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Whatever Happened To Tough Tie After Shark Tank?

If entrepreneurs Kevin Shoemaker and Skylar Bennett wanted you understand one thing when they entered the "Shark Tank," it was that kids and business apparel do not go together. Appearing on the show's 11th season in 2020, the two highly-energetic men pitched their product, Tough Ties — a neck-tie that, thanks to an incredibly strong design, can withstand the regular wear and tear of fatherhood. Machine washable, stain and liquid repellent, and with five times the average stitching of a regular tie, they pitched it as the perfect choice for any family man. What's more, they boasted a customizable, in-house printing process that could produce unique designs in a matter of days. The pair wanted $100,000 in exchange for 15%.

Unfortunately, their pitch began to unravel rather quickly. Hoping to make $400,000 in the same year they appeared on "Shark Tank," they only expected to make $40,000 in net revenue – most of their money goes toward paid advertising. Robert Herjavec rightly points out that guys aren't wearing ties as much as they used to, to which Bennett responds that they plan to expand beyond just ties. Mark Cuban  — the richest "shark" — pulled out first due to a lack of clarity, quickly followed by Lori Greiner. Kevin O'Leary calculated it would take seven years to get his money back, which made the business unattractive to him as well – he pulled out. Things were looking quite bleak for the two fathers, which enabled one remaining shark to make a brutal offer.

Tough Tie was rebranded to Tough Apparel

With just Robert Herjavec and fashion mogul Daymond John left in the tank, chances were slim that Tough Tie would get the valuation they hoped for. Robert offered the pair $100,000 for 35% — a majority share of the company. Shoemaker and Bennett tried to talk him down to 25%, then a one-third offer — Robert declined both, refusing to even "sell" them on his 35% offer. They ultimately accepted, and the three men went into business together.

From their website, it's hard to tell if they actually closed the deal with Robert. Most "Shark Tank" companies list the show on their website — successful or otherwise, the mention is usually extremely short. Tough Ties has a rather long recounting of their "Shark Tank" journey that suspiciously focuses solely on themselves and the process leading up to their appearance, rather than their partnership with Robert. In fact, the shark isn't mentioned at all.

While the company sold ties, socks, and belts at the time of the show, Tough Apparel now sells shirts as well. Their Instagram page mostly posts memes and some clothing shots. They appear to be using Shoemaker and Bennett's energetic personalities to market the product, which isn't a terrible decision given that was one of the stronger aspects of their pitch.