SCAD alumna unveils her start-up company on ABC's "Shark Tank," walks away with investment offer
SCAD alumna Megan Cummins (B.F.A., graphic design, 2008) unveiled her new start-up company, You Smell, a line of all-natural, luxury bar and paper soaps, on ABC's "Shark Tank" on Friday, Feb. 3 and walked away with an offer better than she expected.
"This opportunity has launched the company solely with the exposure we've received," said Cummins. "One of the hardest things about starting up is getting in front of your audience, and Shark Tank provided that on an international level."
After Megan pitched her company to the five 'sharks,' she found three of them vying to invest in her business. Asking for $55,000 to manufacture the product, Megan had to choose between offers from chairman of HDNet Mark Cuban, real estate mogul Barbara Corcoran and technology innovator Robert Herjavec. Megan chose Herjavec who offered to invest $55,000 in exchange for 20% of her company, in addition to a $50,000 first-year salary, for a total of a $105,000 investment offer.
The critically acclaimed "Shark Tank" gives budding entrepreneurs the chance to make their dreams come true and possibly make a business deal that will make them a millionaire.
You Smell originated in a classroom at SCAD as part of a senior-year graphic design project. Cummins had the opportunity to make anything she wanted-to go crazy and develop a brand that would sing everything she loved. It spread virally on design blogs before landing major press in Allure, The Sunday Times and Tatler. Determined to make You Smell a reality, Cummins went into business for herself, designing on the side and investing all her time and money in the company.
"SCAD has played an integral part in getting me to where I am today," says Cummins. "I developed this brand in college and continued to receive business guidance from my professors long after I graduated. They helped me learn to negotiate, motivated me to stick with it and at times felt like the only ones who truly believed in me."
You Smell soaps feature natural, top-tier ingredients like olive oil, avocado oil, shea butter, tea tree oil and glycerin-often removed by manufacturers to sell for profit-that create a creamy, naturally restorative lather. Every You Smell product is free of fillers, phthalates and parabens.
You Smell is accepting orders at yousmellsoap.com.
Mark Burnett, Clay Newbill and Phil Gurin are the executive producers of "Shark Tank," based on the Japanese "Dragons' Den" format created by Nippon Television Network Corporation. The series is from Sony Pictures Television.
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The Savannah College of Art and Design is a private, nonprofit, accredited institution conferring bachelor's and master's degrees at distinctive locations and online to prepare talented students for professional careers. SCAD offers degrees in more than 40 majors.