It’s never too late to be an entrepreneur.
In last week’s episode of “Shark Tank”, two grandmothers from Yelm, Washington landed a $250,000 investment from Mark Cuban and Barbara Corcoran for their Ice Chips Candy company.
In exchange for the cash, Beverly Vines-Haines and Charlotte Clary gave up a 40% stake in their company, even though they were only looking to give up a 15% stake.
But these two are not your typical entrepreneurs. Vines-Haines used to be a romance writer and Clary has a B.S. in Natural Health. And between the two of them, they have 37 grandchildren.
“You’d think 37 grandchildren would keep us busy enough,” Vines-Haines says. “But while our friends are out scrapbooking and quilting, we’ve developed a major business.”
They started off as two grannies in a garage hammering away at the hard candies to break them into smaller pieces.
The Ice Chips are made with Xylitol, a healthy, natural sugar alternative and come in 17 different flavours.
But before the two grannies set out on their venture, they were told that no one could make a hard candy out of Xylitol.
Now, they’re selling Ice Chips all over the world and are on track to hit $1 million in sales by the end of the year.
“Those are some sweet numbers,” FUBU founder and investor Daymond John said.
With help from the sharks, they hope to start distributing on a larger scale.
Corcoran liked the idea and loved how the candies come in different shapes, so she initially offered them $125,000 for a 33% stake. Kevin O’ Leary, aka Mr. Wonderful, tried to join in on Corcoran’s deal for a 40% stake, but she refused to do business with him.
She will, however, do business with Cuban. While there were other offers on the table from Mr. Wonderful and John, the two grannies felt Cuban and Corcoran would be a better fit for their personalities.
While these two women took the big money from the show’s investors, some Shark Tank contestants do not. Check out: 23-Year-Old Turns Down Big Money From Mark Cuban.
Here’s Vines-Haines and Clary’s pitch, below. Zip to 29:16 to watch the grannies land their big investment.
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