Business partners and life partners Elyce and Nathan Nillany came on Shark Tank season 12 to pitch for their single-piece swimsuit business, Byoot Company. Elyce had never thought of going down the entrepreneurial path, but when she worked for Nathan’s skincare business, she realized she could never go back to working for others. She liked being her boss, and Nathan has wholeheartedly supported her journey since then.
The couple’s determination to solve their personal problem with single-piece swimsuits led to the conception of Byoot Company. The couple went from making soaps in their basement to solving fashion problems in just a few days. They sought $85,000 for 30% of their company.
Let’s see how the Sharks reacted to their goofy pitch!
What Is Byoot Company?
Byoot Company is a swimsuit fashion brand creating single-piece swimsuits with buttons on the sides. The buttons allow easy access to your private parts, making it easy for women to use bathrooms without getting completely naked whenever they need to do their business. Byoot offers functional value without compromising on the fashion and design of your swimsuit. Now, you can go around doing jumping jacks and playing watersports and still look cute.
Husband and wife team Elyce and Nathan Billany delivered a theatrical pitch for their swimsuit business, Byoot Company, on Shark Tank season 12. The couple opened their pitch by twirling to the tune of some lively music and reminiscing how their business came to be when they were on a trip to Jamaica. Elyce learned she was pregnant, which entailed more trips to the bathroom in her single-piece swimsuit. Realizing that she needed a quick fix for the problem, Elyce began to design a single-piece swimsuit with buttons on the sides on the flight back home.
Elyce explained that the ladies would know how uncomfortable it is to remove everything in the bathroom to do their business. The problem intensifies when your swimsuit is wet and your body is sticky. The couple demonstrated how their swimsuits help ladies do their business easily without embarrassing themselves. They ended their pitch by claiming their business rectifies the most annoying fashion problems and allows women to show off their bodies confidently.
Guest Shark Kendra Scott complemented Elyce for being courageous enough to wear her swimsuit to pitch her business on national TV. Kevin wanted clarification on the target audience, and Elyce told him that the swimsuit was not only for pregnant women but for women of all sizes and shapes. Lori and Kendra admitted that Elyce’s design solved a problem, but Kevin struggled with the concept. Additionally, Kendra complemented Elyce on the elegant design and how the sheer cloth around her belly made her look gorgeous. She was impressed by her design and liked the retro vibe of her swimwear.
Barbara was curious about how the couple started the business, and Elyce shared that the trip to Jamaica has been instrumental to their journey. She explained that when she first received the bulk order, the swimsuits were not as universally fit as she had hoped, so she adjusted the torso region and included the mesh panel, which Kendra loved.
Kevin inquired about their sales, and Elyca revealed they had made $10,000 in sales. She added that once the orders started rolling, she realized that she needed to do something different, so she introduced custom fitting, which allowed her customers to get on the phone or zoom call with her and tell her exactly how they wanted their swimsuits to fit.
Barbara asked if the couple knew their demographics, and Elyce replied that most of their customers were 40 plus which they didn’t know at the time designing their swimsuits. Elyce told the Sharks the younger clients steered more towards affordable pricing while the women above 40 were willing to pay more for comfortable and fashionable one-piece swimwear.
Barbara explained that the swimsuits market is one of the toughest, and she had personal troubles with it while working with another Shark Tank business, Raising Wild.
Barbara was the first Shark to go out as she didn’t want to go down the same path the second time.
Lori appreciated Elyce for coming this far, but she didn’t think the business was a suitable investment for her, so she was out.
Mark came in hot with business advice and told the couple that they could put the inventory aspect on hold and just be the “swimsuit whisperer.” Women would love to hear what makes them look flattering in a business; once they have a base customer, they can expand. Despite the advice, Mark thought the business didn’t align with his portfolio, so he was out.
Kevin told the couple they were trying to break into a market that rarely returned profits, so he wasn’t coming along for the ride.
Kendra Scott encouraged Elyce and told her not to lose hope because struggle and hard work always pay off. She offered the couple $50,000 as a loan with 10% interest and 5% equity so the business could ask for her advice.
Kevin called Kendra savage, but Elyca and Nathan accepted the deal.
Nathan and Elyce already had Byoot Bikinis in the pipeline when they appeared on Shark Tank season 12, so they are likely working towards expanding their line with new designs.
Our Review of Byoot Company
We agree with Barbara that the swimwear market is not easy for amateurs or even for experts. There are always cheaper alternatives available online and in retail, and the fabric cost is difficult to nail down when you don’t have a fixed number for trunk length per size. Byoot Company has little to no chance of ever becoming a million dollar, especially when they don’t have a patent for their design. The company is bound to be a business catering to a selective audience without a licensing deal.
Pros of Byoot Company
- Quick and easy
- Custom fitting calls
Cons of Byoot Company
- Sells exclusively from their website
- Above average price range
Who Is Byoot Company for?
Byoot Company is for all those women who want to get out and play on the beach without worrying about the functional aspect of their swimwear. If you’ve ever felt frustrated about getting naked to use the bathroom in your one-piece swimwear, you’ll appreciate the convenience offered by Byoot’s button design.
Are There Any Alternatives?
You can use a simple bikini to avoid the problem Byoot Company solves, but if you only like wearing one-piece swimwear, there are plenty of alternatives available in the market. Brands like Barbara’s Raising Wild offer similar comforts, if not more; still, only a few can offer the accessibility of Byoot’s button design.
Our Final Thoughts
Byoot Company managed to close a loan deal with Kendra Scott, which was a great deal but didn’t add much value to their stagnant business model. We believe that Byoot Company would have been able to make more money if they introduced their product as a boutique speciality or became a swimwear consultant, just like Mark suggested.