You may think that when somebody decides to start their own business, it is like a “Eureka” moment for them, and all of a sudden, they have a company up and running. Instead, from the business owner’s perspective, it is anything but that fantastical realization of what you want to do. Years of contemplating, financial investment and hard physical work go into it.
However, when it came to Jessica Haynes, she was no ordinary entrepreneur to start a shoe company from scratch. In fact, she was a big winner from Southern Arkansas University, winning the Donald W. Reynold’s Governor’s Cup for the year 2011. It was a prestigious award for Innovation in the Graduate Division that she bagged unanimously.
So you may have already guessed what her award-winning innovation was? It was indeed her shoe company. Jeska Shoe Company started with her launching a prototype shoe that allows her to switch from stiletto heels to flats thanks to an interlocking magnetic system. However, her company was a pre-revenue startup, solely brought to scale by the competition she won.
Hence, Jessica knew her funding would have to come from elsewhere, and that’s when she turned to Shark Tank. She made her entrance the center of attention when she came in wearing stilettos and switched out to flats in front of the judges, showing visible expressions of surprise. Then she made her pitch of $70k for a 30% business share.
Almost immediately, all of the judges bailed. Kevin was the only one to have a completely rhetorical reason for “I never fund pre-revenue startups.” However, regardless of the reasons, on the other hand, all of the other judges bailed out, too, citing reasons about her shoe line. They all seemed to be on the same page: women like shoes would buy many, etc.
However, in almost a miraculous turn of events, Daymond recalls how his mother loaned him money when it was his startup days. All of a sudden, silence and emotion on the set as he reminisced. He then offered a counter offer to Jessica, suggesting $70k for 70%, explaining that it would take him to put in a lot of effort to get the product off the ground.
Jessica wasn’t skeptical one bit and proceeded to answer that she would rather take up a small percentage of her own company than a large percentage of readily having nothing. She gives Daymond a consoling hug as she shakes his hand and sighs in relief. The other judges looked on and were shocked at how Daymond let his emotional side get the best of him.
Because unfortunately, Jessica may have landed a deal, and her company may have won an award that was all she had in the range of success as far as Jeska Shoe Company was concerned. In fact, her shoes never even made it to the market. A little over a year after her appearance on Shark Tank, Jessica announced on her Facebook page that Jeska Shoe Company was shutting down.
She thanked all of the people involved in her life, from family, friends, and fans, and further elaborated how the experience has taught her so much and consequently made her dream of Jeska Shoe Company even stronger. She continued on to thank Daymond for his mentorship and eluded his craft on all the projects he took up.
Her post garnered many likes and supportive comments, and she later thanked them in an updated post about how inspired she was by all the love she was receiving. As of currently, Jessica is back to her day job. But only time will tell if she ever takes up another swing at her passion for entrepreneurship and shoes.
Our Review of Jeska Shoe Company
Unfortunately, despite being an honorary student and a passionate businesswoman, Jessica couldn’t help sustain Jeska Shoe Company. Despite the mentorship she received from Daymond, her business didn’t even make it to the shoe aisles she had so rightfully dreamed of. It was heartbreaking to see her post about it on Facebook.
Pros of Jeska Shoe Company
You never know. Such passions die hard, and she might come back with another banging product. It is definitely a benefit to have such a driving passion that instills such steadfast beliefs in you that you simply want to go ahead in life and achieve all that you have ever dreamed of.
Cons of Jeska Shoe Company
One of the major reasons why she couldn’t even take other Shark Tank judges on board was because she was at their doorstep with a pre-revenue startup. Instead, if she had tried a few years more, governing her products, getting the manufacturing cycle going, and managing the whole ordeal, it surely would have taken more judges on her side.
Who Is Jeska Shoe Company For?
Jessica was targeting women with Jeska Shoe Company, and her aim was to allow women the convenience of switching from heels to flats completely at a whim. Moreover, it is quite obvious that she couldn’t market her aim forward to the Shark Tank judges and suffered the consequences.
Had she elaborated how her shoes are better because while women do like to own more shoes, they don’t like to carry multiple shoes around – she would have been in a different financial position. A single pair of her shoes instead would give them the liberty to switch between heels and flats no matter where they are.
Are There Any Alternatives?
There aren’t any similar alternatives to Jeska Shoe Company as none of the shoes allow interchangeable designs. However, you can find many shoes on Amazon with colors, designs, patterns, and embellishments. You can pair them with dresses accordingly or purchase heels and flats as per your liking. Moreover, you can find quality footwear at a fraction of the price offered by Jeska Shoe Company.
Our Final Thoughts
Not all businesses that show up at Shark Tank win a deal. And not all that do win a deal go on to become successful businesses in the long run. However, Jeska Shoe Company was definitely one of a kind for winning a deal and not even making it to the market. Such a bummer!