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Beyond the Tank Episode 101

beyond the tank episode 101Beyond the Tank Episode 101 aired May 1, 2015. This marked the premier of Beyond the Tank. The show featured 3 in-depth looks at past Shark Tank entrants. In each 20 minute segment, the trials and tribulations of what life after Shark Tank looks like are explored. Episode 101 has Robert Herjavec’s most successful company to date, Tipsy Elves. The segment shows Robert’s interactions with entrepreneurs Evan Mendelsohn and Nickaulaus Morton and how the three businessmen took Tipsy Elves from $800K to more than $7 million in annual sales. The second segment highlights Carter Kostler’s post-Tank struggles. Carter didn’t get a deal for his Define Bottle, but he didn’t let that stop him from hustling his way to over $2.5 million in annual sales! The third segment features Al “Bubba” Baker and his Bubba’s BBQ Ribs. Daymond invested in Bubba’s BBQ, but he found there were challenges creating a food company Beyond the Tank!

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

Episode 101 Featured Sharks

Episode 101 Featured Entrepreneurs

Beyond the Tank Episode 101 Recap

Tipsy Elves

We last saw Tipsy Elves founders Evan Mendelsohn and Nickaulaus Morton when they appeared on episode 512 of Shark Tank in 2013. Morton and Mendelsohn were grade school friends, who came together in college to produce “ugly Christmas sweaters” for high-end customers. Their slogan is “not your mama’s Christmas sweater.” When the pair came to the Shark Tank, they were selling their products online in over 200 countries, and have become the “official sponsors” of National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day, (December 20.)
They were able to land a deal with Robert Herjavec for $100K for 10%, only 5% more than their original offer of 5% for $100,000.

After the appearance on Shark Tank, the business skyrocketed. Sales went from $800,000 annually, to $7.5 million. Of the investment, Herjavec says, “Tipsy Elves is, by far, my most profitable investment. It’s a business that generates cash. Cash is good.”

Although the business’ success has allowed Mendelsohn to give up his position as a lawyer to run the day to day operations of the company, Morton has retained his job as an endodontist, working part-time to maintain his share of the workload. He’s running on an average of 5 hours of sleep a night, but he’s afraid to give up the job he worked hard for in favor of working for Tipsy Elves full-time. Mendelsohn believes it’s time for Morton to come on board full-time, saying “I’m not sure we can continue to grow at our current pace with Nick only giving us 50% of his time.”

When Robert Herjavec meets with the pair to discuss the future of the line, they present an idea for a new line, called “Knit-Knack.” The pair hope to offer the line at a lower price point, making their sweaters available to a wider market.

Herjavec “hates” the idea. He tells the partners; “If you’re going to go high-end, go high-end. If you’re going to go low-end, go low-end. A percentage of people are going to pay for that. Let’s sell to those people and accept that.”
Another new line, of patriotic tee-shirts and other seasonal apparel is a hit with the Shark. He advises them to consider what the brand stands for and stay focused on that.

Robert isn’t done advising the partners. He tells Morton that it’s time to “step off the ledge a little,” and come into the company full-time. Morton takes his advice to heart. He gives up his practice and moves to the opposite coast, coming on board with the company full-time.

Herjavec’s investment has paid off. “Mark my words,” he says, “these guys are going to build a $100 million clothing company. Not a Christmas sweater company. A clothing company. We’re going for the big time.”

Define Bottle

Carter Kostler brought his Define Bottle to the Shark Tank when he appeared on the Young Entrepreneurs Special, episode 512. The Define Bottle is a new twist on a basic water bottle, that allows the user to infuse their favorite beverage with fruits, tea, or vegetables. Kostler designed the bottle in an effort to persuade his younger brother to drink more water and break the soda habit.

The fifteen year old’s parents had just taken out a $300,000 mortgage to help develop his invention. Mark and Carla Weisman believed in their son enough to take an enormous risk, but their gamble didn’t pay off in the Shark Tank. None of the Sharks offered a deal to the young entrepreneur. Kostler was disappointed, to the point of depression, after his failure to land a Shark deal, but soon he picked himself up and began thinking of new ways to get the Define Bottle to market.

He took his product to some of the large retailers, and started making deals. Soon, his sales were taking off. He made $2 million in one year and $2.5 in the next. Singing sensation Carry Underwood created a design for his water bottles, and Kostler got the line into Dicks Sporting Goods and Target.

“I paid off my parents’ mortgage, and the weight was off my shoulders,” says Kostler of his success. “You could say that failure from Shark Tank brought me to this point.”

Failure might have had an influence on Kostler’s life, but the secret to his success was simple. “That’s what this is all about. Extreme highs and extreme lows. Success is how you get out of those lows.”

Indeed. This is one young man whose future looks bright, thanks to his determination and dedication to following his dreams, no matter what challenges he faces in the future.

Bubba Q Boneless Baby Back Ribs

All Baker’s Bubba Q Boneless Baby Back Ribs was his second career. For 13 years, he played as a defensive end in the NFL, making it to the Pro Bowl three times. After retirement, he had time to pursue his other passion: Good food and good BBQ, especially ribs. Sabrina Baker, his wife, didn’t like BBQ because of the mess. Al came up with a solution.

“We are the only people who have removed the bone from an actual rack of ribs, so everyone can enjoy ribs with a knife and fork.”

When Baker came to the Shark Tank in episode 513 looking for a $300,000 investment in return for 15% of his company, Daymond John smelled success, and it smelled like tender, juicy, boneless baby back ribs. He made an offer for 30% of the company. Baker accepted, and the partnership was born.

The exposure of being on Shark Tank skyrocketed the business. Baker says of those early days, “We felt like this was going to be a success, but we had no idea of how much a success.” In one night, the online store received $100,000 in orders. The company simply couldn’t keep pace with the demand.

When Bubba reappeared for Beyond the Tank episode 1, he was having a problem with the co-packer- a packager responsible for packaging and delivering the orders for product. The co-packer Baker had chosen to work with was too small. They couldn’t keep up with the orders, and the lack of production was costing the company, big time. Daymond John had arranged for orders from cruise ships and major grocery chains. The inability to fulfill those orders had cost the company millions. Sales had reached $254,000, but were capped at that level by the lack of production support.

Daymond John was not pleased. “I thought that he had all this production stuff under control, but I was wrong.” He comes to Bubba to talk about the future, but at this point, he’s considering whether he should continue the partnership. “Unless I can feel comfortable with this relationship and this production, I’d rather just lose my money right now, write it off, and walk away. I’m not going to let myself look bad again.”

Still, John isn’t ready to give up on Bubba’s Boneless Ribs. He believes it’s the “biggest business I could ever do in my entire life.”

The pair get together to talk about the business. Baker explains to John what’s been happening, and talks about how he intends to get back on track. Baker invites John over for a round of back-yard football and a meal. They discuss the co-packer situation, and John agrees to allow Baker more chance to find a new producer. Baker gets on the phone. “I’ve been in the NFL for 13 years. Being under pressure is nothing new.”

After dozens of phone calls, Baker made a connection with Rastelli Food Group. Ray Rastelli Jr, and his son, Ray Rastelli III, run a company that has the capacity to produce 100,000 lbs of packaged meat per day, more than enough to meet Bubba Q’s needs. Al visits the plant and inspects the process.

“The thing that impressed me the most was the attention to detail,” he says. “Today we finally found our co-packer in Rastelli Food Group. After 2 ½ years, we can finally fill those orders with the big companies.”

Daymond John is pleased with the new partnership, and Bubba Q Boneless Baby Back Ribs is poised to climb to the next level of success.

With the help of a Shark, Baker has achieved his dream. He says, “Today is proof that hard work really does pay off.”

Beyond the Tank Episode 101 Videos

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