Instead, she is taking the good with the bad, the lessons learned from a recession-induced failed business and is turning it around. Not only is she helping others, but is an entrepreneur once again, making and selling her New Orleans-based product—while, of all things, having fun doing so.
During part I of my interview with Ms. Lloyd, we discussed her prior entrepreneurship experiences, her success on Shark Tank and her attempts to maintain a business selling a product that her partner, Daymond John, recommended the “unthinkable” to all business owners: “Don’t throw good money after bad”.
The great recession, that impacted the lives of tens of millions across America, hit home with her TC Pets product. Sadly, due to the economy and market forces, she shut it down.
Still, the experience with Shark Tank and Daymond was still a real asset for her. She became a consultant to him on some of his projects. Not bad for a person who graduated from what she jokingly calls “The School of Hard Knocks”.
With TC Pets as history, she felt it was time for her to move on. Laden with debt and a marriage going in different directions, it was a classic moment for a change of venue and a "fresh start".
THE FRESH START
Lisa moved from Arizona to New Orleans.
“I had a friend who told me I was born to be in New Orleans, and I had to come here so, I moved sight-unseen, to New Orleans, and I have not looked back since I’ve been here", she said smilingly.
New Orleans has now been her home for over four years. With her business experiences, especially that of being a licensing expert--with at the time, 20 years of experience--she became a natural fit for the thriving young exploding entrepreneurial community developing since the Hurricane Katrina catastrophe.
Currently, she serves as the entrepreneur resident of VetLaunch which helps military vets launch businesses. She is an entrepreneur resident of the Big Idea, a "pitch" program held during the city's Entrepreneurship Week. Lisa Lloyd also is an entrepreneur mentor for Idea Village, helping others "kickstart their businesses".
Her participation in the business community does not end there. While making her new start, in her new home, New Orleans, she encountered a new face to an old product.
UNMASKING NEW ORLEANS
While enjoying her first Mardi Gras, she saw the many disguises worn by costumers in revelry. Obviously, masks are as old as civilization itself, but, wouldn’t easy-to-apply yet elegant tattoo masks work as a new product?
After some research, Ms. Lloyd decided there would be a need--thus, another business opportunity.
However, the time just was not ripe for her to pursue this endeavor. Three years later, it was. So, she decided to act. Her obligations from TC Pets were now paid off. She also had some money to invest. It still seemed like a good idea. Thus, a new product with an inviting name, and a new venture, “Masque Rage”, was born.
The serial entrepreneur could look back at her prior successes and failures to know what might work.
"This was a very low barrier to entry because the margins are very good, it’s lightweight, I don’t have the issues with the boxing and shipping” and all the issues she said she had with TC Pets.
"All of the learnings that came from that, I've been able to apply to this", Lisa Lloyd said.
Lloyd says “Masque Rage” is very easy to apply. She started out with 10 designs and now is up to 16.
Besides its beauty, the product’s strength is its simplicity. "It's the same type of temporary tattoo you would get out of a bubble gum machine or cracker jacks", the businesswoman said. But, the major improvements she has made was her calculating the best ratio for “a one-size fits all mask, which she said, "technically is about 99% of the population". Perhaps even better, "anybody can put this on in about three minutes".
Thus, it’s so easy. It’s also patent pending.
Of course, like any product and business, there are occasional growing pains.
The initial masks were made in China. She recently turned to a domestic manufacturer, but the quality of the Chinese manufacturing and customer service, she says, is superior. She will continue perfecting her creations and hopes to permanently make her product inside the US.
Meanwhile, her new rave, “Masque Rage”, is in over 70 stores all over the world (Visit MasqueRage.com for locations of stores) although she just launched the business in October 2015. Ms. Lloyd sold roughly 1500 masks between October and January and another 9000 during this recent Mardi Gras. They are competitively priced, generally $10 per set. Most stores are selling them at $9.99 and they are being sold in the French Quarter in the range of $12.
IT’S IN HER BLOOD
Her current success certainly does not surprise Shark Tanker, Daymond John. In the recent “Beyond the Tank” segment broadcasted two weeks ago, John said "Lisa has had a good time, she's had a bad time. But, you know what? She knows that failure is the key to her success. It's in Lisa's blood. She's an inventor, she's an entrepreneur, she will not stop. That's why i decided to partner with Lisa and bring her into my company to teach my new Shark Tank guys and girls, how to operate the business."
Not bad, coming from a self-made multi-millionaire!
With what might appear to be a full plate, Lloyd said she works with John on an "as needed basis when he has companies or inventors, in particular, to come along with a product that he knows wouldn't necessarily make a good business but would make for good licensing".
Which could be a great opportunity also for local entrepreneurs as she is able to help certain products and businesses connect with Daymond's accelerator under his tutelage?
Meanwhile, Lisa continues to help local businesses if and once they apply and get accepted into Idea Village, Propeller or VetLaunch accelerators. Also, people needing a consultation with their inventions and the licensing can contact her at Lloydmarketing.com.
Her energies and efforts unsurprisingly do not stop here. Ms. Lloyd is working on a national campaign infomercial where people can learn how to invent and to license. Also, A & E and The History Channel are interested in a reality show about the efforts of VetLaunch and how they are helping veterans transition into entrepreneurship.
Lisa Lloyd has made New Orleans her home. She probably could not have found a better fit. The city, the home of the Jazz Festival and the French Quarter Festival has the reputation of throwing a party on every city block.
So, don't be surprised if you see a lovely lady, wearing a mask of intrigue, during one of these kinds of events. It might be Lisa Lloyd, entrepreneur, an expert in licensing, Shark Tank grad, businesswoman, a consultant for Daymond John and others, parading with product in hand, helping others put on a new face as they get into the spirit.