Villy Custom is a customized beach cruiser business pitched to the Sharks by owner and former fashion designer Fleetwood Hicks in episode 313. Hicks modeled his site after the Porsche website. Customers go online at the Villy Custom website and design their own bikes, right down to the color of the bicycle chain. Hicks came up with the concept when he rented a bike in Venice Beach, California. He began selling custom bikes back in 2009 out of an old Dallas warehouse that was also his home. He sold out of the shop and off the website. Fleetwood started the business as the very first Rock the Post Crowdfunder by successfully raising $10K.
Villy Custom in the Shark Tank
Fleetwood and his dog Deville (or Villy for short – who the business is named after), entered the Shark Tank seeking $500k for a 33% share in the business. Prior year sales were around $130K and year to date sales were $250K with no advertising expenses. Fleetwood wants to create a fashion accessory type brand with his bikes and the Sharks all “get it.”
Daymond likes the designs, but he doesn't want to be in the bike business; he's out. Kevin likes it too, but he's still out. Robert likes the bikes and the concept, but not the valuation; he's out. Mark and Barbara both love Villy Custom and they agree to partner on the deal. They offer $500K but they want 45%. Hicks counters with 40% and they split the difference at 42%.
Villy Custom after the Shark Tank
The deal with Mark and Barbara happened after the due diligence process. Hicks received the bank wire from the Sharks while on vacation in Hawaii. Villy Custom redesigned their website and has huge sales, around a hundred bikes a week. The business was featured in a Shark Tank update segment in episode 404 in season 4 and again in episode 603 in season 6. Villy Custom has joined the ranks of Shark Tank Success Stories!
The episode 603 update reveals Villy is doing $2 million in sales and they're doing a “corporate bike” program. Barbara visits the shop and she's blown away by the new facility. Fleetwood is one happy Tanker!