With three new episodes left in the season, Shark Tank excitement was at an all-time high during the most recent episode. QVC Queen Lori Grenier made her return to Shark Tank, ready to take on the men and show ‘em how it’s done. Last night’s episode featured some amazing ideas from contestants with heartwarming stories, and unlike the last new episode, theSharks were ready to make some investments. If you missed the action, here’s a recap of how everything unfolded:
First into the Shark Tank was Barbara Lampugnale, and founder of Duality Cosmetics’ NailPak. Barbara went before the Sharks seeking a $50,000 investment in exchange for 20% of her all-in-one nail polish products. As the mother to six (!) daughters, Barbara found that a great way for the family to spend quality time together was to do each others’ nails on Sunday nights. This weekly manicure date led Barbara to invent NailPak, a product that combines nail polish, remover, and a nail file into one convenient package. At $14.99 a pop for a product that costs only $3/unit to manufacture, the Sharks were instantly interested in the product. Lori was one of the first to show interest, which prompted Kevin to offer to do a combined investment with her. With her ties to QVC, Lori made no bones about her feelings regarding Kevin’s offer when she told him, “Look, if I’m gonna put it on QVC, I don’t need your help.” Lori’s initial offer was $50,000 for 51% of NailPak, and Kevin was in at $50,000 for 40%. While Lori’s QVC connection certainly sweetened her deal, Barbara liked Kevin’s equity offer of 40% better. Sensing the deal may slip through her fingers, Lori quickly revised her offer to $50,000 for 40%. Barbara’s decision was obvious as she looked at Lori and said one word: “done.”
Shark Tank fans will remember Talbott Teas, a company featured on the show earlier this season. An update on the company, who made a deal with Kevin, revealed that after the show Daymond and Barbara also jumped in to help make Talbott Teas a success. The company has since been bought by Jamba Juice for an undisclosed (but we suspect very large) amount of money, and the founders couldn’t be happier with the result!
Second into the Shark Tank was Debbie Brooks and her husband Paul, representing Debbie Brooks Handbags and seeking a $540,000 investment for 20% of the company. As expected, the Sharks were skeptical of a company valued at $2.7 million dollars, but Paul explained to the Sharks exactly what he would do with their investment. He planned to put the money into marketing, and increasing the amount of distribution channels that the purses are available in (currently, the line is mostly sold in jewelry stores). Although Debbie Brooks Handbags was projected to gross $1.6 million in sales in 2011 (for a net profit of $400,000), the Sharks just weren’t interested in an investment of over half a million dollars. With that, they were all out.
Next up was duo, Nikki Bilski and Lindsay Johnson, founders of the interchangeable clothing line TriMi Tank (pronounced “try my tank”). The idea came to the two moms while at a 6am hockey practice for their sons, and now the women are seeking $57,000 in exchange for 30% of the company. The idea behind the clothing line is simple: it’s a line of basic dresses, shirts, and tank tops with interchangeable straps in a variety of styles, from beaded to feathered. Resident style Shark Lori was quick to ask the women what type of consumer research they had done, and how potential customers felt about the clothing. With only 100 units sold to date, the answer was clear to the Sharks: female consumers didn’t seem interested, and neither did they. No deal.
Last into the tank was power couple Mark and Hanna Lim, founders of Lollacup, a straw sippy cup for children. The Lims asked the Sharks for $100,000 investment, with a 15% equity stake in Lollacup. The style and design of Lollacup is simple, and it was born from the Lim’s need for a straw sippy cup that was easy for a child to use. On their pediatrician’s recommendation, the Lims wanted their daughters to use straw sippy cups, rather than traditional sippy cups, however they found the girls often had difficulty drinking from the straws due to their leak-proof design. As usual, the Sharks wanted to know the numbers: Lollacup boasts $30,000 in sales in just 4 months, the cups cost $4.50 to make, and are sold at $9 wholesale and $18 retail. Ever the money Shark, Kevin was quick to make an offer of $100,000 for 50% of the company, under the condition that the Lims off-shore the manufacturing (Lollacup is currently made in the USA) to decrease costs to less than $2/unit. Kevin wasn’t the only one to smell a deal, and the other Sharks put in some other big offers. Mark responded by starting his infamous “24-second shot clock” to put pressure on the Lims to make a deal, and they did. In the end the Lims made a (contingency-free) deal with Mark and Robert for $100,000 investment in exchange for a 40% share in the company.
We saw some really inspiring stories in tonight’s episode, as well as some ideas that just didn’t quite resonate with the Sharks. Tonight’s episode also brought up the off-shoring debate that we’ve seen earlier in the season. Fans, what did you think about tonight’s contestants and deals? Let us know in the comments!