You have probably heard about recycled art and have seen it in museums. Remember that episode of Mr. Bean where he sees a street artist’s masterpiece made of various objects and assumes its trash? Well, the type of art we are not talking about is… art in clear form. It uses chopsticks. Hence the name chopstick art!
Yes, it’s pretty generic, but the art sold under the name is not. It contributes to sustainability and environmental conservation.
Did you know that billions of chopsticks that are for single-use are consumed every year? Twenty-five million bamboo plants and trees are cut down to meet this demand. As a result, a huge amount of money and energy is wasted on something that is used just for 15 minutes.
Bryan Parks learned about this while having lunch with a friend in China. He was using chopsticks to eat his food. This gave Bryan an idea. Why not use these chopsticks to make something beautiful. His entrepreneurial brain worked around the challenges and came up with a business plan — he would design home accessory products with chopsticks that would be not only beautiful and compelling but also raise awareness about how single-use chopsticks have a negative impact after disposal.
He named his creation Chopstick Art.
Bryan’s chopstick art is made by collecting single-use or post-use bamboo chopsticks from restaurants. They are sanitized in a solution at an extremely high temperature and then dried. They are sorted by shape and size, colored using plant dyes, and finally used to create a product.
The result is a beautiful basket or soap dish that pairs well with eastern aesthetics and western conservationism, complementing any décor.
Is the Company Still Active?
Chopstick Art is active and kicking. Bryan is still selling his products through the company’s official website and on Amazon. However, due to limited stocks, their most running item – collapsible basket – is not available worldwide.
How Did the Shark Tank Pitch Go?
Bryan Parks appeared in Ep.3 on Shark Tank Season 1, looking for $100,000 for a 10% stake in his company. He showed his chopsticks to the Sharks and explained how they are used. He tells the story of how Chopstick Art was born.
Barbara is happy with the product and smiles, but Kevin has something else on his mind. He asks if these chopsticks have been used, and Bryan says yes, but he tells them they have been thoroughly cleaned and sanitized. Bryan tells the Sharks about his best creation, which is the basket. He claims his basket keeps fruits and vegetables safe because of air circulation. Bryan then folds the basket and shows them to the Sharks, which impresses Robert.
Bryan has a couple of more products on the table, which he shows to the Sharks. When it comes to the numbers, Bryan tells the Sharks that he started his business five years ago. Since then, it has sold around half a million products.
When Robert asks Bryan how much of his own money he has put into the business, Bryan says $100,000. Barbara is shocked by the numbers. When Kevin questions his profits, Bryan says he has made all his sales with no advertising.
Robert says he doesn’t see any potential in the investment when Bryan confirms that their money will go to a safe place. Kevin once again looks at the products and says that not every product is worth having. They just have a nice look to them. Robert and Kevin back out.
Barbara says that Chopstick Art is not Shark Tank worthy, and she backs out. Daymond says that the product won’t be able to garner attention because it’s too small, and he backs out as well.
Bryan is told that none of the Sharks looked remotely close to investing. In an interview, he said he was bummed out that the Sharks didn’t see any value in the products, but he plans to continue with his business.
Our Review of Chopstick Art
The impact of single-use chopsticks on forests is unknown. Now, more than ever, we need to start adopting green practices and reduce our footprint. If you like to eat your food with chopsticks, why not go with reusable ones?
We already have reusable glasses and straws, and many stores have switched to paper bags from plastic bags. The idea of introducing reusable utensils makes Chopstick Art a winner in our eyes. As for the art, it’s a welcome addition to a market littered with plastic home accessories.
Pros of Chopstick Art
- Ecologically safe art made for chopsticks
- The art is painted using natural plant dye
- Collapsible basket saves space and is available in 30 different colors
- Stainless steel chopsticks in 5 different colors
Cons of Chopstick Art
- The company offers a total of just 3 products
Who is Chopstick Art for?
Chopstick Art does not have a specific market. It targets everyone who likes their art unique and recycled.
Are There Any Alternatives?
At the time Chopstick Art was introduced to the public on Shark Tank, it had no direct competitors. Yes, plenty of companies sell home accessories made with recyclable items but none use chopsticks.
A quick search online will reveal that the competition is still small. One name that pops up is Chop Value. The company is more popular than Chopstick Art due to its microfactory concept. Their products are available in more than ten countries.
Their responsible manufacturing process led them to receive the award Best For The World: Environment from B Lab for being a B Corp that achieved the highest scores in five impact areas.
What makes this company stand out more is that they offer many products than Chopstick Art and for homes, as well as offices. They even offer games made of chopsticks.
Our Final Thoughts
As of 2021, Chopstick Art is making $200,000 yearly. Bryan’s and his company’s net worth is not mentioned online anywhere, but they both are doing well for themselves.
Bryan came on Shark Tank to get some help with his business. The only drawback to his chopstick art was that it did not hold much appeal. As a result, he left empty-handed. However, Bryan believed in his idea, and even though his business is not raking in millions of dollars in sales, he is living his dream — earning while doing what he loves.