What’s one piece of advice you would give to small business owners and future Shark Tank contestants? Two things: 1) Prepare. 2) You’ve got to have confidence. If you go in with any doubts, you’re gonna get shredded! I also think its important to dress nicely. This is your big chance—you’re on TV in front of billionaires!
… And if all else fails bring a cute dog? [Laughs]. Yes! Before you do any of that, get the best dog ever. Villy can always calm a room. He’s not just a prop– people naturally gravitate towards him. They love him.
What have you been up to with Mark and Barbara since the show? I can send Mark and email at 1am and within 15 minutes he’ll write me back. It’s unbelievable. He’s a little more hardcore [than Barbara]. I probably talk to and Skype with Barbara more, she’s a bit gentler and always very positive. I think Barbara’s awesome
How have they helped Villy Customs? Barbara helped us get NYU students to do a study of our program. Students came up with business strategies and marketing programs for the company. Mark and Barbara also hook me up with people when I need to talk to a specific person. We do weekly updates and reports all the time, which I’m not used to, but it keeps me up to date on the nuances of my business.
How’s Villy Customs doing from a sales perspective? It’s been fantastic! The first month we did about 5x our usual month. It’s continued really well, and we’ve inked a bunch of corporate deals including companies including Mary Kay Cosmetics and Vitamin Shop. We’ve also done a few bikes for some famous people like Scarlet Johansen, Jerry Jones from the Cowboys. We also recently teamed up with high-end celebrity jewelry designer, Helen Ficalora, and created a special edition bike series for her.
Any parting thoughts you’d like to share with the Shark Tank community? It’s been the chance of a lifetime. It’s definitely something I’ll never forget. I can’t believe I was in the show for 10 minutes but I get stopped all the time! It’s some great notoriety all around, and I get invited to things like I’m actually some big thing! It’s kinda like my 15 minutes of fame—definitely the chance of a lifetime!