It’s a repeat show tonight, but since I started blogging in the middle of the season, it’s new to me. TV Guide says tonight’s pitches include a service that offers rentals of live Christmas trees–which I’m curious about because how can it be more lucrative then just selling them? And also, does it come with insurance? There is also gluten-free, and likely flavor-free, fudge, and some kind of fashion accessory that is also a cell-phone holder. The PurseCase market is already being eroded. Then there are two moms who want to franchise their concept for a kids’ play-and-birthday-party space, which I guess is neither Chuck E. Cheese’s nor my parents’ rec room. We’ll also be treated to a visit from country music star and Celebrity Apprentice winner John Rich, who really knows how to leverage his reality TV exposure.
In the interim, the sharks offered Forbes their wisdom for starting a business. Barbara, who had the innovative idea to sell real estate in New York City, advises asking yourself “if its been done a million times before.” Lori, who embraced the PurseCase to her bosom, says, ““A good name catchy and memorable,” while Robert, who rarely invests in any entrepreneur on the show, advises, “Cash is the lifeblood of your business.You can recover from almost any other mistake, but if you run out of cash you’re dead.” Well, that was helpful, guys.
Okay, now that Shrek’s Christmas Sellout Show is over, it’s time for the show we’re going to watch together. Did you know Robert is the son of an immigrant factory worker? That makes him a more authentic rich person.
We start with the the two L.A. moms who own The Coop, an outdoor play and party space that is chic and upscale with clean lines. It’s for kids who don’t pick their noses or smear jelly on everything. The places they used to go to, since they apparently throw parties so often they were able to accurately assess the market for this service, were nasty and dirty. All the kids got cholera and got broken glass in their cupcakes. The ladies’ space caters to rock stars and other celebrities as well as regular incredibly wealthy moms, who pay upwards of $600 for a party. These come not only with the kids’ play space, but socializing areas that serve coffee and offer other perks for the moms, like free mirrors to cut their coke.
Lucinda and Juliet–who is hugely preggers with another child to throw parties for–want to franchise and open more Coops, so they’re asking for $150,000 for a 15% stake. Mr. Wonderful loves their numbers, but their single Coop is not good enough for him. They’re not here to exploit people, says Daymond, except by putting them through the ringer for show ratings, so he’s out. Robert is also out, which he says while wearing a plastic shark fin on his head. Barbara gives them the offer they want, but as a loan for two years. Mr. W. calls her a savage, but he’s probably envious. The ladies exit to consult. The deal is sealed. Affluent children throughout the land’s parties are saved!
ChordBuddy, the guitar teaching system that Robert backed, gets an update now. John Rich appears to y’all and drop his “g”‘s in appreciation of the product, and otherwise do nothing substantial in the way of supporting its advancement. “Shoke Tenk chinged mah laff,” reports the inventor, who speaks fluent Rich.
A hyperactive blond lady arrives next, with “a unique take to a classic dessert.” She’s president and founder of Fat Ass Fudge, another winner of a name. Made with goat milk, the organic candy is gluten-free and lactose-free, so it’s all healthy except for being fudge. And why isn’t it named Fat Goat Fudge? A poor selling point is that lady has clearly eaten too much of her product, and should not wear cap sleeves. She tells them the banal story of her confection’s birth, then points to Mark and says she had a dream about him. His face falls like a souffle. No matter, her numbers are terrible. Everyone groans, because someone likeable, enthusiastic, and dedicated to their business but who does not generate enough income deserves no better. Mr. W. offers her a quarter mill for 1000%. He is a skinny ass. Babs tells her to keep flogging her candy at the farmer’s market. The others quickly decline as well. Fudge Lady departs without her dignity. You know those Sharks will raid the supply of candy she left behind.
The next guy wants to modernize a holiday tradition. Owner of the Living Christmas Company, he’s known as Scotty Clause, despite his dark and threatening supervillain beard. The business grew out of the heartbreak of children seeing their discarded Christmas trees tossed to the side of the road like so much grass clippings. I was unaware this was a principal source of holiday trauma for kids, since getting socks for a gift or being forced to eat cranberry sauce would seem far more upsetting. Instead, this company delivers a live tree in a pot, designated for your very own family, you decorate it, gather round it Christmas morning, your dog pees on it or it gets Dutch Elm Disease, then the company picks it up and brings it back to the greenhouse to take care of it for you. And next year, your tree returns to your home for the holiday. Just like your chain-smoking Uncle Morty who always splashes beer on your mom’s best tablecloth.
Mr. W. hates the model for several logical reasons, not even including the idea that no one is likely to believe they are getting the same tree every year, and more importantly, that they would develop a personal relationship with a tree in the first place so that they would care to have the same one every year. The guy blabbers about giving people meaningful jobs and environmental something or other. The Sharks don’t care. Except Mark. He says he’ll give Scotty and his Christmas monetizing effort the $150,000 for 40% he wants, and they will figure out how to scale the thing. And Mr. Wonderful’s heart grew three sizes that day.
Next a couple of young people named Connor and Jillian present their product called PartyPouch. It lets a gal carry her cell phone in what looks like a colorful gun moll’s holster strapped to her thigh. Now she can answer a call and seduce a guy at the bar at the same time. I predict all kinds of terrible catastrophes occurring in the ladies room stall. Also, it could easily compete with your date if it’s set on vibrate.
The two shiny overachievers bicker back and forth with the Sharks on their potential sales and the company’s worth. The Sharks are dubious and the girl is indignant. The two explain that they basically sold their fabulous idea for a bag of magic beans. Which seems about what it’s worth. The Sharks laugh derisively. Mr. W. is out, and is so disgusted that he forbids the others from getting involved. Daymond tells the girl she has a thick skull and is not listening to their wisdom. I think it might be all that Farrah hair blocking her hearing. Robert calls them arrogant. They think their passion for the product is going to make them successful. If that were true, I’d be a titan in the realm of Little Debbie snack cakes.
But Mark says the pair remind him of himself when he was 23. That explains a lot. Alas, they can’t convince even him that their garter belt with a pocket on it is worth the time of day. Off go Connor and Jillian, quoting Steve Jobs and flashing their veneers.
Next week is a new episode and not when everyone is bloated with pumpkin pie, so I hope to see more of you then! Night, Zappy!