Beyond the Tank Episode 103

beyond the tank episode 103Beyond the Tank Episode 103 aired May 1, 2015. The show featured another 3 in-depth looks at past Shark Tank businesses. In each 20 minute segment, what life after Shark Tank looks like is explored. Episode 2 has Red Dress Boutique, a business Mark Cuban invested in during season 6. Barbara's interactions with Ryan and Daniela Kelly of Ry's Ruffery (Ryan's Barkery was the original name) also get a look. Plated, a business Mark Cuban invested in during season 5, gives a glimpse of what happens when a company experiences rapid growth. Even though Cuban didn't complete the deal with Plated, the company landed another Shark investor after the fact: Mr. Wonderful!

Each Episode of Beyond the Tank has these “back stories.” We'll recap them here.

Episode 103

Featured Sharks


Episode 103

Featured Entrepreneurs


Beyond the Tank Episode 103 Recap

Red Dress boutique

Before Josh and Diana Harbour came to the Shark Tank on episode 605, with their business, the Red Dress Boutique, was already successful. When the episode aired, the company was doing over $1.8 million a year. Today, they’re averaging over $8 million a year, and are on track to continue growing. Since their initial Shark Tank appearance, profits have soared 30-40%, and the average order has jumped from $75 to $85.

Diana has a special motivation for keeping the Red Dress Boutique going. She lost her father about a year after going into business. She says that her dad was her main cheerleader, and losing him hit her hard. She had two choices: let grief destroy her, or honor his memory by making her business a success:

“I took my grief and I used it as fuel to push Red Dress as far as it can go. I live every day to make him proud.”

The Harbours came on to the Shark Tank with an already-successful company, searching for an investment to create a new website. Their old one was clunky, difficult to navigate, and left customers frustrated.  After they wrangled a deal with Robert Herjavec and Mark Cuban, Cuban talked them into letting his team revamp the site, which allowed them to focus their investment dollars on important strategies like advertising and driving social media.

When the partners come back to the table in this week’s Beyond the Tank, the Harbours decided that, in spite of the improvements to the site, the time has finally come to scrap it and begin anew. Diana wants larger images on the page, and to offer more features to customers. Mark Cuban thinks that scrapping the hard work they’ve put into making the website functional is a bad idea.

“I’m terrified of you guys putting in any type of new website. It could be catastrophic,” he tells them.

“Or it could be great,” responds Diana.

As the investor and investees discuss the topic, it’s clear that the Harbours have their hearts set on a new website. They’ve already signed a deal with a company that would build the site. Diana cites the problems that still exist with the site, but Cuban still insists that change is a bad idea.

“Perfection is the enemy of profitability,” he tells her, pressing to continue improving the old site. “If we’re going to be a $100 million company, we need to accelerate the website even more.”

The Harbours won’t budge. “When it comes down to it, it is our call,” says Josh.

Cuban tries one more time. “I think you’ve made a huge mistake. I’m going to help you out as much as I can, but you’re walking out of one fire that’s been put out and into another one.”

He’s not happy with their choice, but at the end of the day, Cuban’s a realist. “They went in a different direction than I recommended,” he says, “but that’s their right. I’m a 10% owner, they have 90%. As far as Red Dress as a company, I want them to succeed.”

But did the Red Dress Boutique get their new site after all? It seemed like a sure thing during the show, but the website reveals that , after discussing options with Cuban, Josh and Diana saw the wisdom of working with his team to fix the existing site rather than create an entirely new platform.

“We both want the website to be successful, and we want to make money. That’s the common ground,” said Diana during the interview with Cuban. It seems that, in the end, listening to their experienced Shark mentor was the best thing for The Red Dress Boutique.

Ry’s Ruffery

When Ryan Kelly, and his mother, Daniela, appeared on episode 425 of The Shark Tank to pitch their business, Ryan was just 11 years old. He and Daniela were baking home-made dog treats in their home kitchen, and selling them, but the demand was far out pacing their ability to keep up.

Ryan told the Sharks, “We need your partnership because I can’t do this on my own and keep up with my homework.”

Barbara Corcoran was charmed. “Who wouldn’t want to invest in Ryan?” she asks. “I mean, you want to scoop him up and take him home, but I couldn’t do that so I invested in him.”

Due to pre-existing trademarks, they changed the name of the company to “Ry’s Ruffery,” and, with Barbara’s help, the company went from $800 in sales in the first year to selling tens of thousands of tasty doggie treats. Daniela is no longer baking them in her home kitchen – these days they rely on a co-packer to bake, package, and deliver to their retail stores.

Shortly after Ryan began his ambitious business, 40-year-old Daniela suffered two strokes. They left her with memory loss and dexterity challenges. The 50-60 hours a week she’s putting into the business is putting a strain on this mom as she struggles to find the balance between getting her son’s dream off the ground and parenting her three children.

Recently, Ry’s Ruffery added Target to their growing list of retailers, and Barbara has good news for the family. She’s managed to get Ry’s Ruffery into PetSmart stores. It’s a mixed blessing. More sales mean more profits, but it also mean more work for Daniela.

Barbara shares Daniela’s concerns about her ability to keep up with the increased demands. “I can’t have a commitment with my name on it, unless you’re going to be able to deliver,” she says.

Daniela admits she’s struggling. “I feel like I’m juggling so much, but I’m not really doing any of it well.”

Barbara is thrilled to hear Daniela admit she’s not Super Woman. “Well halleluiah, you’re admitting you can’t do it all by yourself!” She offers to hire a CEO to take over the majority of Daniela’s workload. Daniela gratefully accepts, and they agree to go forward with getting Ry’s Ruffery into PetSmart. The future looks bright for this young businessman and his phenomenal mom.

Plated

Josh Hix and Nick Taranto had big dreams when they came to the Shark Tank on episode 528. They told the Sharks, “Our mission is to help America eat better.”

Mark Cuban said he’d probably not be a customer, but he did offer a deal – $500,000 for 5% of the company. After the show, however, the deal fell apart.

“When they try to say their business is more valuable,” says Cuban of the failed deal, “and if you don’t change the deal, we’re walking away, you don’t make the deal.”

A little later, Taranto ran into Kevin O’Leary at a news event. Taranto related the story, then asked, “What about you? You want to make a deal?” O’Leary did, and the partners had a new Shark investor.

Since appearing on Shark Tank, Plated is growing at a dizzying rate. Taranto and Hix have been opening new fulfillment centers all over the country. They’ve completed over 23 real estate transactions in the past year. Even with sales in the tens of millions, their spending is outpacing their profits, a fact that’s making Mr. Wonderful unhappy.

Fast growth isn’t the only problem Plated has faced. Right after their new Chicago fulfillment center opened, a storm crashed the power. The team got refrigerated trucks to save approximately $100,000 worth of perishable products. The next morning, the trucks were gone. Stolen. The Chicago fulfillment center opening is a disaster that’s cost the company some serious money.

Kevin O’Leary comes to town to check up on his investment. He puts on an apron and joins the team in the kitchen to taste-test the product. Although he’s impressed with the day to day operations, he’s critical of the pair’s growth strategy thus far, questioning why they’re hemorrhaging money.

Taranto explains, “We find that, the more fulfillment centers we have, the faster we can get orders out and the fresher the food is, and customers love that.”

O’Leary is unimpressed. “You guys sound like bozos, I’ve got to tell you. You’ve done over 20 real estate transactions in a year. Why can’t you forecast your growth? What’s wrong with you,” he asks. “You haven’t made me any profits. So far it’s just all talk.”

He instructs the pair to go to Chicago personally and supervise the reopening of that fulfillment center. Hix recognizes the challenge: “This is it. Our whole lives are on the line. Our futures, our reputations.”

Taranto and Hix go to Chicago, and the opening goes off without a hitch.

Nothing makes a Shark happier than a good investment. O’Leary is practically purring. “Josh and Nick pulled it off. They got the Chicago fulfillment facility working. It’s a success.”

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