Psi Bands are acupressure wrist bands that claim to help with nausea relief. The company mainly helps people suffering from morning sickness and motion sickness. Founder Romy Taormina pitched her product on Shark Tank but wasn’t able to get a deal. As of 2023, Psi Bands is worth an estimated $3 million.
About the Founder
Romy Taormina is a mom of two from Pacific Grove, California. Taormina got a bachelor’s degree in business and marketing from California Polytechnic State University.
Growing up she felt passionate about entrepreneurship. At university Romy became a member of the American Marketing Association. After graduating, she pursued her dream of starting a company.
Psi Bands has now been in business for around 17 years. In 2021, she tried something new by becoming a program coordinator at Leadership Monterey County, conducting classes and outreach to community leaders.
Founding the Company
While pregnant, Taormina suffered terribly from morning sickness. She used existing acupressure wrist bands to avoid vomiting and nausea. However, Romy wasn’t satisfied with them as they weren’t stylish or waterproof.
She designed her own version of the product and made them to fit her needs. After researching the market potential and getting clearance from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Psi Bands were released.
In 2006, they were launched under Psi Health Solutions. Apart from moms and hospital patients, she marketed them to boating communities because they were waterproof. In 2012, the business made nearly $1 million in sales.
Shark Tank Appearance
In 2013, Romy Taormina was already selling internationally but needed to raise capital to keep up with demands. She appeared on Shark Tank seeking $250,000 for a 10% equity stake.
The Sharks were skeptical of the product and they weren’t convinced she had enough medical proof to show it works. The presenter revealed her impressive sales, but the Sharks were disappointed with an 11% profit margin. From $1 million in sales, she only made a net profit of $110,000.
She revealed the company had $600,000 in debt which included her $100,000 deferred salary. The Sharks were annoyed as it’s normal for entrepreneurs to not take a salary. Kevin O’Leary offered $250,000 for 40% but Romy rejected as the equity was too high.
After Shark Tank
Although the pitch didn’t go as planned, Romy is still operating the business. The fact her episode was controversial made for an entertaining watch and has driven a lot of free publicity for her brand.
Some viewers also didn’t like how the company claims to help with nausea for chemotherapy. The Sharks in particular scrutinize founders anytime they make medical claims. This reminded me of the Minus Cal pitch where things got heated with Cuban!
Psi Bands later got partnership deals with major retail brands including Target, CVS, Pharmaca, Walgreens, H-E-B, and REI. You can also find their products online at Amazon and their official website, PsiBands.com. On Amazon, their bestselling wristband design has an average star rating of 3.9 from 2,781 customer reviews. Currently, Psi Bands is worth an estimated $3 million.