Siouxland Stories: Siouxland men make their pitch to ABC’s “Sharks”

Siouxland Stories

(KCAU) — While tailgating at a University of Iowa football game in 2018, Taylor Ness says he was in need of a way to carry an adult beverage from tailgate to tailgate. What is now known as Muff Waders was born.

“So, I had this idea. About 3 years ago now, we were at a football game,” said Ness. “The next thing you know I wake up in the morning with a notepad and napkin with a drawing of a six-pack and pocket on the side,” says Ness.” Just pursued it and here we are,” he adds.

Muff Waders are billed as “the only bibs made for work AND play.”  They feature a zip-up front cooler big enough for a six-pack and side pockets for whatever is needed.

“I had these guys out in Australia that are like we fill it up with water when we do drywalling. It’s a big group out of Australia,” says Ness. 

Waders, shipped to a place like Russia and Canada after a single social media post and cross-country tour in this beat-up 1990 Chevy Van.

“This is the corporate office.  Any business meeting we’ve done has happen in this van.  Drove all over,” says Ness.

Propelling Ness and his buddy, buddy to sell close to 1000 units of the “waders” in the last year.

“We show up places like Lambeau Field. We drove all the way there in this van and people want to come up and ask what are you doing? What is this?” Ness said.

Packers, South Dakota Rodeos, Nashville, a random Chicago bar the Iowa State fair, all unexpected sales successes.

“Shaking hands and kissing babies,” Ness said.

Leading to growing pains.

“It took a long time to get inventory which is another whole ball of worms.  Not even sure that’s the right term,” says Taylor”We started selling but didn’t realize we needed something to ship them in,” he adds.

“We sold a lot better than we thought so it was a lot to handle right away,” he says.  And where do entrepreneur’s go for help?

“Just when we were losing our steam Shark Tank called and we end up being on Shark Tank. Crazy ride, awesome. It’s been fun,” says Ness.

After six months of talks, Muff Waders is included in this week’s edition of ABC’s Shark Tank.

“I’m not going to lie. I was peeing my pants before we went on set. It was the real deal. Light’s camera action all kinds of stuff.

The pair quarantined for 10 days, in of all places Las Vegas, waiting to meet the Sharks.

“We sat in the waiting room with a group of people that may or may not have been the nicest people,” Ness says.

Until Friday night at 7, show details are top secret.  “I think we may have crushed it. I don’t know.  We’ll have to wait and see,” he says.

But Ness knows what he wants to get out of the pitch.

“I like to do handshake deals.  Tell somebody and they’ll do it. Such a hard thing to find these days,” he says. “We also wanted some help toward licensing and navigating the new things we have coming up,” Ness says.

“I think it’s a lot of dumb luck as to where we are today,” Ness adds. “At the end of the day, these are very quality overalls.”

“That’s the story of Muff Waders.  I guess we’ll find out tomorrow night how it all turns out.  Buddy and me might be broke by tomorrow night. Tune in to find out.”

If you know someone with a unique talent or little-known skill that others might enjoy hearing about, KCAU 9 wants to know them as well. Email us at news@kcautv.com with the subject “Siouxland Stories” and briefly explain what it is that this person does that is so interesting. Don’t forget to watch those stories when they air on KCAU 9 News.

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