Wine & Design first appeared on Shark Tank during the Season 8 finale. There, Patrick and Harriet Mills pitched their idea of a franchised wine-encouraged art studio where people can drink while painting.
Harriet had the inspiration for the company when she was on a weekend trip with a friend.
“We had made a trip down to Charleston, and had stopped at this paint-and-sip spot,” she told Franchise Times. “The kids and the husband weren’t along so it was a treat. I’m really not a painter and here I thought my picture would turn out terrible, but by the end we had so much fun, drank too much wine, and I left with this incredible painting.”
They opened their first Wine & Design studio in Raleigh, North Carolina in 2010, and it was a huge success. By 2016, they had more than 50 franchised locations and hadn’t spent much on advertising.
They entered the Shark Tank to find a deal in 2017.
Inside The Tank: Wine & Design ‘Shark Tank’ Pitch
Wine & Design appeared as part of the Season 8 finale, and they surprised the sharks in a way they had yet to experience on the show: They brought in a nude male model to demonstrate their life drawing classes.
During the pitch, Lori Greiner asked why they came to the tank if the business was already so successful, and she didn’t like the answer she got. The time of explosive growth had already happened, and they were now fighting with their two competitors to get to the number one spot in the business.
Kevin O’Leary, Mr. Wonderful himself, offered $150,000 in cash plus $350,000 in credit at 12 percent interest for 10 percent of the company. Robert Herjavec countered the deal, offering $500,000 for 33.3 percent straight equity.
The entrepreneurs took O’Leary’s deal, making him a partner in the business.
What Happened with Wine & Design After Appearing on ‘Shark Tank’?
Over the two years following Shark Tank, Wine and Design obtained 19 new franchise partners. The franchise start-up fee is $25,000 with an initial investment range total anywhere from $69,950 to $221,200.
The brand offers services that set them apart from their competition, like lessons for kids and Wine & Design on wheels where the customer picks the venue. They also have the option of partnering with parties to donate a portion of profits to charity.
Most of the customers are women, and bachelorette parties are some of their most frequent bookings, followed by team-building exercises for large corporations.
By the end of 2019, Wine & Design had a total of 80 locations and had recently gotten their start on the West Coast. Mills said they were expanding slowly and opening anywhere from 10 to 15 locations a year. They cater to every demographic and different types of bookings, which Mills thinks helps their success.
She said she thinks people are most attracted to the values Wine & Design has as a brand.
In December 2019, Mills met up with O’Leary at the grand opening of their 82nd store, which is located in Raleigh.
Shark Tank: The Greatest of All Time special airs on ABC on Wednesday, February 26, 2020. Tune in to see if Wine & Design is one of O’Leary’s proudest investments from the Tank.