured on Shark Tank.
So, when M3 Girl Designs signed up to pitch their business on Shark Tank, they were pretty much already millionaires, thanks to their Snap Caps business. In 2011 alone, the Bradshaws’ total sales were already past $1.5 million, and it kept increasing from there. Because of this, the Sharks could see that the business had real potential to become even bigger than it already was.
After all, M3 Girl Designs’ Snap Caps were already available in over 1,000 stores and they had a massive fanbase online, which is something that the Sharks can’t say no to.
At the end of their presentation, the Bradshaw girls settled for giving 30% equity in the business in exchange for the $300,000 they received from the Shark Tank investors. However, instead of getting only one “shark” to invest in their business, M3 Girl Designs was able to rope in three investors who have a net worth of billions. The Sharks in question are QVC Queen Lori Greiner, Mark Cuban, and Robert Herjevic.
What Happened After Shark Tank?
As you’d expect, Maddie’s Snap Caps business soared to new heights after three “sharks” invested in the business. M3 Girl Designs even expanded the brand even further, as the bottle caps could be inserted into note cards, necklaces, journals, bracelets, hair bows, and other such items so you can start your very own collection.
Not only that, Maddie Bradshaw published a book entitled You Can Start A Business, Too. In this published work, she covers a wide range of business-related topics, including business ideas and terms, along with stories that could inspire young girls and boys to start their own businesses.
That being said, M3 Girl Designs’ experiences were not all rainbows and butterflies. Maddie Bradshaw and co. also experienced their fair share of trials and tribulations, as their company got involved in three different lawsuits related to trademark infringement. M3 Girl Designs was the defendant in one of the lawsuits, while it was the plaintiff for the other two. Unfortunately, none of the verdicts were in favor of M3 Girl Designs. We’ll discuss more on this below.
In 2015, Maddie Bradshaw decided to close down the company to attend Stanford University. However, she was set for life at that point, as the entrepreneur had $5.2 million in lifetime sales. In 2019, she continued studying to get a Masters of Education at none other than Harvard University.
Now that we’re in the midst of 2021, all we know is that Maddie is now working as an instructional technology coach at a private K-12 prep school in Los Angeles called The Wildwood School.
The Fight Against Blue Brownies
As mentioned, M3 Girl Designs went through a few lawsuits. This started some time in 2009 when it was discovered that the Bradshaws were actually trying to remove competition out of the picture by sending those competitors cease and desist letters. These letters claimed that M3 Girl Designs were the rightful owners of the copyrights to bottle cap jewelry.
Many of the company’s rivals decided to withdraw from the market after receiving those letters, as ignoring them meant having to deal with hefty attorney fees and the like. Some, of course, chose to fight against those allegations, and most of them won the fight. One of the company’s that fought back against M3 Girl Designs was Blue Brownies, and the legal battle was very long and tedious indeed.
The legal battle started in 2010, but by 2012, M3 Girl Designs made some changes to its claims. In this new claim, it dropped the untenable copyright claims and replaced it with claims of trademark trade dress infringement. Diane and Maddie Bradshaw faced the court in June 2012, but despite how well-coached they were on the matter, the jury and the judge rejected their claims and sided with the defendants.
Even though M3 Girl Designs had troubling times, the Bradshaw girls can still serve as an inspiration for many young and aspiring entrepreneurs out there. If you want something, go and get it! Who knows? You might reach incredible heights, farther than you’ve ever imagined.