Kettlebells and dumbbells are must-haves for home workouts. But what if you could combine the two to save money and space? Enter the Kettle Gryp, a device that can be attached to a dumbbell to make it function like a kettlebell. Dan Sheppard and Andy Thomas pitched the product on Shark Tank and made a deal with Lori Greiner. As of 2022, Kettle Gryp is worth $3 million.
About the Founders
Daniel Sheppard is from Missoula, Montana and went to Schenectady, New York, to pursue a bachelor’s degree in biology. After college, he became the CEO of Elite Concessions Inc. and later became president of the Pangolin Design Group.
He was best friends with Andrew Thomas from Locust Grove, Georgia. Andy went to Clemson University and studied construction science and engineering. After graduating, he joined the United States Marines and was stationed at Pendleton, California.
Thomas was a helicopter pilot and flight instructor who received several awards before retiring in 2018. Unfortunately, the brave soldier passed away from cancer in late 2021.
Founding the Company
Dan was the person that originally came up with the idea of making the product. He is a fitness enthusiast who wanted a way to save more money for his exercise equipment at home.
He thought maybe he could turn his old dumbbells into kettlebells, and the first sketch of the Kettle Gryp was born. The business executive sent his drawing to Andy, who believed the concept could work.
They manufactured the product and made it so that it could hold up to 55-pound dumbbells. The ingenious invention was first sold in 2016, and after about four years, the startup made $3.6 million in lifetime sales.
Shark Tank Appearance
The business was booming during the pandemic as gyms were closed. In 2021, they needed a strategic partner to help them expand into new markets. They entered the Tank in season 13, seeking $300,000 for a 10% equity stake.
The guys did a great job demonstrating the product and allowed the Sharks to try it. The Sharks were impressed when they revealed their lifetime sales. During the time of the pitch, they also had $680,000 in sales for 2021 and forecasted sales of $1 million for the year.
Kevin O’Leary was the first to make an offer of $300,000 for 20%. O’Leary shared that he already owns equity in PRX Performance, a home gym equipment company. Lori Greiner was quiet during the pitch but also interested. She made a similar offer to Mr. Wonderful’s but wanted preferred stock instead. They countered at 15% and Lori happily accepted.
After Shark Tank
Kettle Gryp’s episode was filmed in 2021 and aired in early 2022. Shortly after filming, Andrew sadly passed away on December 16 2021 after a short battle with cancer. The former marine was honored in a tear-jerking tribute on Shark Tank.
Despite the tragic circumstances, Dan Sheppard pushed on as the sole owner of the company. Kettle Gryp is now available to buy on Ebay, Amazon and smaller stores such as Rogue Fitness. They haven’t expanded into retail yet as eCommerce is still the main driver of sales.
Kettle Gryp’s utility patent hasn’t stopped other companies from creating knockoff versions. In late 2021, they only had two copycat products, now they are a lot more.
The product is a huge seller on Amazon, with an average rating of 4.5 stars from 8,281 reviews. Customers love the product, and this helped the company flourish even more. Currently, the business is valued at an estimated $3 million.