Face Blok Before Shark Tank
Irina Blok comes from a line of creative and logical thinkers. Most of her family members are engineers and reside outside of the United States, but she wanted to break the mold and try something a little different. At the young age of 18, Irena packed up her things, got on an airplane, and took to the United States. Why? Well, she wanted to be able to pursue her dream of becoming a fashion designer. However, her career didn’t necessarily take her exactly where she wanted to go. Instead of designing clothes, Irina worked for a plethora of other companies such as Apple, Adobe, FedEx, and a few others. Though she remained in the designing department, that wasn’t exactly where she wanted to be.
Blok was struck with a quirky idea during the swine flu outbreak. With everyone being in such dull spirits, wearing bleak and boring surgical masks to cover their faces and protect themselves from the harmful sickness, she was inspired with a desire to lighten the atmosphere. In an attempt to bring back a little more cheer into everyone’s lives, Blok created designer surgical masks. Instead of having just a plain white one to cover your face, she made masks with animal noses on them or just simple designs that are pleasing to the eye. These new masks became rather popular pretty quickly, but Blok did not have the funds to properly supply her business. What she needed was someone with a better financial standing to become partners with so that Face Blok could really get its feet off the ground. In hopes of finding that partner, Irina brought her product to the Shark Tank.
Face Blok During Shark Tank
Irina enters the Shark Tank already wearing one of her masks that reads oink!, then proceeds to take it off in order to introduce herself as well as to list her price of $50k in exchange for 30% of Face Blok. She begins by presenting the Sharks with a few of her designs and explains that these surgical masks are meant for people with an “edgy” sense of humor. These masks are still sterile and up to par with your basic surgical mask, but offer something a little more creative and allow the person wearing them to express themselves in a new and imaginative way. Irina hands out a few of the masks for the Sharks to try on and Kevin O’Leary asks if these masks have the surgical properties necessary for protecting against disease. Irina answers by saying “that’s when the investment comes in”. She has a whole line of designs already made and that she can see them in hospitals soon because one hospital already reached out to her to say that they believed this mask was “genius”. O’Leary asks if she had any sales, to which she tells him that Face Blok appeared on Fox news immediately after launching and her website received close to 1 million hits.
The swine flu epidemic is what initially made the product so popular, which is what O’Leary points out and adds that now she needs a new pandemic in order to make it popular again. Redirecting the conversation back to sales, Kevin Harrington asks her again how many sales she made out of all the hits she had on her website. Only a couple hundred units were sold because the masks themselves were not yet up to surgical standards. Robert Herjavec tells Blok that what she has is not a real company yet because the company just started and it’s a brand new idea. O’Leary is questioning whether it’s even a good idea at all.
Harrington brings up a question on whether or not she has any competition and if they are selling designer surgical masks in places like Japan where they are worn more often, which they are not. Irina believes that because there is no other product like this, she would have a great opportunity to tell something like this and make quite a bit of money off of it. However, Daymond John fails to see these masks ever becoming some sort of a fashion statement because surgical masks are not something that people commonly wear in the United States. The only real market she would have for them would be within foreign countries. So, Harrington concludes that within the U.S. this would only be considering a novelty item and thus would not generate enough revenue for him to consider investing into it.
After he drops out, John agrees with his reasoning and also decides not to partner up with Irina. Herjavec, before stating that he he won’t invest, tells her that it might be worth maintaining as a side job while also keeping her day job. O’Leary admits that though it is an interesting and creative product, it just is not worth investing into. That leaves Irina with no more investors and she walks away empty handed from the Shark Tank.
Face Blok Now in 2017 – After Shark Tank Updates
Despite leaving the Shark Tank without any extra money in her pocket, Irina did receive a little attention after the show was aired. The Face Blok designs were added into her designer portfolio and helped to generate some more business for herself. However, the products itself never really took off. They only served to promote her website (http://www.irinablok.com/) that features all of her designing ideas. Irina still has yet to make a breakthrough within the clothing fashion industry, but she still continues to generate logos, videos, and web designs for a large variety of companies.