Happi Floss

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Edited by: Mark Furr
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Happi Floss Shark Tank Update

Happi Floss

Mark Furr

This post contains affiliate links, and we may be compensated if you buy something after clicking on our links.

Happi Floss is a new disposable dental flosser which is 100% compostable, eliminating the need to send single-use plastic flossers to the landfill. Will the Sharks be willing to take a bite out of this earth-friendly dental device? Check out our Happi Floss Shark Tank update to learn all about it. 

What is Happi Floss?

Happi Floss is a company which makes the world’s first dental flosser which is designed for true compostability. The company is located in Portland, Oregon. 

The Happi Floss dental flosser is made with layers of compressed, post-consumer recycled paper and biofilm, a plant-based, non-petroleum material. When placed in the compost, the layered design allows moisture and microbes to permeate the flossers, quickly breaking them down and turning them back into usable organic matter.

Who created Happi Floss?

Happi Floss Founder

Happi Floss was founded by Dr. Staci Whitman, a pediatric dentist, who has a practice in Portland, Oregon. Dr. Staci attended dental school at Tufts University of Medicine, where she received her DMD degree, and she then went on to the Oregon Health and Science University to earn her Certificate as a Pediatric Dental Specialist. 

In 2019, Dr. Staci opened her NoPo Kid’s Dentistry practice in Portland, with a mission to practice a whole-body approach to dentistry. Along with founding Happi Floss, Dr. Staci has also founded two other businesses, Happi Health by Dr. Staci, a company which offers online courses to promote dental health, and FYGG, a toothpaste line that was designed with the principle of removing unnecessary ingredients, and instead using natural, supportive ingredients that will nourish, not harm, your oral microbiome.

How did Happi Floss get started?

While attending a dental conference in Hawaii, Happi Flossi founder Dr. Staci went for a walk along a beach. During her walk, she was saddened to see the amount of trash, both in the water and along the shoreline. When she looked closer at the trash, she noticed a large number of plastic dental flossers among the other items, and immediately, she knew that she wanted to do something about this disposable plastic, which was related to her profession. 

Because she has a pediatric dental practice, Dr. Staci had always told parents about the importance of flossing their children’s teeth. And, Dr. Staci’s practice is located in Portland, Oregon, a community where people are very conscientious about the environment, so while she knew that it was really difficult to floss a kid’s teeth with string, many parents of children in her practice refused to use the disposable plastic flossers. 

During her pitch in the Tank, Dr. Staci also told the Sharks that she felt guilty every time that she put a plastic flosser from her practice into the trash. Eventually, Dr. Staci designed a compostable flosser composed of layers of compressed, post-consumer recycled paper and biofilm, a plant-based, non petroleum material. This flosser, when placed in the compost, allows moisture and microbes to permeate the material, quickly breaking them down and turning them back into usable organic matter.

What happened to Happi Floss before Shark Tank?

Prior to pitching to the Sharks, Dr. Staci had spent several years working through designs and testing materials and manufacturing techniques for Happi Floss. She had also filed for utility patents in the US, Europe, and Canada. 

In order to get Happi Floss off the ground, Dr. Staci launched an Idiegogo campaign with a flexible goal of $50k. While she did not meet the high-end of her goal, the campaign attracted 484 backers for a total investment of $29,931. At the time of her pitch in the Tank, Happi Floss had still not shipped these presale orders. 

According to Dr. Staci, both in the FAQ section of the Indiegogo campaign, and what she told the Sharks on TV, she was having a very difficult time trying to figure out how to create a manufacturing facility for her new product. 

With only the Indiegogo campaign presales, and no products yet shipped, Happi Floss was still in a very early stage of development when Dr. Staci met the Sharks. 

What do customers think of Happi Floss?

Happi Floss Product

According to the Happi Floss website, the Indiegogo campaign was completed, and the site states, “With 5,000 flossers customer tested to date, positive feedback continues to arrive daily as the Happi Floss team focuses on building the machinery needed create our first batch of one million sustainable flossers. Patents are secured, and Happi Floss is ready to go mainstream, and we are currently seeking investors to help us achieve our growth goals.”

While the company states that they have received a great deal of positive feedback from users, they have not posted a single review on either their website or on the company Facebook page. In fact, we could not find a single customer review for Happi Floss anywhere online. Perhaps it is simply still just too soon in the process for confirmed online reviews. 

When did Happi Floss appear on Shark Tank?

Happi Floss appeared on Shark Tank in Season 14, Episode 18, which aired on March 31st, 2023. The company pitched to regular Sharks Mark Cuban, Lori Greiner, Kevin O’Leary, Daymond John, and recurring Guest Shark Daniel Lubetzky, founder and CEO of KIND Snacks. 

Happi Floss wasn’t the only innovative dental device to try its luck with the Sharks in Season 14, check out our Big Mouth Toothbrush Shark Tank update for another new take on a commonly used dental product.

What happened to Happi Floss on Shark Tank?

Happi Floss founder Dr. Staci Whitman entered the Tank and asked the Sharks for a $200k investment in return for a 10% equity stake in her company.

Dr. Staci began her pitch by telling the Sharks that they all had beautiful smiles for TV, and she was sure that they all flossed daily, and that this was a good thing because cavities and gum disease were two of the most common chronic diseases globally. 

Then, just as Dr. Staci opened an umbrella and thousands of used plastic dental flossers fell on her from above, she asked the Sharks if they were ready for a truth bomb. She said that people who use plastic flossers will create 30,000 pieces of trash in their lifetime, and she informed the Sharks that these single-use plastic flossers will take 400 years or more to break down, and even then, they are likely to release both micro toxins and micro plastics into the environment.

Dr. Staci then introduced her new product, Happi Floss, the world’s first completely compostable dental flosser. She invited the Sharks to have a look at the samples in front of them, and Lori Greiner commented, “So this is like the ones we all know, we see in the store; yours is very similar, but it’s made of paper.”

Daymond started the questions by asking Dr. Staci how she came up with the idea, and she told him the story of being at a dental conference in Hawaii, and while walking along the beach, she was saddened by all of the trash that she saw there. She also said that when she took a closer look at the trash in the water and along the shoreline, she saw a lot of plastic flossers. She then explained that she had an epiphany that there had to be a better way to make this product, something that would keep flossers out of the garbage. 

Dr. Staci also explained that in her pediatric dental practice a lot of parents objected to flossing their children’s teeth both because it was too difficult to do with string, and because Portland, Oregon was such an environmentally-concerned community, many parents refused to use disposable plastic flossers. 

The Sharks also quickly learned that Happi Floss was still pre-revenue, and the company didn’t have any products in the market yet. Kevin O’Leary spoke next, and he told Dr. Staci that he wrote his Master’s  thesis on the dental supply market, and he learned that 3 suppliers controlled the entire market, so he wanted to know why Dr. Staci wouldn’t take this to one of these suppliers and license it to them? Mr. Wonderful didn’t believe that she could make any money selling flossers one at a time. 

Dr. Staci argued that there could be 50% margins on the product, and she saw it as a direct-to-consumer product. She also confirmed for Mark Cuban that she wasn’t selling any yet, but she was in the Tank to get help to set up manufacturing. 

Mr. Wonderful couldn’t believe that she wanted to try to manufacture the product herself, and Lori then wanted to know if Dr. Staci had a patent, and she learned that utility patents were pending in the US, Canada, and Europe. Dr. Staci also admitted that a competitor, Humbleco, was taking over the market, and Mark Cuban wanted to understand how Dr. Staci planned to compete with the competitor. When Dr. Staci answered that she was in the Tank to get help figuring out what to do next, this seemed to really deflate all of the Sharks. 

Guest Shark Daniel Lubetzky remarked, “With all due respect, we do have full time day jobs. We need to rely on the entrepreneur, and then we empower them.” Daniel then also questioned the $2 million valuation for a company with no sales.

Dr. Staci next told the Sharks that she did have nearly $100k in presales from both an Indiegogo campaign and sales from in her practice, but she needed to get the manufacturing started. Kevin O’Leary again asked her, “You’re not even entertaining going to someone who already does this?” Dr. Staci told Mr. Wonderful that she didn’t know who to go to for manufacturing, and the big three dental suppliers weren’t interested in Happi Floss because it was a direct-to-consumer product. 

At this point, the Sharks all seemed a bit frustrated that Dr. Staci didn’t seem to have a solid plan to move forward with marketing and producing the product, and they were ready to state their intentions. 

Did Happi Floss get a deal on Shark Tank?

Dr. Staci Whiman, founder of Happi Floss, was not able to successfully negotiate a deal in the Tank. 

Mr. Wonderful showed his hand first, and he was a bit gruff with the doctor as he said, “I totally disagree with you, I mean, my goodness, it’s dental floss; I can’t even imagine you going into the manufacturing of dental floss. I mean, that’s like a joke.”

While Lori Greiner agreed with O’Leary, she was less harsh, as she told Dr. Staci that her heart was in the right place, but setting up manufacturing was a full time job, so she believed that Dr. Staci really needed to find someone who was already in the space to make the product under license so that Staci would simply receive a royalty.

Daniel joined Lori saying that the doctor’s heart was in the right place, but the company was simply not investible at present. Daymond followed Daniel to the exit, telling Dr. Staci that he believed she would be using his money as tuition. 

Finally, Mark Cuban joined the crowd saying that Dr. Staci simply did not have the business knowledge or experience to fulfill her mission at present, which made her completely dependent on somebody else, and Cuban did not believe that he could help her overcome those obstacles. 

Happi Floss Shark Tank update?

Happi Floss, unlike most companies which appear in the Tank, did not have any products available for sale when its episode aired; thus, the company did not experience the usual boost in sales which accompanies the exposure from the show.

However, Dr Staci told Super Entrepreneur Joe Pardo that following the Happi Floss episode, her inbox was bombarded with more than 1,000 emails, and she had made some new connections. She said as a result of the publicity, she was currently in negotiations concerning selling the intellectual property and taking a royalty under a licensing agreement. While at the same time, Dr. Staci told Pardo that she had also been contacted by potential manufacturing partners. 

After the Shark Tank episode aired, Happi Floss was able to complete the first run of Happi Floss products to fulfill the Indiegogo campaign, but the company website currently states: “Happi Floss has sold out of our initial production run and is currently unavailable for purchase. We are hard at work building the specialized machinery needed to produce millions of flossers for you and all of our sustainably-minded customers. Thank you for your patience and continued support as we grow.”

Finally, with two partners, Dr. Staci has also launched a new product, Fygg, a hydroxyapatite-based toothpaste that is free from fluoride, emulsifiers, surfactants, essential oils and every other harsh, unnecessary ingredient. Fygg products were designed with the principle of removing unnecessary ingredients, and instead using natural, supportive ingredients that will nourish, not harm, your oral microbiome. The website for the new company is active and offering a number of products for sale; however, when we checked the site, they were sold out of 3 of their 4 flavors of toothpaste.