Enterpreunal elf Mitch Allen appeared on Shark Tank season 12 to pitch for his holiday business, Hire Santa. Mitch’s journey started ten years ago when one of his friends asked him to dress up as Santa for his children. Mitch found comfort in the company of children and decided to stick with the gig, and soon he started getting more business. One thing led to another, and Mitch found himself attending famous parades, acting in commercials, and doing all sorts of things.
As more and more people learned about the business, Mitch realized he couldn’t meet the growing demand, so he started branching out. He rallied the help of men who found purpose in cosplaying as Santas and grew as the largest Santa for hire company.
Mitch sought $200,000 from the Sharks for 10% equity stakes in his company.
Let’s see how the Sharks reacted to his proposal!
What Is Hire Santa?
Hire Santa is a company that provides Santas for hire all over the country and across the continent. Their Santas are trained and professional and are eager to bring happiness to the young lives they’ve been interested in.
Dressed as an elf, entrepreneur Mitch Allen walked to the Shark Tank season 10 stage with an entourage of Santas to pitch for his Christmas-centric business, Hire Santa. The Sharks were elated to see his costume, the guests he brought along with him, and cheered him on. Mitch announced that he had brought his guests all the way from the North pole and knew how much joy the bearded figure brought to children’s lives. Mitch explained that he was in the business of spreading cheer and knew Santas was a busy man who couldn’t be everywhere at once, so that’s where his company comes into play. Mitch boasted that he took average Santas and transformed them into the perfect entertainers you could trust with your kids’ safety and fun.
Daymond couldn’t help but call out to the black Santa for a fist bump before Mitch asked all Santas to stand behind the Sharks. One of the Santa made himself comfortable on a red tuffet chair with his wife dressed in a similar outfit as his. Kevin faked a scandalous tune and asked if Mitch was implying that Santa wasn’t real. Mitch quickly clarified that he had Santa’s friends onboard because he couldn’t make it everywhere.
Barbara inquired about the pricing, and Mitch explained that the pricing varied based on the package; they had long-term contracts where people hired Santas for hours and many days, whereas a personalized one only took a day and a few hours. Mitch elaborated that the pricing was negotiable as they mainly dealt with retail.
Daymond was surprised when Mitch revealed that he had thousands of Santas in his database that he had sent to China, the Caribbean, Mexico, and Canada. Daymond then complained that he once hired a Santa that smelled like a goat, making the rest of the Sharks laugh out loud. Mitch explained that all his Santas were trained to do their job and were professionals in their own right.
Barbara asked how Mitch made money when the whole of his sales was concentrated in one season. Mitch shared that they operated in the last six weeks of the year, giving them enough time and room to make money. Daymond asked how Mitch started finding all these Santas and the entrepreneur revealed that it all came down to online networking. He joined communities and met people who just wanted to spread the Christmas cheer and were happy to join him.
Mark was curious about the sales, and Mitch was happy to provide the numbers. He revealed that they made $189,000 in sales in the first year, $331,000 in the second year, and were projecting $1.2 – $1.4 million in sales in the current year. This perplexed Kevin, and he wanted to know the reason behind the massive jump in revenue. Mitch revealed that he had just closed a deal with the largest outdoor retailer, contributing to the jump in their overall revenues. He further added that he was hoping to make $2 million in the next year, which made the Sharks shake their heads in uncertainty.
The Sharks questioned what Mitch would do with the money, and he revealed that he’d make a couple of strategic hires to improve marketing and training videos for the Santas because he was wearing “too many hats” at the moment.
Mark pointed out that he didn’t mention the profits, and Mitch replied that they had $70,000 in profits the first year, $154,000 the second year, and expecting $550,000 this year.
Lori was the first Shark to step out of the deal, citing she didn’t want to wait all year to see sales and profits.
Mark explained that Hire Santa was a staffing business that required chasing around contracts, and it was impossible to build a business model around that, so he was out.
Daymond complimented mItch for spreading happiness but didn’t want to invest, so he pulled out of the deal.
Barbara thought it was good that the business’s name was targeted. However, she also found it limiting. She didn’t think there was room for a partner, and Mitch should continue on his own. She was out.
Kevin didn’t think the business was worth $2 million, but he also believed he could promote it on his social media, so he offered Mitch $200,000 for 50% of his business.
Mitch countered 15% equity for the same amount.
Kevin proposed a different structure since they didn’t seem to agree on the valuation. So, Mitch offered that they do $200,000 for 50% of the company, which will drop to 10% after the investment is recouped. Kevin said he likes the deal but will do 20% in the long term.
Daymond interjected, saying he’d take the original deal, and Kevin immediately brought his stake down to 15%. Mitch asked if any of them would do 10% on the long term, and Barbara said she would, and Mitch immediately closed the deal with her.
As negotiated, Mitch paid Barbara back and made $1.4 million in sales in 2018, just as he predicted. Due to his appearance on Shark Tank season 10, he closed deals with several big celebrities and companies and even reappeared on season 11 with Barbara to show how they closed a deal with Bloomingdale’s in New York.
Our Review of Hire Santa
We found Hire Santa a jolly and much-needed holiday business compared to the roadside Santas most parents come across. Contrary to Mark’s comments, Mitch has made a viable business model around the concept and is signing contracts with names like Bloomingdale’s and Great Wolf Lodge under Barbara’s guidance.
Pros of Hire Santa
- Hassle-free hire
- Well-trained and professional
Cons of Hire Santa
- Customers can’t book a Santa-for-hire on short notice; they have to make the booking in advance
Who Is Hire Santa for?
Hire Santa is for children who believe in Sanat Claus and want to meet with him to share their wishes. Additionally, it is for adults who want to spread the Christmas cheer and enjoy their holidays to their fullest. If you want to hire a Santa for your event or party, Hire Santa is for you!
Are There Any Alternatives?
Hire Santa is not a unique business, as people have been dressing up as Santas to entertain kids for decades. Some family members take up the job instead of hiring a professional, but most Santas–for-hire you find on the streets are neither trained nor fit for the job. Hire Santa provides trusted performers to entertain your kids, which is rare in Santa for-hire businesses.
Our Final Thoughts
Although seasonal, Hire Santa has made its mark in its niche and is growing steadily. They’ve been making more money in 10 weeks than most do on the whole, which is commendable!