Life is a series of events. While we all wish for these events to be fulfilling and positive, that’s not always the case. Life will take one through negative, soul-crushing events as well, the times of adversity when people become stronger than before.
Even though life’s adversity is often meant to test a person and teach them something worthwhile, these adversities can take a toll on an individual. The individual can feel miserable and hopeless, giving birth to major psychological issues. The issues then become the driver of an individual’s life, and the never-ending cycle of pain becomes the new norm.
The only factor that can change this situation is willpower, which may come from within or through an outsider’s support. Gina Cotroneo realized the importance of positive thinking in self and propagating it to others when she went through a dark phase in her life.
In 1997, Gina was attacked by an offender in her Dallas apartment. The incident was topped with the investigation that required Gina to relive the worst events of her life over and over to help the police. Thanks to Gina, the successful arrest was made against the offender, but now Gina had to sit through the trial against the offender. All these events, one after the other, piled up and took a toll on Gina’s mental health.
What caused Gina to put a full stop to her misery was her willpower. She did not want to spend the rest of her life living the misery or waste her life in fear. She realized she needed a lot of courage to do so but at the same time wondered how many others in the world we’re going through a similar situation.
The thought gave Gina a purpose from which she launched her business, Souls Calling Inc. The company manufactured products that had inspirational quotations written on them. The idea was that words could make or break a person’s day: let’s use the words to change someone’s day around positively.
Gina’s business idea was inspiring for a lot of people. The small business had gained traction in the five years since its launch in 2004 from numerous local retailers. The only thing stopping Souls Calling Inc from becoming a successful startup was the cost of manufacturing products.
Gina appeared in Shark Tank Season 1 looking for an investment of $150K in exchange for 25% equity in her company. The investment she needed was to buy more units for mass production, reducing the cost of production per piece. Gina would have a greater profit margin, generating more revenue to continue running the business.
Gina was incredibly passionate, confident yet precise with her pitch to the sharks. Souls Calling umbrella was the unique product the company produced that had positive quotes inscribed on it. The umbrella was a way of inspiring the holder and the people passing by.
Daymond and Barbara were quite empathetic towards Gina. However, upon Mr. Wonderful’s inquiry on the profits Souls Calling had made, the investment mood quickly changed. Souls Calling had managed to make only $18K the year before appearing on Shark Tank.
Kevin didn’t believe in the company’s valuation and hence didn’t see it as a profitable business; he was out. Daymond and Barbara were the next in line to announce, saying they respected the business and the passion that drove Gina towards starting her company after such a traumatic experience. Still, they didn’t see the company being profitable in the future. Robert was the last to withdraw from the discussion, suggesting Gina let go of the business.
Gina had a vision for the world she wanted to live in. She worked for it and started Souls Calling Inc to make the world kinder and better. However, Gina failed to convince the sharks to invest in her business and returned without securing a deal.
Our Review of Souls Calling Inc.
Gina could not secure a deal with the sharks for her startup, Souls Calling Inc. However, it didn’t keep like-minded individuals from coming forward to purchase the business. The business continued to gain new customers as the Shark Tank Effect kicked in.
Apart from customers, Gina was also becoming famous amongst the celebrity crowd. She was called on Oprah’s TV show to present her story and what her business was about. The media exposure also got a crowd of individuals to become customers of Souls Calling.
Despite having a growing customer base, Gina couldn’t keep the business afloat. She struggled with the mass purchase and production that ate most of the profits. With the dying economy of that time, Gina decided it was best to let go of the business.
In 2012, Gina liquidated Souls Calling Inc. Though Gina herself has a net worth of over a million dollars, the company is since out of business.
Pros of Souls Calling Inc.
Souls Calling Inc was a one-of-a-kind business that served one of the most overlooked markets of people: the survivors of emotional and physical trauma. That’s what made it popular amongst the crowd. Here are some things about the business and its products that customers appreciated the most:
- The unique business idea catered to many individuals who didn’t have the hope to make it through after life-changing traumatic events
- The products were made of superior quality material, making it worth the investment
- The design of the products was impressively appealing to the masses, creating a demand for the product
- The quotations inscribed on the products, such as the umbrella, were empowering for people carrying the umbrella as well as the passersby
- Customers were quite impressed with the customer service this small business provided them
- Many customers found the professionals on the other end to be extremely friendly and polite, contributing to a loyal customer base for the business
Cons of Souls Calling Inc.
Gina had a good intention behind starting Souls Calling Inc. However, the business’s money didn’t work much to keep it afloat. Here is another thing that contributed to the failure of the business.
- Products were meant to become inoperable over time which was the case with many of the products’ life. However, Souls Calling Inc didn’t provide any product warranty, making people upset when the products stopped operating during the first few weeks.
Who Is Souls Calling Inc. For?
Although Souls Calling Inc’s products were designed for people who had been through a traumatic experience, their products were quite famous amongst all types of crowds. People who needed some words of empowerment and motivation to get through the day were the most loyal customers of Souls Calling. Besides that, numerous people bought inspirational products from the business to spread positivity in the lives of others.
There’s no particular market in which Souls Calling products were famous. Every individual needed words of kindness and motivation, so Souls Calling was a brand that catered to everyone.
Are There Any Alternatives?
Now that Souls Calling Inc is out of business, RYVE is another profitable brand that allows its customers to order inspirational and motivational products as gifts for themselves or others. The company has a wide range of products on the market and can be used around your personal or office space as a reminder of the positivity in your life.
The customer base of RYVE isn’t limited to a particular niche. However, many individuals purchase from RYVE’s e-commerce store to get display products around the house. RYVE is quite famous amongst the crowd of leaders who want to inspire their employees.
You can also purchase RYVE from Amazon’s e-commerce store.
Our Final Thoughts
Gina Cotroneo had an incredible business idea. The rerun of the Shark Tank episodes also got many people to look for the business online, showing that people would have supported the idea even today. Though Souls Calling could not continue its business operations, it would have been a great business today with the rising e-commerce platforms.