“Fridge Fronts” Magnetic Appliance Covers Appear on Shark Tank

Jan Anderson and Jason Augenstein took their magnetic appliance covers to the Shark Tank last week. The invention is simple: it’s a magnetic, decorative sheet that can be applied to the surface of an appliance to dress it up a bit.

Anderson explained that the idea came to her while she was living in military housing. She had an itch to make her standard, military-issue refrigerator better match her standard, military-issue walls.  Thus, the Fridge Fronts appliance cover was born.

Initially, I thought it sounded like pretty good idea.  I could even see custom Fridge Fronts selling well with a market Anderson hadn’t mentioned to the Sharks – namely, college kids.  (Trust me, those people will slap a photo of Jimi Hendrix on anything.)

imageBut then I saw the price of a Fridge Front – at $110 (shipped) for the lowest-priced model, and up to $160 for a custom set, I understood why she didn’t mention college kids as part of her targeted demographic.

Holy cow that’s an expensive magnet!

To put it in perspective, consider that you can buy a brand new full-sized refrigerator/freezer combo from Sears for just $390. I just don’t see many college kids paying nearly half the price of a new refrigerator for a magnet. Heck, I don’t most regular people doing that either. Well, except for maybe Apple users.

It looks like Anderson and Augenstein have at least one issued patent on the Fridge Fronts invention, #6840773, Decorative magnetic sheet and method for decorating an appliance, and have filed an application for a second. (11/473,603, Methods and apparatus for decorative sheeting for an appliance). 

I noticed that the duo has filed to protect another innovation as well – in this one, they use magnetic panels to decorate (that is, “skin”) a person’s luggage.

You can purchase FridgeFronts from the FridgeFronts website here

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