Joe Chay is on Shark Tank seeking an investment in Bello Verde, a men’s clothing company. Chay started Bello Verde in 2012, after breaking off from luxury clothier Astor & Black. When Astor & Black sought bankruptcy in 2014, Chay bought the company out for $405,000.

He says the buy was a gamble that paid off, but now he’s seeking an investment from the sharks to grow his company.

He says that by taking as many as thirty body measurements and offering a great variety of custom options, his company makes sure that every suit is a perfect fit, and exactly what the customer wants. Bello Verde will also help customers select the items they need to be at the height of style, taking all of the work out of knowing what to wear.

He wants to combine Astor & Black’s model, in which they sent a rep to the customer’s home to take measurements, with other methods, including online sales.

He predicts $2 million in sales this year. He says that his best sellers are suits for $1,000-$1,500, but that his top-end items sell for as much as $3,500.

Chay is asking for an investment of $360,000 and offering a 6% equity in his company.

The sharks expressed concern at Chay’s decision to keep both company names, and his desire to go into retail with one.

Kevin O’Leary was the first to bow out. “You’re so far from reality.”

Lori Greiner was next, giving as her reason only that she shouldn’t be in the men’s custom suit business.

Robert Herjavec was next, indicating that there’s too much competition in the custom tailor business, and that the dual-name strategy was confusing.

Mark Cuban gave the entrepreneur his first positive feedback in the Shark Tank, saying he had the right strategies, but said that the valuation had been placed too high, making it too hard for him to see a return on his investment. He, too, bowed out.

Daymond John, who was the only shark to speak and say he’d recognized the name Astor & Black, did make an offer: for 33% of the company, he’d invest the requested $360,000.

“That is a number that is so far off from what I’d accept that it’s probably not even a good idea to have a conversation about it,” the clothier returned.

His counter of the same amount for 7% made all of the sharks laugh — and Chay negotiated slightly further, offering 8%.

Daymond gave another offer: $360,000 for 25%.

Chay declined, warning the sharks that they were missing a great opportunity, and left with no deal for Astor & Black and Bello Verde.

Photo: Bello Verde


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