Sarah Blain brings a little Christmas magic to the Shark Tank when she pitches Sealed by Santa, her personalized “letters from Santa” business, in episode 812 – the 2016 “holiday special.” The big hook with this business is the letters get sent from a North Pole postmark! Even skeptical kids can't deny that authenticity!
The concept is simple: parents fill out an internet form with their child's name and some other personal details and Sealed by Santa does the rest. Each letter arrives in a fancy envelope, addressed to the child. The letter itself is on parchment paper with burnt edges and hand signed by Santa.
There are a dozen different letters you can send. There's also an “evidence kit” that includes Santa's hat, a Santa boot stencil with Magical Snow Powder so the child can see Santa's footprints around the tree, a Thank You note thanking the child for the cookies, one of Santa's big black buttons that “fell off his coat,” Santa's Sleigh License, Santa's Official Nice List Map, Santa's Glove that took off while eating Christmas cookies, and instructions on how to place the items around the house. You can also order ornaments, a “Santa key,” and reindeer food. Letters cost $10.95 and other products are all under $20.
Sarah likely wants a Shark to help bring her business to other holidays and expand on her product offerings. Will a Shark be one of Santa's helpers and invest?
Sealed by Santa Shark Tank Recap
Sarah enters seeking $150,000 for 20% of her company. She explains the process to the Sharks. It casts $1.50 to produce a letter and she sells them for $10.95 with letters getting mailed in 24 hours. Kevin worries that high volume could slow her down and Sarah tells him she has a dozen friends who help her during the season. Her employment coasts were about $10,000 last year.
Last year's sales were $355,000, up from $250,000 the prior year. When Kevin questions the seasonality, Sarah says she has a database of 60,000 customers. They sampled Easter letters and made about $15,000.. Kevin likes the sound of the database and thinks Sealed by Santa would fit well with the Something Wonderful platform. He offers $150,000 for 33 1/3%.
Sarah starts crying, explaining her husband left her the day Shark Tank called. Barbara consoles her and tells her to accept that it's a seasonal business, but she goes out. Mark thinks Sarah is spreading things too thin, he's out. Robert offers $150,000 for for 33 1/3% and says Sarah can keep the first $100,000 they make then they'd split the profit after that. Lori offers a $75,000 loan and another $75,000 for 22 1/2% of the business. After a pause, Sarah chooses Lori's deal.
Sealed by Santa Shark Tank Update
The Shark Tank Blog constantly provides updates and follow-ups about entrepreneurs who have appeared on the Shark Tank TV show. It doesn't look like the deal with Lori closed as the company isn't listed on her website as one of her Shark Tank companies. Shark Tank did help Sarah get a lot of new customers and she now offers letters from both the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy.