Vance Zahorski has quite a common hobby: fishing. But unlike most fishermen, he turned his hobby into a business. After noticing the lack of products aimed at cutting fishing line, Zahorski created his own: Line Cutterz. With a proposal of $120,000 for 20% equity, will the sharks take the bait, or will this business sink into the depths of the Shark Tank?
Vance Zahorski, a family man from Wisconsin, is a fishing lover who is ready to take his product to big retailers nationwide. Zahorski has been fishing since he was 4 years old and recently has found a solution to a common hassle all too familiar to fishermen: cutting the line.
While fishing at his friend’s wedding in Florida, he accidentally caught a three-foot black tip shark. When Zahorski finally got it onto the beach, he ended up getting tangled up in the line. In a desperate attempt to cut it free, he ran up to his toolbox to grab a knife, which ended up falling in the sand and almost cutting off his toe. That´s when Zahorski realized there had to be a safer and more efficient way to cut fishing line! He thought why not just put a cutter on his finger? And that’s when the prototype for Line Cutterz was first born! He welded together a dental floss cutter into a ring-like material. He slipped it on his finger and effortlessly cut fishing line! That’s when Zahorski knew he had stumbled upon a million dollar idea.
As the entrepreneur moved on to the demonstration part, we could see how efficient Line Cutterz is, even cutting effortlessly a hundred pound test braided nylon fishing line, used commonly to catch two and three hundred pounds sharks. And if you are worried about cutting yourself, there’s good news! The Line Cutterz is designed so that you can’t cut your own skin. And the fishing industry is just the beginning as Line Cutterz just so happens to work perfectly for cutting thread, yarn and embroidery floss.
How about the financial side of the company? Line Cutterz has only existed for over a year, with Zahorski and his family handle all the shipping and packaging for the company. He had to move into his parent’s house with his wife and daughters in order to come up with the funds necessary to dedicate himself solely to Line Cutterz. In just over a year they have been in business, the company has made $280,000 in sales. Each ring costs $1.68 to produce, and is sold for $12 retail.
The product is currently sold in over 150 stores, to whom Zahorski sells wholesale for $6 or 70% margin. He also mentioned that, as a company that is only around 17 months old, it’s hard for him to reach a lower retail price. He also mentioned he had had a meeting with Walmart, but the deal wasn’t closed since Walmart didn’t agree with the $12 retail price, and would prefer to sell it for $4.99. Another reason why he didn’t lower the retail price for Walmart was because he didn’t want to “piss off” other smaller clients he already has. Kevin, then decided to share a personal story about Walmart and lower retail prices, urging Zahorski to take the deal with Walmart, because even if their retail price is lower, they are able to pick the right price that would still move a lot of product.
When giving out some samples to the sharks, Zahorski ended up making quite an embarrassing mistake, giving Robert, who is originally from Croatia, a ring with a Polish design. During the pitch, Zahorski also mentioned he has also started a clothing line based on Line Cutterz, which he seemed quite excited about. The sharks, on the other hand, didn’t.
Robert was the first shark to drop out of the deal, claiming that there was nothing proprietary about Line Cutterz, mentioning that even his dad who loved to fish had a similar home-made ring. Well…that and being confused as Polish, which didn’t quite make Robert happy in the first place.
Mark was the second shark to back out, after claiming he wasn’t a fisherman and had no desire in this field. On top of that, he said it was a huge red flag when a company goes into the clothing business when they are just getting started.
With two sharks already out, Daymond decided to ask what the money would be spent on. Zahorski answered by saying the money would be spent on marketing, inventory, and any other additional expenses, such as the product’s displayers. After hearing this, Dymond decided to make an offer: $120,000 for 40% stake in the company, which is quite a large chunk of equity to sell at once. Daymond was not happy at all once Zahorski put him on hold to listen to what Kevin’s offer was. But Mr. Wonderful would not stay quiet in a situation like this, and instead, the two sharks decided to have an argument right on air. As Daymond’s patience was wearing thin, Kevin decided to back out of the deal claiming he had no interest in the product.
Lori was the final shark to drop out, claiming that although she loves the product, she hates that Zahorski didn’t take the deal with Walmart. On top of that she was also quite scared that since the retail price is so high, any new company can come in and sell it at a much lower price and thus destroy Line Cutterz.
The only shark left is Daymond, although Zahorski wasn’t quite ready to let go of such a big part of the company at once. Realizing how much more valuable his offer is, Daymond made an ultimatum: take the $120,000 for 40% stake or there’s no deal. Zahorski still tried to renegotiate, to which Daymond said he could have renegotiated if the entrepreneur hadn’t decided to listen to every shark before coming back to his offer. The whole renegotiation came down to Daymond giving the entrepreneur 15 seconds to accept the offer or leave the show. After a quick tip from Mark, Zahorski ended up asking for 33% for $120,000, which Daymond accepted.
Although we are all curious to see how the company has been doing under Daymond’s guidance, it’s still quite early to have any update from Line Cutterz. If you are interested in the company, or would like to buy your own ring, don’t hesitate to visit their website linecutterz.com or purchase your ring online.
Original Air Date: November 18, 2016
Entrepreneurs: Vance Zahorski
Company/Product: Line Cutterz
Proposal: $120,000 for 20% stake in the company
Investor: Daymond John
Final Deal: $120,000 for 33% stake in the company
The Line Cutterz is basically a ring that you can wear on your finger to cut fishing line quickly. You can use this for all types of fishing including fly fishing, surf fishing, chartered fishing, kayak fishing, and ocean fishing. The velcro adjustable strap makes it fit all sizes. This product has two-sided stainless steel blades. The stainless steel rivet set in an ABS plastic makes this product super durable and safe. Lastly, according to the company, this product is TSA allowed which means you can carry this ring with you when you travel.
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