Jessica Haynes created a high heel shoe line, that featured interchangeable heels. Will she earn a deal on
Shark Tank Jeska Shoe Company Update
- Entrepreneur: Jessica Haynes
- Business: High heel shoe with interchangeable heel
- Ask: $70,000 for 30% equity
- Result: $70,000 for 70% equity
- Shark: Daymond John
Arkansas-based entrepreneur Jessica, appeared in the tank to talk about her business, Jeska Shoe Company, and her main product– a woman’s high heel shoe with an interchangeable shoe. With this one product, she pitched nearly infinite possibilities for her customers to stylize and innovate numerous outfits, all with one shoe as the centerpiece.
Robert Herjavec loved the idea, while Daymond John immediately poked fun by calling it the “Mr. Potatohead of Stilettos.” Daymond asked about sales, but Jessica said it was a prototype and there were no sales yet.
Kevin O’Leary was very skeptical, saying it’s often not in a business’ best interest to sell a product that encourages a consumer to buy less of something. He asked how much she anticipated selling one pair for, and Jessica said it would likely retail at $200.
Daymond asked how she figured, since she had no sales yet. Jessica said her overseas manufacturer had provided the figures, and the sharks looked concerned. Daymond asked how much of her own money she had put in so far to finance her dream of being an entrepreneur.
Jessica told the sharks that she had invested $63,000, most of which had come from her grandfather. As a little girl, Jessica was very vocal in encouraging him to quit smoking cigars, so her grandfather agreed to put money aside every time he felt a craving to smoke. The idea was to use the money for Jessica’s college, but Jessica was an incredible student and went to school on scholarship.
When Jessica wanted to begin working on her dream to be a business owner, her grandfather, an entrepreneur himself, was very supportive and gave her the balance of the money. Unfortunately, Jessica used this money quickly and needed more, which her parents provided by taking out a second mortgage on the house.
Daymond was touched by the tale, stating that his mother did the same thing for him after 27 banks denied him a loan. Robert, on the other hand, said he could’ve never allowed his parents to take out a second mortgage because the pressure would be unbearable.
Robert then theorized that perhaps the Jeska Shoe Company heel was not really a winner because women simply enjoy having multiple pairs of shoes. Jessica rejected this, and brought up a competitor who sold $16 million in 2009 of their product– a ballet flat with an array of accessories that snapped onto the toe. She felt this was clear proof of concept.
Kevin asked how she planned to scale her business the same way and get to that point where she is selling millions. Jessica replied “I don’t have all the answers” which very much turned off Mr. Wonderful. Citing her lack of plan, Kevin was out.
Mark Cuban spoke up next to simplify things. He said he didn’t know anything about the shoe business, and he didn’t think he could be much help. For that reason, he was out.
Barbara Corcoran asked Jessica how much each interchangeable heel accessory would cost the customer. Jessica estimated it would cost about $20 to $30. Barbara then drew attention to the fact that customers who could afford to spend $220 for a single pair might be inclined simply to buy multiple pairs. She then went on to share that she herself lost $42,000 on her first business, but it was a blessing in disguise because it helped her get into the right business to become the success she is today. Because of her concerns, Barbara was out.
Robert was next to share his admiration for her attitude and drive, but said that this alone was not enough to make her a success in business. He also was concerned about her lack of plan in creating success with the product, and he himself couldn’t see it getting there. For these reasons, Robert was out.
This left only Daymond. He brought up the numerous things working against Jessica– the patent still pending, the pre-revenue prototype, the debt– but he saw himself in her. Because his mother also gambled on him, Daymond decided he would take a gamble.
Jessica celebrated, but Daymond warned her not to celebrate too early. In order to make it worth his while, Daymond said he would provide the $70,000, but he wanted 70% of the company. Mark and Robert were outwardly opposed to Daymond swooping in and essentially turning Jessica into an employee of her own company.
Daymond protested the criticism, saying that he would basically have to build the business for her the way things were at that present moment. It was a big chunk of equity to take, but Daymond said he would do all the distribution, shipping, billing, and financing to make sure Jeska Shoe Company was successful.
Jessica thought about it briefly before saying she would rather have a small portion of something big, than a big portion of something small. For that reason, Jessica accepted the offer without a single counter. How did Daymond and Jessica do after the tank? Keep reading our Jeska Shoe Company update to find out!
The deal with Daymond did finalize, but Jeska Shoe Company did not last very long after the episode aired. By October 2014, Jessica posted a letter on Facebook announcing that she was closing the business for good due to “diminishing returns.” As of January 2023, Jeska Shoe Company remains shuttered and the products are not for sale. This will be our final Jeska Shoe Company update.
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Andrew Smith is the founder and owner of Shark Tank Recap. He is a longtime Shark Tank fan that has been watching it for years and has seen every episode multiple times. His friends know him as the Shark Tank expert, because he can answer any question about the show! His favorite Shark Tank products are Bertello's pizza oven and Bug Bite Thing!