Mark Cuban did something that no one's ever done on "Shark Tank" before: On the show, he made a deal not to invest in a company, but buy it outright.
The deal to buy struggling novelty sticker company evREwares for $200,000 made for great drama for the show's viewers, but it turns out the deal never went through.
When the sister cofounders behind evREwares, Becca Nelson and Ellie Brown, pitched their novelty sticker company to the Sharks in the latest episode of the sixth season, all the investors determined that the business was headed toward failure.
Cuban, however, saw an opportunity to take the company's existing connections and reinvent the brand as an outlet for fan merchandise for his NBA team, the Dallas Mavericks. He made an offer to buy evREwares, and after an emotional conversation, Nelson and Brown decided to let go of their baby.
But despite the great television that came from the surprising offer and subsequent tears, the sisters later decided that they couldn't follow through with it, according to ABC 11, the network's local affiliate for the sisters' hometown of Raleigh, North Carolina.
After taking some time to think about it, the sisters told ABC 11, they realized they got caught up in the moment and weren't willing to let go of their company, which produces premium wearable stickers meant for children's parties or lighthearted special events.
"We were berated for a solid 25 minutes," Nelson said in her ABC 11 interview, which led the sisters to believe in the moment that their company, which had $300,000 in sales in 2013 but was on track to make just $50,000 in 2014 after retailers decided not to place more orders, was struggling too much to survive.
It got them thinking about "the sacrifices that you make every day with your kids, your spouse, your family, everything" since founding evREwears in 2011, Nelson and Brown said. "In the hallway, we were like, 'We could take all that back.' You could feel the whole set, just the energy, change," Nelson said.
"Mark and his team reached out right after the show," Brown told the Triangle Business Journal. "It was really hard, but Becca and I didn't feel like we could sell our company."
On the set of "Shark Tank," Cuban told the misty-eyed sisters, "I promise to take good care of your baby and do the best I can to raise it from the dead and turn it into something special."
When the sisters told Cuban they changed their minds, he was "so nice about it," Brown said, and he even offered to be a free adviser to help turn the company around, which is a deal the sisters are more than happy to take.
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