Shark Tank host Mark Cuban surprised a pair of entrepreneurs, as well as all four “shark” investors on the U.S. reality TV show, by offering to buy their small business during Tuesday’s episode, Inc.com said.
Sisters Ellie Brown and Becca Nelson came to the tank seeking $100, 000 for 30 percent of their wearable fabric sticker company evREwares. The company’s flagship product, Sticky Ties, is a collection of reusable stickers consumers can wear on clothing to make it look like they’re wearing bow ties and neckties, the report said.
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While the company has generated $600, 000 in revenue since debuting in 2011, sales have tanked recently, with just $50, 000 in projected revenue for 2014, the website said.
The problem with the business, according to the sharks, is the price of the stickers, which sell for between $4.99 and $7.99. Brown and Nelson made the case that Sticky Ties’s reusability is what warrants a higher price than all other party stickers on the market, but the sharks weren’t biting, the report said.
“Ninety-nine percent of the market doesn’t care that it’s going to last a lifetime, ” said shark Kevin O’Leary. “I think the market has spoken. They don’t like it.”
One by one, “shark” investors Barbara Corcoran, Lori Greiner, Robert Herjavec, and O’Leary all passed on investing in the business. Cuban, however, offered $200, 000 for 100 percent of the mismanaged company, and pledged to keep Brown and Nelson involved as contracted designers, the website said.
“You guys are lost, ” he said. “You have a nice little business, [but] you have no idea what you’re doing.”
After a very emotional conversation that saw both Brown and Nelson burst into tears, the pair initially took Cuban’s offer, but then apparently changed their minds after the show, the report said.
“I promise to take good care of your baby and do the best I can to raise it from the dead, ” Cuban said during the show, trying to cheer them up. “I sold my company for $5.7 billion, and I was sad when I sold it. For about a minute.”