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Young fathers and great friends, Skylar Bennett and Kevin Shoemaker, came to the Shark Tank to showcase their apparel company that is designed for professionals who need durability, versatility, and style. Tough Apparel is an accessories company that specializes in ties, belts, and socks. They came to the Shark Tank to showcase their signature product, Tough Tie, in hopes of sparking a partnership with one of the Sharks. Skylar and Kevin are seeking $100,000 in exchange for 15% equity of Tough Apparel.

Tough Tie’s unique design allows it to be machine washable, stain and liquid repellant and contains five times the amount of stitching as standard ties. It also includes microfiber tipping which allows consumers to clean their phone screens or glasses. This specialized versatility allows young professionals who may spill their lunch or who may have young children grabbing their tie or teething on it to easily wash and wear it again without having to dry clean in between. Another key component of tough ties business is that they can custom print on ties, creating a robust niche for themselves in the tie market. Because they own all of the equipment for customization allowing ties to be turned around very quickly after placing an order.

Last year Tough Apparel sold $208,000 of product and is on track this year to sell $400,000, proving there is demand for their product line. The company is currently in $150,000 of debt after putting $43,000 of their own money into the business and is looking for a Shark that is willing to help them bear the financial weight of the company while helping them to properly market and grow their business. Both Skylar and Kevin would like to help move the company forward so they can take some of the financial burden off of their wives and young families.

While the Sharks really liked Skylar and Kevin and appreciated the entertainment of their pitch, they were concerned that they would not be able to recoup their investment quickly, however, they urged Tough Apparel to consider partnering with Robert Herjavec who has other companies like theirs in his portfolio. Robert agreed and extended an offer, however it came with a steep price tag of $100,000 for 35% equity. Kevin and Skylar tried to unsuccessfully counter offer bringing that equity share down to an even 33.3% so they could be equal partners, but Robert held strong in his offer. Ultimately they agreed to accept his offer and Tough Apparel partnered with Robert Herjavec.

Do you think it was a wise decision for Tough Apparel to give up so much equity in their company? Do you think Robert will be able to help them build their brand and grow their company? If you were Kevin and Skylar would you have accepted this deal? Start the conversation in the comments below!

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