Invis-A-Rack Before Shark Tank
Donny McCall is a construction worker from Sparta, North Carolina. He states that he always had an interest in cars, and car accessories. After brainstorming for a while, Donny McCall came with an idea that would change the way that cargo transport works. He came up with the idea when he was trying to transport several things in the back of his truck; however, he couldn’t find enough space, especially because the back of the truck is too small in height.
Aside from getting an investment from the Sharks in the form of money, Donny McCall also want to make sure that the Invis-A-Rack stays an all American made product, instead of shipping off production to other countries such as China. The reason why Donny McCall wants this is because he has seen many of his friends, families and neighbors get in financial trouble, due to the depressed market. Donny McCall wants to provide secure jobs for people that he knows, which is why he wants to keep manufacturing his products in and around Sparta, North Carolina, even if the Sharks do want to invest in his company.
Invis-A-Rack During Shark Tank
“Donny McCall walks confidently and stands in front of the Sharks”
Donny McCall starts his presentation by introducing himself to the Sharks, stating that he is the owner and creator of Invis-A-Rack, which is an innovative cargo management system. Donny McCall states that he is seeking an investment of one hundred thousand dollars, in exchange for a ten percent stake in his company.
Donny McCall continues his presentation by saying that his wife is the reason why he is appearing on the Shark Tank, and also the reason why he created Invis-A-Rack. Donny McCall states that he owns a small construction company in Sparta, which is his home town.
He says he uses his truck both personally and professionally, which means that there are times that he needs to carry longer and heavier equipment to jobsites. The problem is that he doesn’t have to do that every single day, and the only solution that was available was a permanent truck rack, which is always in the way. Donny McCall states that his wife told him she wouldn’t drive in his truck with him, if his truck looked like a work truck.
Donny McCall tells the Sharks that he was driving along Blue Ridge Parkway, which inspired him to come up with a solution. He states that he wasn’t looking to create any products prior to this inspirational moment, but he believes that God handed him the idea.
“Donny McCall climbs on the bed of the truck and starts putting together the Invis-A-Rack”
Donny McCall states that within thirty seconds, he can transform his personal truck into a work truck, allowing him to transport ladders, lumber, canoes etc. which will be secured safely on top of the Invis-A-Rack, while leaving the truck’s bed empty for other gear.
“Donny McCall starts folding the Invis-A-Rack away”
Donny McCall states that within thirty seconds, he can also fold the Invis-A-Rack, allowing him to use his truck for personal business, take his wife out shopping or even on a hot date.
“Barbara Corcoran has a big smile on her face”
Donny McCall states that the Invis-A-Rack did not only solve the problems that he was having, but he believes that it will solve the problems that nearly all truck owners are having.
The Invis-A-Rack was introduced to the market in November 2010, in Las Vegas. The response that Donny McCall got was pretty overwhelming. Donny McCall states that he is committed to manufacture Invis-A-Racks and its accessories in the United States. He states that he is only one man, and that he is trying to do what is best for his country.
Donny McCall states that he knows a truck rack is not going to save the economy in the United States of America; however, he is looking to create jobs and bring hope to his own small home town in North Carolina. Donny McCall continues by stating that he wants to financially help his family and investors, but also his church, community, state and country.
Donny McCall thinks that his life experiences has brought him to this moment. According to Donny McCall, blessings are when preparations meet opportunity.
“Kevin O’Leary asks Donny McCall how much weight the Invis-A-Rack can hold”
Donny McCall answers the question by saying that he has put fifteen hundred pounds on his own Invis-A-Rack, but didn’t go any further because he tested it out on his own truck.
“Kevin O’Leary asks Donny McCall if the Invis-A-Rack will fit in any generic pickup trick”
Donny McCall answers the question by saying that the Invis-A-Rack will fit on thirty six million out of the forty million trucks in the United States of America, even on the trucks that have been imported out of Japan and other countries.
“Mark Cuban asks Donny McCall where his is building the Invis-A-Racks”
Donny McCall answers the question by saying that the parts come from different parts of the country, such as Ohio, Wisconsin and Iowa. He then brings the parts back to Sparta, North Carolina and starts manufacturing the Invis-A-Racks.
“Barbara Corcoran asks Donny McCall if he is hoping to employ people from his home town”
Donny McCall answers the question by saying that he is hoping to employ hundreds of people that are jobless in Sparta, North Carolina. Donny McCall states that Sparta is in a part of North Carolina which is very economically depressed. He continues by stating that there were textile and agriculture companies that all went away because of the bad economy.
“Robert Herjavec asks Donny McCall if he has sold any Invis-A-Racks”
Donny McCall Answers the question by saying that he has sold approximately a hundred and fifty Invis-A-Rack units, which comes to a total of fifty thousand dollars in sales.
Kevin O’Leary states that the Invis-A-Rack falls into the market of enhancing a truck, which means that it is a secondary purchase that someone has to make, after purchasing a truck.
“Kevin O’Leary asks Donny McCall why he hasn’t sold Invis-A-Racks to distributors”
Donny McCall answers the question by saying that the distributors want to many points at the moment, which is something that he is not able to provide.
“Mark Cuban asks Donny McCall how much it costs to make a single Invis-A-Rack”
Donny McCall answers the question by saying that it costs about two hundred and fifty dollars to manufacture and ensemble a single Invis-A-Rack unit.
“Robert Herjavec asks Donny McCall how much the distributors want to pay for a single Invis-A-Rack unit”
Donny McCall answers the question by saying that the distributors want to purchase a single Invis-A-Rack unit for a price of three hundred dollars. He continues by stating that they wouldn’t be able to manufacture Invis-A-Rack units for a lower price in the United States, which is why he isn’t considering to work together with any distributor at the moment.
Kevin O’Leary states that hypothetically, a manufacturer in Asia could make a single Invis-A-Rack unit for a hundred and fifty dollars, in quantities of a thousand. That means he could get into business with distributors in the United States, and make a huge profit.
Donny McCall states that the Invis-A-Rack is not a product that needs a distributor, because it can be sold directly to the retailers, of which there are about ten thousand.
“Robert Herjavec asks Donny McCall what he would use the hundred thousand dollar investment for, should he get it from any of the Sharks”
Donny McCall answers the question by saying that he is going to develop and manufacture more Invis-A-Rack units, send them over to all the retailers that are interested in it, allow them to test it out and see if their consumers like it, and hope that they will order more Invis-A-Rack units afterwards.
“Daymond John asks Donny McCall how much profit he made with the fifty thousand dollars in sales”
Donny McCall answers the question by saying that he made no profit at all with those sales.
“Mark Cuban asks Donny McCall how much debt his company has”
Donny McCall answers the question by saying that he has invested about seventy five thousand dollars in his company. He continues by stating that he doesn’t want to bring manufacturing overseas, even if the quality of the Invis-A-Rack units stay the same.
“Daymond John asks Donny McCall why he doesn’t want to manufacture in other countries”
Donny McCall answers the question by saying that it is just not something that he is willing to do with his company, because he believes in what he is and what he is doing right now.
Daymond John states that Donny McCall can’t even make it as a company by himself, and asks him how he is hoping to help other people with his company.
Donny McCall simply states that he knows he is going to make it as a company.
Robert Herjavec states that if Donny McCall would become successful, he would need to hire people to do sales and hire people to do marketing, which is why he got to do the right thing for his business. Robert Herjavec states that if his business is healthy, everything will follow through, allowing him to employ as many people in his community as he wanted.
Barbara Corcoran states that Donny McCall feels particularly resisted and close-minded, which makes him a very bad partner to be in business with. Barbara Corcoran states that she doesn’t want to invest in Invis-A-Rack and states that she is out.
Kevin O’Leary states that Donny McCall has made it impossible for investors to get a return. He continues by stating that Apple is the second largest company on the planet, and employs forty nine thousand people in the United States alone; however, the company knows that it needs to make its products offshore, in order to stay competitive and make a profit for shareholders. Kevin O’Leary states that he is not interested in investing and that he is out, just because Donny McCall doesn’t seem to want to do what it takes to be successful.
Daymond John states that Donny McCall wants to make it as a company, master his company and matter as a company, all at the same time, which is impossible to do. Daymond John states that Donny McCall isn’t doing a very successful job at running his company, especially because he is close-minded, which is why he is out as well.
“Robert Herjavec starts getting emotional and has tears in his eyes”
Robert Herjavec states that he is the son of a factory worker, an immigrant that came to the United States of America because it is the land of opportunity. His dad told him that the thing he was proud of the most, is the first job that he ever had, even if the job meant that he had to sweep the floors of a factory in the United States.
Robert Herjavec states that he admires what Donny McCall is doing, but he cannot get involved with someone that is not taking care of his business. Robert Herjavec tells Donny McCall that he is sorry, and that he is out.
Mark Cuban states that he doesn’t agree with where the other Sharks are coming from, and that he doesn’t have to squeeze every dollar, because there is always a give and take. Mark Cuban states that it is going to take a lot of money to get the Invis-A-Rack to a certain price point, which would bring a nice return for Donny McCall and his investors. Unfortunately, Mark Cuban doesn’t see Invis-A-Rack getting over the hump, and be profitable very soon, which is the reason why he doesn’t want to invest. Mark Cuban states that he is out.
At the end interview, Donny McCall states that he wants to take care of his own, and he wants people to have and enjoy his products, knowing that they are made by the hands of the people in the United States of America.
Invis-A-Rack Now In 2023 – How They’re Doing After Shark Tank
Donny might not have landed a deal on the show but his stand against the sharks won him popular sentiment from the audience. However, the initial airing didn’t lead to many sales despite having generated a lot of interest from the crowd. Fortunately, it eventually picked up in the months that followed.
With that, he was able to make another production run, which helped with their profits. ABC also featured the company in their “Made In America” section, where they regarded Donny as a new poster child for rejuvenating American manufacturing. Around that same time, Home Depot also contacted Donny about a possible distribution deal.
Fast forward to 2012 and it was announced that Dee Zee Inc., a leading manufacturer of light truck accessories, had acquired exclusive licensing rights to Invis-a-Rack. Not only were they a fan of the product, but they also liked how they were committed to manufacturing in the United States. This was talked about in an update segment, which was included in episode 418.
As of 2023, the Invis-a-Rack is still available for purchase. For one thing, the cargo management system can be found on DeeZee’s website for $1119.95 (you can choose the make, year, and model of your vehicle on the site). Not only that, but they also sell the Invis-A-Rack Crossbar Pad for $49.95, which is designed to help protect the finishes of items you’re hauling, and like the cargo management system, it is also proudly made in the USA. For those who are interested, you can check them out here.
Since then, Donny has moved on to several other endeavors. In 2014, he founded a company called Perrycraft Inc., which provides high-quality, custom cargo management options for the automotive aftermarket that’s still up and running to this day.
Several years later, he founded an outdoor events company called Get Outside Events, LLC, which produced three events: Resolution Run, The Get Outside Mountain Relay, and Olde Beau Trail Race. According to LinkedIn, they were active from July 2017 to April 2022. Around that same time, he worked as a licensed insurance agent at the North Carolina Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company.
Since leaving the company in September 2022, he has become the Vice President of North Flow Logistics, a freight brokering company that’s based in Sparta, North Carolina.
The bottom line is, the Invis-A-Rack was a huge success. At the very least, it’s given him the opportunity to pursue other projects. The fact that he did it all without any of the sharks’ help only makes it that much more impressive.