Tough Tie Before Shark Tank
Raising a child is known to be one of the greatest joys in life. Unfortunately, children are messy and if they are not consuming everything there is in sight, they are destroying everything in sight. Clothes are often in children’s path of destruction and they are easily worn out.
Skylar Bennett and Kevin Shoemaker were two fathers who had been blessed with 3 children each. They were happy with their bundles of joy but their clothes were consistently worn out. Kevin and Skylar had to find a solution that would keep their clothes lasting longer.
Skylar and Shoemaker started Tough Tie to make clothes that would last longer and withstand the punishment that is dished out by the daily challenges of life. Tough Tie is a subsidiary of Tough Apparel and makes ties that can be machine washed on a regular basis. Tough Ties also have 5 times more stitching than normal ties giving them a much longer life span. Their ties were also stain and liquid repellant.
Skylar and Shoemaker had worked in real estate before they started Tough Tie and had sold their houses to make their dream of running a company a reality. Tough Ties was profitable but they needed more money to boost production and sales. They needed a shark and so requested to be on Shark Tank. Their request was successful and they were invited to be on the 22nd episode of the 11th season.
Tough Tie On Shark Tank
Skylar Bennett and Kevin Shoemaker went onto Shark Tank seeking $100,000 for 15% of their company. This gave the Tough Tie business a valuation of $666,666. They started by showing the sharks the punishment that ties take as people go about their daily activities. They then showed the sharks the benefits of their tough ties and why their ties were more durable. They then gave out some samples.
The sharks liked the designs a lot and were also given some socks to review. Kevin Shoemaker then told them that those socks were all designed, manufactured, and printed that week. Kevin then asked if customized socks were part of the service. Skylar said that they did the printing in-house and they used a method known as dye-sublimation. Skylar then said that since they had most of their own equipment it meant that they controlled the printing.
Skylar said that Shoemaker was the one who did most of the printing and so they could turn prints around almost immediately. Robert and Mark Cuban then asked them what their story was. Shoemaker then said that they were both young working professionals. He then said that he already had 3 kids and was 29 years old. Skylar said that he was 30 and also had 3 kids.
Shoemaker then said that they got started just when they were starting their careers and ties were just part of the uniform. They were working in commercial real estate at the time. They said that their ties got destroyed immediately as they went about their daily activities. They said that their ties got destroyed immediately when they started working and they tried to solve that problem.
Kevin then asked them if they were still working in commercial real estate. Skylar said that they had quit their jobs 2 years before. He also said that the business was profitable but they were not paying themselves as much. They had very supportive wives who had given up a lot to support them. Both their wives worked full-time.
Robert then asked them what their sales to that day were. Skylar said that they had made $450,000 in sales to that date. The previous year they had made $208,000 in sales and in that current year, they had already made $200,000 and were on track to make $400,000 by the end of the year. Robert then asked them how they were selling it.
Skylar said that they were primarily selling it online. Robert then asked them how much they were selling them for. Skylar said that the premium ones were sold for $45 and were made by their US manufacturer for $15.
Robert then asked them to walk the sharks through their numbers. Skylar said that they would make $400,000 that year. Robert then asked them what their profit would be from the $400,000 in sales. Skylar said that they make around $10,000 monthly on advertising. They then said that they got a 200% return from the advertising.
Daymond then asked them if they had any debt and how much of their money they had invested. Shoemaker said that they invested about $40,000 of their own money in savings. They also had about $150,000 in debt.
Mark Cuban asked them who they had borrowed from and they said that they had both sold their houses. Robert wasn’t sure how big the market was because the tieless suit was what was trending. Skylar said that he saw that but the goal was to build it to be more than just a tie company. Lori then asked them what they wanted to do besides selling socks and ties.
Skylar said that the company was called tough apparel and Tough Tie was just one of the things they were making. At the time they were selling ties, belts, and socks. Mark Cuban then left. He said that he did not see how they would achieve their vision.
Daymond followed suit and also left. He said that he thought that they were focusing on a market segment that was too small. Lori also left. She thought that Skylar and Shoemaker were a great team but she just wasn’t into the tie business.
Kevin asked them how many units of ties they expected to sell the following year. Skylar said that Tough Tie expected to sell 10,000 – 13,000 units the following year. Kevin then said that it would take a very long time to get his money back and so he was out.
Robert then offered them $100,000 for 35% of the company. He thought that with his partnership they would do over $3,500,000 that year. Skylar and Shoemaker discussed the offer and then offered Robert $100,000 for 25% of their business.
Robert declined their offer but his offer of $100,000 for 35% stood. He was offered $100,000 for 33.3% which he declined but his offer still stood. Skylar and Shoemaker then accepted Robert’s offer. Shoemaker said that the Shark Tank was a tough place to be but they had survived it.
Tough Tie Now in 2023 – The After Shark Tank Update
Since its deal with Robert, business has been going well for Tough Tie. There are now being sold online on the Tough Apparel website. Tough Apparel has also started Ratchet Belts which sells belts. The Tough Apparel brand also now sells shirts.
Tough Apparel is also now selling its apparel in other locations and Amazon is one such place. It also has very active social media with more than 43,000 followers on Instagram. Tough Tie also has more than 2,600 followers on Facebook.
Tough Apparel is making an annual revenue of $1,100,000. It is located in Gilbert Arizona. Although the company is now selling everything under Tough Apparel, the revenue is higher. It likely was harder to trace inventory when it is all being done by different companies. Everything suggests that things will just keep getting better for Tough Ties.