Style sometimes comes with a hefty price tag, but if you're inclined to throw fiscal caution to the wind during the Holidays or if you just reason that a Christmas tree is something you can use for years, then you might want to check out this Shark Tank product. On Episode 13, Season 9, Matthew Bliss came into the tank with a product line inspired by the work of his grandfather, Lawrence "Bud" Stoecker. Matthew was seeking an investment of $100,000 in exchange for 10% equity in his company.
Bud Stoecker was an engineer who loved to tinker and invent. He fashioned a unique tree out of cardboard and then designed one out of plexigalss. The trees were made from concentric rings and hung from the ceiling. One of Matthew’s memories from his childhood was lying beneath the tree and looking up at the lights and ornaments. Bud was later diagnosed with Alzheimer's and has since passed away.
Bliss is producing modern faux Christmas trees constructed with acrylic rings and crystal ornaments. The are made is different sizes; one is a table top model. These trees are attention-getting, to be sure. For those with a love of modern design, they might just be a good buy.
The Sharks had a very positive reaction to the product, but thought that the price was high.
Mark Cuban wondered how the company could be scaled. Robert Herjavec and Kevin O'Leary both went out. Lori Griner loved the product, but did not think it was affordable to the majority of consumers.
Barbara Corcoran offered $100,000 for 25 percent of the company with a $5 royalty until she gets her investment repaid. O'Leary then came back in with the same royalty offer at a 20 percent equity stake. Barbara then lowered her equity ask to 19%. Matthew countered at 15%. They settled at 18%.
Like many new successful entrepreneurs, Matthew has a cause and wants to "do good."
For every tree sold, he donates $50 to the Colorado Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association. These donations are already estimated to exceed $15,000.