In episode 307, Steve Gadlin comes to the Shark Tank with his idea, I Want to Draw a Cat For You. While the idea may seem a little off the wall, it was strong enough to get him in the Tank, in front of the Sharks.
Gadlin is an inventor, who often gets his ideas in the bathroom. He believes his idea is completely unique within the market, and that people will buy his drawings. It's so simple, it's almost laughable, but Gadlin's enthusiasm and confidence are infectious. Will the Sharks buy into his artistic vision?
I Want to Draw a Cat For You Shark Tank Recap
Gadlin is seeking a $10,000 investment for 25% of his business. He cues the music and gives the Sharks a musical presentation of his cat-drawing business, complete with dance moves that even gets Mark Cuban dancing along in his seat.
When his dance number is over, Gadlin gets down to business. “By now, I'm sure you're asking, how did this idiot get into the Shark Tank,” he says. “Well, let me tell you, in today's economy, there's a market for stupid, and I am overflowing with it.” Not exactly the most convincing pitch the Sharks have heard thus far, but he has a point.
His custom cat drawing business allows customers to describe a cat and a scene, and he'll draw it for about $10. He's able to draw about 1,000 a week. Kevin O'Leary gets down to the nitty gritty, asking about sales. So far, Gadlin has sold about 1,200 drawings in a year's time, earning just over $9,000. O'Leary wants to know what he'd do with the investment. Gadlin wants to expand the line to greeting cards and other items.
O'Leary rarely invests in artists, because the business is dependent on the artist's creativity and continuing health and ability. Because of the size of the company, O'Leary believes it's “not investable” He's out. Robert Herjavec is out based on the low profit in the first year.
Mark Cuban loves the idea, and offers $25,000 for 33%, over two times the original investment request. Gadlin asks Cuban if he'll draw 1 of every 1,000 cats. Cuban agrees, and they strike the deal, finishing it up with not only a handshake, but a dance number.
I Want to Draw a Cat For You Shark Tank Update
I Want to Draw a Cat For You turned out to be one of the must unlikely and successful businesses ever to appear on Shark Tank. In the four years since the business began, Gadlin drew 18,794 custom cats for people through his website. He also sold cat tee shirts and other novelty items. Steve's business was featured in an update segment in episode 315 in season three and he already paid Mark Cuban back, had several employees, and was suffering from severe writer's cramp!
In January of 2015, Gadlin announced that he was closing his cat-drawing business in favor of focusing on his new television show, Steve Gadlin's Star Makers, airing on WCIU-TV. His website and social media, however, show that Gadlin is still drawing cats for enthusiasts who request them, so it's possible that the business isn't quite as dead as he implied. Cats do, after all, have nine lives.