Here's What Went Down With Grace & Lace After Shark Tank

Back in 2010, Grace & Lace founder Melissa Hinnant accidentally discovered her love of sewing during one of the most difficult times of her life. Melissa was pregnant with her daughter, but was sadly told by doctors that her little girl may not survive the birth. "I was rushed into emergency surgery to try to save her, and spent the remainder of my pregnancy in the hospital on strict horizontal bedrest. The days were incredibly long, and since I couldn't even sit up, I just had to do something with my hands!" Melissa explained on Grace & Lace's website. "I started with a vision to crochet this tiny baby girl a blanket. And thus began and spurred my desire to sew, sew, sew."

Tragically, Melissa's daughter passed away. As she mourned the unimaginable loss, she found herself focusing more and more on her material creations, involving sewing, knitting, and crocheting. The following year, Melissa created a pair of leg warmers, which proved very popular. "Everywhere I went, people would stop and ask me where I got them. I put them up for sale online and in a matter of days I was overwhelmed with orders I could not possibly fulfill on my own!" she shared. Thus, Grace & Lace was created. 

With all that demand and not enough resources to fulfill her potential orders, Melissa turned to "Shark Tank." She was joined by her husband, Rick Hinnant, as she went in front of the entrepreneurs — and this is what happened.

Grace & Lace really impressed the Sharks

Melissa and Rick Hinnant appeared on Season 5 of the ABC show, which aired in November 2013. They told Lori Greiner, Mark Cuban, Kevin O'Leary, Barbara Corcoran, and Robert Herjavec they were looking to give away 10% of the business for $175,000. The two presented their knitted boot socks to the Sharks, but their excitement for the couple and their business really grew when Rick shared they'd had over $1.2 million in sales the year prior. "Wow. That's very good!" Herjavec even told the couple. In a YouTube video, Rick admitted he felt their numbers changed everything. "That wasn't something I was expecting," Melissa said of their numbers piquing the Sharks' interest. "In my mind, I didn't think I was going to get out there and say these numbers and we were going to shock them."

Greiner dropped out because she didn't relate to the product. Corcoran was first to make an offer, presenting the idea of giving them $87,500 in exchange for 5% of the business — as long as another Shark was willing to work with her. O'Leary was also in, telling the couple he'd give $175,000 but for 20% of the company, though he'd go down to 10% once he'd got his investment back. Cuban and Herjavec also made offers, but, after some back and forth, Herjavec dropped out. Corcoran then changed her offer to the full amount (with half in credit) — and the Hinnants accepted the deal.

Grace & Lace's sales exploded after Shark Tank

Speaking on "Shark Tank" after landing a deal with Barbara Corcoran, Rick Hinnant shared how happy he and Melissa Hinnant were to be moving forward with the entrepreneur. "We went with our gut and it worked out with the exact partner we wanted," Rick said. "Absolutely incredible. It couldn't have gone better." Melissa also shared how happy she was to start work with Corcoran, explaining she felt they were on the same wavelength. "I think we'll just pair really well with her," she shared. Corcoran, of course, does have some experience with clothing brands in the tank, as she also invested in Mix Bikini.

It didn't take long for Grace & Lace to see the "Shark Tank" effect take hold, either. Melissa told CBN in 2022 the company saw unprecedented success after their episode aired. "We did a million dollars overnight in sales and no company in the history of the five years that 'Shark Tank' had aired before we were on had ever done that volume in sales," she recalled.

During "Shark Tank" Season 8, the two appeared on the show again to give an update on what had happened since. In the clip, Rick shared they'd amassed a total of $19 million in sales, while Melissa proudly revealed that they'd gone from six employees to 47. Both also opened up about how they'd manage to use their profits to fund their charitable efforts, which included sponsoring orphans in India.

And Grace & Lace is still thriving in 2023

Grace & Lace really does appear to have only gotten bigger and better since appearing on "Shark Tank." As of November 2023, the company is still in business and appears to be thriving more than ever. The company has gone far beyond the knitted boot socks that grabbed the Sharks' attention, selling everything from sweaters and pants to jewelry, bags, and slippers on its official website. The brand only had around 25 products in its catalog when Melissa Hinnant and Rick Hinnant appeared on "Shark Tank," but that number had risen to 450 products by 2016. In October 2023, Melissa proudly celebrated the company's 12th birthday on Instagram.

The company has also amassed quite a following of loyal customers on social media. Grace & Lace's Facebook page boasts 276,000 followers, as well as another 112,000 on Instagram, plus a further more than 2,000 followers on TikTok. And all that loyalty is clearly translating into money. Rick told CBN in 2022 that there was at least one year their business brought in revenue of $3 million. "Now, we've got goals of doing around $15 million this year," he said.

Grace & Lace is determined to keep doing good

In addition to expanding their product lines and setting bigger goals, it seems like Melissa Hinnant is ready to expand Grace & Lace. On her Instagram page, she reposted a video from Grace & Lace's TikTok where she shared some of her own recipes. Melissa has also been open about her more personal struggles, sharing in September 2023 that she was experiencing a health issue that required surgery. "I'll heal up and feel a million times better," she wrote on Instagram.

As well as making Grace & Lace bigger and better every year, it seems Melissa and Rick Hinnant are determined to give back at the same time. Prior to becoming a businessperson, Melissa went to India to help those living in poverty, and now she and Rick are using their business to help even more people. "We're here to change the world," Rick told Success. Grace & Lace teamed up with the charity Angel House and have rescued hundreds of orphans through their charitable efforts. "Everyone on this planet has gone through something difficult. We all have that in common, and we can come out the other side doing immense good out of tragedy. Don't waste the pain," Rick shared.