It was the season 6 finale TV dreams are made of. The Sharks attacked, the pitch got heated, and then came the surprise twist and tears. Riveting television for sure. Read on to learn what happened.
What is evREwares?
evREwares is a business partnership between sisters Ellie Brown and Becca Nelson from North Carolina. They took their “fun seriously” and believed every occasion was a celebration.
In 2011, they came up with a novelty fabric sticker accessory. It was an easy way to transform any outfit into a more amusing one without damaging the fabric itself. They were inspired by their kids’ ever-changing tastes.
What Do They Make?
Their primary product was Sticky Ties. These stickers are shaped as ties and bows with fun patterns and prints. They can stick to any fabric, peel off without leaving any residue, and then be reused again.
They have an exclusive supplier who manufactures a patented premium sticker material that can be peeled off easily without damaging the sticker itself. Also, this material can be wiped clean without any discoloration or staining.
How Did Their Pitch Go?
Brown and Nelson came into the Tank with an entertaining pitch. They playfully demonstrated how to use Sticky Ties, joked around, and handed out personalized Sticky Ties to the Sharks. It was all fun and games at first, but then the numbers talk started, and things got serious.
The sisters had invested over $180K in 3 years and had generated a revenue of $600K since 2011. When asked about the sales of that year (this episode was filmed in 2013) the sisters replied they had sold $300K worth of product to stores like Party City and the Container Store. But for 2014 they projected only $50K in sales.
The Sharks were alarmed. Kevin O’Leary even joked, “Pull up! Pull up!” mimicking a plane about to crash.
They justified it as a “conscious decision” because they believed they had a sell-through problem. In other words, the product was on the shelves but people were not buying it. They needed $100K for 30% equity to improve their advertising.
They talked about how they marketed in trade shows around the country to get consumers aware of their fabric stickers. These ladies truly believed if they could get more attention their fabric stickers would sell.
The Sharks weren’t buying it and things got heated. They could not accept the reason why these sisters would purposely slow done. According to O’Leary, there was nothing to re-evaluate. It wasn’t an advertising problem, it was a pricing problem.
All the Sharks agreed; it didn’t matter if it was made of special material. Ranging from $4.99 – $7.99 a pop, it was the most expensive sticker out there and no one was going to pay that much. It didn’t matter how reusable it was. It was a novelty that 99% of people will throw it out the next day. On top of that, it only cost 50 cents to make, so there was room to revalue the product.
O’Leary said point-blank, “You don’t know the business.”
Mark Cuban exclaimed further, “it’s a dog from hell,” and “the name is terrible.”
Lori Greiner said she invested in something similar a few years ago and it didn’t sell – she was out too. Same with Barbara Corcoran and Robert Herjavec. No one was willing to invest.
Just when you thought it was over Cuban did something unheard of in Shark Tank. Instead of investing, he offered to buy the entire business right then and there. $200K for 100% equity. Everyone was stunned. O’Leary even said, “It’s a piece of crap, you can do it in 50 grand.”
However, Cuban believed it would cost more to start from scratch and he could turn their business around. He liked the idea and was willing to keep the sisters on as designers.
Brown and Nelson went backstage overwhelmed and tried to talk it through. Emotions were riding high but finally, they decided to take the offer. It was a bittersweet moment. This business was their baby and now they were letting it go.
What Happened After Shark Tank?
Cuban was planning to use evREwares existing connections and rebrand their products as fan merchandising for his NBA team, the Dallas Mavericks, but the deal never went through.
In an ABC 11 interview, Brown and Nelson explained that after their time on the show they decided they weren’t ready to give up on their business. Nelson said, “We were berated for a solid 25 minutes.” At that moment they believed the company was sinking and would not survive.
Also, this brought up all the sacrifices they had made and the time spent away from their families. It seemed like a chance for them to “take all that back.”
When Cuban’s team reached out to them after the show, the sisters told him they couldn’t sell their company. Brown said that Cuban was “so nice about it,” and even offered to become a free advisor to help them revive their company,a deal the sisters were happy to take.
Where is evREwares now?
Despite the rise in popularity after their appearance on Shark Tank, evREwares went out of business in December 2015.
Our Review of evREwares
Sticky Ties are a fun, novel idea. They could add a whimsical flair to any outfit and would be a big hit at any celebration, especially children’s parties. They could also make cute party favors. There is no age limit on who can use this; anyone can enjoy accessorizing with them.
Pros of evREwares
- Quality sticker material
- Variety of fun patterns and prints
- Won’t tear or strain
- Can be wiped clean
Cons of evREwares
- Too expensive
Are There Any Alternatives?
Essentially, any sticker can be a fabric sticker. There is a plethora of stickers available in stores in a variety of materials from puffy to vinyl. While the cheaper ones are usually not reusable, they generally don’t leave any residue on the fabric.
Our Final Thoughts
At the end of the day, evREwares failure was overpricing their product. They would have done much better if they had gone through with Cuban’s offer. These could have been a big hit with sports fans and could have grown into something huge.
While these sisters had the entrepreneurial spirit they did not have the business know-how. That is what ultimately shut them down.