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The Real Elf

the real elfTommy Holl hopes the Sharks won’t put him on a shelf when he pitches The Real Elf, his elf themed pop up event business, in Shark Tank’s Holiday Special, episode 1308. Holl, known in the Chicago area as “Tommy The Real Elf,” first dressed as an elf for an office Christmas card in 2012. His friends kept telling him he looked like The Elf on a Shelf, so he gave it a whirl.

He makes money with his elf business several ways. He does pop up events where people can take an “elfie” for a small fee. Holl also sells personalized digital elf greeting videos featuring himself for $50 and he works corporate events and parties dressed as The Real Elf. There’s also a shop on his website where you can purchase elf swag.

Tommy likes to give back to the community too. In 2013, Tommy he contracted Epithelioid sarcoma, a rare  form of cancer where tumors start in fingers and toes. The only treatment is amputation. Tommy is now cancer-free, but he lost a pinky finger to the disease. To help kids with cancer, he visits many cancer wards in the greater Chicago area to bring a little joy to the children. He partners with Imerman Angels to provide support to cancer patients.

His elvish escapades have made him a minor celebrity, too. He is practically a fixture on Chicago area news outlets around the Christmas season. He’s even been on the Today Show. He wants to expand beyond Chicago and he hopes a Shark will lend a hand. Will Sharks take this elf off the shelf and invest?

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Tommy Holl is The Real Elf

The Real Elf Shark Tank Recap

Santa Claus emerges from the hallway and starts to pitch when Tommy pops out of a box and says “Not today, Santa!” Tommy walks onstage and says he sparks joy with his elf grams. He continues to talk about corporate events and media appearances before asking  $125,000 for 25% of his business. He wants to expand the Real Elf platform. Then; the Sharks come onstage to take an elfie. Santa wishes Tommy luck with the pitch and exits.

Tommy explains how he sells elf grams online. Each one is a custom message. Tommy shows a custom elf gram he made for the Sharks. He makes $10-$15,000 each season. He wants to expand the brand. Tommy is a one stop shop and he tells the story of how he came up with the idea. The Sharks like him.

Mr. Wonderful says he needs a social media presence. Tommy wants to ad other characters. He tells the Sharks about his “real” job. Mark says he can’t get his arms around it; he’s out. Mr. Wonderful says this is a deal for Barbara; he’s out. Barbara wants to know what he’ll do with the money. Tommy says he’ll spend the money on creating an app. Lori says he should do Tik Tok, not an app; she’s out. Daymond thinks Tommy can figure it out for himself; he’s out.

After a break, Barbara says she looks great in a onesie. She says Tommy leads with his heart. She wants to know how he got involved with the cancer support and he tells his cancer story. Barbara offers $50,000 in cash and a $75,000 loan for 35% of the business, but she wants half of sales to go to a cancer charity of his choice. Mr. Wonderful says it’s a good idea. Tommy says, “I love you Barbara,” and does the deal.

The Real Elf Shark Tank Update

The Shark Tank Blog constantly provides updates and follow-ups about entrepreneurs who have appeared on the Shark Tank TV show. On the night of the original air date, Barbara tweeted:

Welcome to the family, Tommy! @TheRealElfTommy

#SharkTank @ABCSharkTank

The first re-run of this episode in July, 2022, airs just four months after the original air date. As of this time, the deal with Barbara has not closed. The Shark Tank Blog will follow-up on The Real Elf & Tommy Holl as more details become available.