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The Swilt

the swiltIvori Tennelle comes to episode 304 with a new take on outerwear, The Swilt. The product is similar to the very-successful Snuggi, but instead of the simplistic blanket-with-sleeves design, The Swilt resembles a hooded sweatshirt. The quilt piece rolls up and is cleverly hidden inside the sweater, making it suitable for soccer moms, sports fans, and anyone who wants the convenience of a wearable blanket.

Tennelle has been to flea markets and other local venues and has sold about 100 of The Swilt. She believes that “if people knew about it, they’d love it,” and wants to improve the website, optimizing it for hits on Google, and produce more of the product in anticipation of orders she believes will start rolling in after her appearance on Shark Tank.

The Swilt Shark Tank Recap

Tennelle swims into the Tank offering 35% of the business in exchange for $30,000. She offers a simple, perky demonstration of the product, explaining that the “foot pocket” is lined with water resistant nylon. She shows how the blanket rolls up to tuck neatly back into a pocket on front of The Swilt.

The Sharks appear amused by the presentation and her perky demeanor, but they quickly get down to business. Robert Herjavec asks about sales. The low sales, and Tennelle’s plans for upgrading the website and acquiring more product have the Sharks shaking their heads.

Mark Cuban thinks the product looks like a “13th century monk’s robes.” He believes the blanket poses a tripping hazard, and “just can’t get my arms around it as being a success.” He’s out.

Kevin O’Leary tries throwing Daymond John under the bus, telling Tennelle “he’s the FUBU guy, go get him.”

Tennelle brings up the mega-success of the Snuggi, comparing the “silly” factor of the two products. Lori Greiner shoots her down, telling her that the “market is completely saturated” and that you don’t see the Snuggi anywhere anymore, adding, “For that reason, I’m out.”

Robert Herjavec doesn’t “believe it’s attractive.” He’s out. Kevin O’Leary agrees with Herjavec, that it’s not attractive. He’s out. Once again, he encourages John to offer a deal, but the fashion guru isn’t looking to get into The Swilt business. He’s out, and Tennelle leaves the tank with no deal.

The Swilt Shark Tank Update

It appears that The Swilt lost traction after sinking in the Shark Tank. The website has gone dark, and social media has not been updated in several years. While The Swilt might have gained traction in the marketplace, Tennelle was far too confident in the product, without proof of concept to back it up. She needed to show the Sharks that the product would move off the shelves by taking it to the retail market and getting it on the shelves. A patent would’ve helped sweeten the deal as well.

Coming into the Shark Tank with an unproven product, low sales, and the very bare bones of a marketing plan is a sure plan for failure. If Tennelle wanted to entice the Sharks, she should have already had a fully optimized website, retail sales, standing orders, and retail partners. The Shark Tank is a sink-or-swim prospect, and the Swilt, unfortunately, sank. As of 2021, Ivory is an assistant principle at Segerstrom High School in Irvine, CA.

Swilt by Ivory & Wallace Tennelle

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