The skyrocketing careers of two Miami University business graduates — who landed a half-million dollar investor last year on TV’s “Shark Tank” — has now seen them ink a multi-million deal to take their tattoo skin care product across America.
The new business partnership is propelling the Miami grads to even higher success than they ever imagined when they were college roommates living in a modest apartment next to the Oxford campus.
For Oliver Zak and Selom Agbitor, Class of 2019 finance majors, it’s a stressful time — but it’s the good kind of stress, they told the Journal-News.
“I’ve never worked harder in my life but I love every second of it,” said Zak.
Agbitor echoed his partner, saying “it’s as stressful as it is fun.”
According to Mae Chabrunn, a spokeswoman for their Mad Rabbit Tattoo company, “the company has recently signed an exclusive partnership with Inked, both the magazine and the store, making Mad Rabbit the exclusive tattoo aftercare brand for Inked.”
“This partnership marks the first of its kind for Inked as it pioneers a new standard towards clean tattoo aftercare. Mad Rabbit is now the exclusive tattoo aftercare brand of Inked, with the Inked store exclusively carrying Mad Rabbit product offerings both in store and online in early 2022,” Chabrunn said.
Their latest deal is worth an estimated $4 to $5 million, she said, and moves them into the big time with national distribution through an “equity deal” with Inked Magazine.
Last year the two friends were thrilled to be stressed about their high-pressure sales opportunity on ABC’s “Shark Tank” and especially about luring acclaimed businessman Mark Cuban to buy partnership rights for $500,000.
Their company, which sells natural ingredient post-tattoo skin products designed to promote healing while also enhancing a tattoo’s appearance, impressed Cuban enough for him to sign on as a financial backer.
All pretty heady stuff for the two Miami University Farmer Business School graduates, who mixed their first batch of skin products a few years ago in an off-campus Oxford apartment.
Soon after the show’s broadcast, the pair, both from Ohio, said their once-fledgling company attracted on online sales soar after their 15 minutes of nationally televised fame, garnering $60,000 in purchases.
“We now have the power to access 60 million-plus tattooed consumers and the opportunity to provide them with superior skincare, engaging content, and inclusive community,” said the two, whose manufacturing facility is near Los Angeles.
The two credit their Miami business education as being a key part of their success.
“Miami University fosters an entrepreneurial ecosystem,” Zak said.
“Alongside learning a comprehensive set of business skills such as coding, accounting, and marketing, Miami University’s Farmer School of Business requires entrepreneurship classes. And, if you do decide to start a business while at Miami, there are plenty of resources including … countless networking resources available.”
What’s next for the two includes an expanded skin care line for those sporting a tattooed epidermis.
“We are continuing expansion into daily care products and even into the shower - replacing generic off-the-shelf lotions and body washes that actively degrade tattoos over time,” he said.
“We’re just trying to serve a need we saw in the marketplace.”