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When we first got the news we would be appearing on Shark Tank, we were ecstatic. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity few businesses have the privilege to enjoy, let alone businesses owned and operated by queer women. In fact, the stats on businesses like ours are jarring:
Which is why the Shark Tank result does not come as a surprise. But roughly 50% of the population identify as women. And over 7% identify as LGBTQ+. Something is not adding up.
Are we shocked the Sharks couldn’t see our broader vision? No. Are we still hopeful? Absolutely. Since our inception, we’ve had to fight, tooth and nail, to carve out our place in a cutthroat industry. And we’re ready for whatever’s next.
We started as a crowdfunded company. For years, our only investors were regular people, people just like you, that gave what they could to support the brand. It wasn’t until last year that we received some much needed funding from a larger investor… the day we taped Shark Tank. Days after we had sold our house to keep the business afloat. Days away from bankruptcy.
The larger investment helped. But there’s still more work to be done. With the right amount of capital, we can bring true inclusivity to an industry that not only lacks it, but actively promotes the opposite. And with the incredible support of the DB Fam, we’ll be unstoppable.
We’re used to people saying “no.” But that only fuels our fire. We will do whatever it takes to further our mission of inclusivity.
We’re used to people “not getting it.” But our vision is steadfast. We built Dapper Boi without major funding. We did it by winning over one person at a time. We did it by changing minds.
We’re used to people telling us to “stay in our lane.” But that sentiment goes against our entire mission. We want everyone to fit in. We believe everyone deserves to look and feel like their authentic selves. And clothing is our tool to do it.
You want us to stay in our lane? Sure. But you better believe we’re paving wide enough to fit everyone in it.
We’ll leave you with this…
If you want to see more inclusive clothing in the mainstream, let the world know. If you want to see more women-owned and queer-owned businesses get proper funding, let the world know. Be vocal.
Because the answer to the titular question is obviously yes. Businesses like ours deserve funding. But we need to work together if we want to change the status quo.
Shark Tank is just the beginning. Be on the lookout for a new documentary coming out that features our funding journey! It’s called “Show Her the Money.”