- Special Features
Blogs & Columns
- Fun & Games
This week's episode of Shark Tank features stylish baby shoes, an emergency food-replacement pill, children’s swimwear with sun protection, and custom playing cards for exercise.
Betsy and Berry are first into the tank with their business “SwimZip,” a sun-protective swimwear line. The brand features very stylish tops and bottoms that block 98 percent of the sun’s UV rays. They are seeking $60,000 for 5 percent equity in their company.
They argue that traditional sun protection methods — like applying sunscreen — are a hassle. Their business has gross sales of $225,000 in their third year since inception. Kevin O’Leary believes the evaluation is too high. Fashion mogul Daymond John sees potential for growth, but believes it is too early to invest. Betsy becomes emotional as she reveals that she was diagnosed with skin cancer at just 26 years of age. The Sharks seem very moved by her emotionally gripping story.
Robert Herjavec offers some good advice to the budding entrepreneurs, but does not make an offer. Mark commends Betsy on her courage and toughness, but is reluctant to invest in SwimZip. Lori Greiner sees a lot of herself in Betsy, and offers $60,000 for a 20 percent equity stake. Betsy's eyes light up as she smiles ear-to-ear, thrilled to hear Lori’s offer. However, she fires back with a counter offer of $120,000 for 20 percent. The Sharks shake their head in disbelief, insinuating that Betsy is becoming too greedy. Lori is not happy about the counter offer and is starting to lose confidence in Betsy. Nevertheless, after Betsy and Berry consult with one another, they decide to accept Lori’s deal.
Update: In season 2, Kimberly Nelson made a deal with Barbara Corcoran for her homemade cake business, "Daisy Cakes." The company did well for the first few months, but then struggled and lost some credibility among their customer base after making some poor hiring decisions. Their projected sales over the next year are over $3 million.
Next up is Phil Black, a former Navy SEAL with a simple way to stay fit. His company “FitDeck” is a custom deck of fitness playing cards that makes exercise convenient and fun. He is seeking $300,000 for a 20 percent stake. Phil sold 55,000 units last year, grossing $640,000, but he only broke even in terms of profit. He shares an anecdote about how he came up with the product, saying that the idea was based on a card game he played in college called “PUG,” short for “push-up game.”
The Sharks are impressed when he mentions that he graduated from Yale and became an investment banker before becoming a SEAL. He then attended the Harvard School of Law upon leaving the military. Robert likes the idea of the cards, but is disinclined to invest because of the lack of profit that the business has accumulated. While the Sharks are amazed by his story and admire his passion, none are willing to bite the bait, and Phil is left without a deal.
Daryl Stevenett is next up with his business “LifeCaps,” a pill that helps people get proper nutrition during emergency situations.
He starts off explaining to the Sharks that he hasn’t eaten any real food in eight days, but is still mentally alert and physically able. LifeCaps, he says, is perfect for survival situations such as earthquakes, tornadoes, and hurricanes. Daryl is seeking $200,000 for 30 percent equity in his business.
In five years, he’s made $440,000 in gross sales. He claims he loses one pound of weight per day when he takes the pills. Mark calls him a “snake salesman” after Daryl says his product is “FDA compliant” when Lori asks if it is FDA approved. The investors don’t see where they can make a lot of money, because customers will only need to buy one bottle at a time, and will only use in cases of emergency. Daryl leaves the tank without a deal.
Last into the tank is Susan Peterson with her business “Freshly Picked.” Her business line features stylish baby moccasin shoes that are colorful and handmade. She is seeking $150,000 for 10 percent of her company. The Sharks are delighted to hear her sales of $500,000 for this year. When asked how she came up with the money to start her business, she shares a tremendous and inspiring story.
Susan’s brother owns a window repair business, and she convinced her brother to let her have all of the old windows he replaced. She spent the summer banging the glass out of the windows so she could sell the aluminum frames for scrap. She earned $200, which enabled her to buy enough leather to make 40 pairs of moccasins. The business grew from there.
Mark claps and says, “That’s literally the best story I’ve ever heard to start a business.”
Mark and Robert don’t think they are the right partners for the baby shoe business, so they go out. Kevin wants to go in on a deal with Daymond, and wants no equity, but a royalty of 7 percent, and drops to 5 percent once he recoups his money. However, Daymond wants to do his own deal: $150,000 for 25 percent. Susan is resistant at first, but finally agrees to terms with Daymond.
Don’t miss next week’s episode of Shark Tank on Friday at 9|8c on ABC. If you do happen to miss it, check back next week for a recap!
image: ABC Medianet