I Want to Draw a Cat For You first appeared on Shark Tank in 2012. In the episode, Steve Gadlin, founder of the company, pitched his cat-drawing company to the Sharks. Even though he assumed he was mostly there for comic relief, Gadlin walked out of the Tank with a deal.
The whole business started on the premise of Gadlin thinking about what people would buy. He wondered if he could make stick-figure cats and then create a market for them on an e-commerce site, selling the drawings online.
I Want to Draw a Cat For You could be one of Shark Tank’s most bizarre pitches. Read on to learn more about the company.
Inside the Tank: I Want to Draw a Cat For You Shark Tank Pitch
Gadlin walked into the Tank expecting to be comic relief. He was asking for $10,000 for a 25 percent stake in his business.
The Sharks took the opportunity seriously, though. Kevin O’Leary, Mister Wonderful, wondered what would happen if Gadlin were to be hit by a bus since he was the only one doing the work at the time. Robert Herjavec also couldn’t buy into the idea since Gadlin mostly just seemed like a creative guy who didn’t know the business side of things.
Mark Cuban took the idea most seriously. He asked questions about PR and the process of getting advertising for the business. The entrepreneur replied that he was a hustler and tended to bring a lot of press attention to everything that he does on a local level.
“I want you to go out, and then I want you to go back to your hotel tonight, put your head on your pillow, and I promise the last thing that will be going through your head before you go to sleep is ‘I want to draw a cat with you,'” Gadlin told O’Leary when he said he was going to go out on the deal.
“These guys just don’t get it,” Cuban said. “I get it. I love your creativity. I’ll give you 25 grand for 33 percent. Just say yes.”
He said he would also pitch in and draw one in a thousand cats. Barbara Corcoran seemed upset after the deal since she wasn’t able to put in an offer for herself.
I Want to Draw a Cat For You Update: They Are No Longer Accepting Orders
In 2015, I Want to Draw a Cat For You stopped accepting orders, with Gadlin saying the project had already run its course.
After drawing over 18,000 custom cartoons, Gadlin decided it was time to shut down. He wanted to turn his time to his talent showcase show Steve Gadlin’s Star Makers, which started out as kickstarter-funded and aired on WCIU TV. It recently aired season 3, which is available online.
“Drawing cats is very time-consuming, and since we had the successful Kickstarter for ‘Starmakers,’ I want to spend all my time on that,” he told DNAInfo. “We’ve had some good meetings with Game Show Network and truTV. And I don’t want to slow down because I’ve got 100 stick-figure cats to draw.”
In 2020, Gadlin posted for the last time on the I Want to Draw a Cat For You Instagram page with the caption “One final drawing. It’s been fun, all. And surprise, they were people all along.”