Xero Shoes on the Shark Tank
ReRun May 31, 2013
|Steven Sashen and Lena Phoenix|
Barefoot Xero Shoe Entrepreneur's
What makes the invisible Xero Shoe's Unique as a running shoe is the added benefit's while running practically barefoot. There has
actually been studies that dispute the advancement in running shoes as harmful to our natural way of running. Too much cushion makes it easier to run and therefore not as much energy expelled for the full benefit. Sure you probably could run faster on air supported shoes but is that really the point when your out exercising? They also will last much longer then a traditional pair of running shoes. In fact, the Xero Shoe comes with a 5,000 mile warranty. I'm not sure what happens after 5001 miles, but it's fair to say, Sashen and Phoenix stand behind the quality of their shoe's that are made to last a very long time.
|Xero Shoe's come in several styles and colors.|
Xero Shoes before the Shark Tank
Steven Sashen and Lena Phoenix started a company called "Feel The World" in 2009 which makes the original Invisible Shoe. It would make an interesting story if this business was started with the intentions of selling millions of shoe's and changing the running world one runner at a time. It would make an even better story if it was started almost on a fluke that has grown into a phenomenon that it has.
|Super Light Weight Xero Shoe|
The Invisible Shoe website went live on Nov. 23, 2009 and quickly caught on as barefoot running was getting a lot of attention. In the first 3 years, the business has sold over 25,000 pairs of the invisible sandal, now being re branded as the Xero Shoe. Just a few months ago in November of 2012, Sashan was quoted saying that 2012 sales were 100% over 2011 sales and 2013 sales are expected to quadruple 2012. There was no way of him knowing that Xero Shoes would make it on the Shark Tank at that time, so he may have to adjust those number's much higher after the Shark Tank Effect takes hold.
These are very impressive number's in any ones book and I think the Sharks will also agree. It's most likely going to come down to the valuation and how far Sashen and Phoenix can project this type of growth in the future. The fact that they are re branding the name just before the Shark Tank air's is a fact that can not be ignored. Personally I still like the original Invisible Shoe name over the new Xero Shoes. I know, I get it, it's not really an invisible shoe, but it still sounds cool, and it's a lot easier to remember.
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Xero Sandales after the Shark Tank UpdateSteven and Lena came into the Shark Tank practically barefoot. They are the self professed "aging hippie athletes from Boulder, Co. and they are their spokes people". Steven wasted no time asking 400k for a 8% stake of the barefoot sandal business valuing it at a whopping $5 million. Robert Herjevic the "Ginny Pig Shark" puts the Xero Sandal's to the test and really likes them.
To justify this high valuation Lena says that since their website launched 2 1/2 years ago, they have sold over $650,000.00 of the Do-It-Yourself Sandal Kit's with Zero advertising. In the last 2 months they have already done over $130k and they are on track to do $1.2 million for the year. The most popular Xero Sandal retails for $24.95 and costs $3.40 to make. They sell them wholesale for $12.95 to 9 retail stores so far carrying the Xero Shoes.
Kevin O'Leary make them an offer for the $400k but wants 50% of the shoe business. Steven shrugs off O'Leary's offer and says "I will get back to you on that". Robert Herjevic really does like the product and vow's to buy a pair but is not interested in paying $400k for them, He's out. Kevin jumps back in and wants to know about his offer. Steven counters with a 10% stake which has O'Leary saying "your out of your mind". Mark Cuban sees this barefoot shoe idea more as a bubble that is already getting more competition from other shoe companies. Cuban says you'd better take O'leary's offer because "Your bubble is going to pop". They are not willing to give up that much equity to O'Leary and do not even try to counter his offer again. O'Leary famously goes on record again saying "your dead to me". Sometimes I wonder if that's actually a compliment, especially after one of his famous low ball offers.
In the end there was no deal but I have a feeling we have not seen the last of the Barefoot Runners from Boulder. They are the perfect spokes people for this rather unusual but very comfortable running sandal.
They are just beginning their Marathon Run to Success one Sandal at a time.