Budsies After ‘Shark Tank’: Interview With the CEO

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Budsies, which turns kids’ artwork into stuffed animals, entered the Shark Tank in Season 6. We interviewed founder and CEO Alex Furmansky, who didn’t accept Kevin’s deal, but tells us that his company is thriving.

To read all of Heavy’s Shark Tank coverage, click here.

How The Company Has Grown

During the airing, I mentioned achieving the sale of 2,000 Budsies – I’m happy to report that we’re currently crossing 13,000 Budsies sold – with four production lines supporting nearly 100 designers, seamstresses and stuffers. We’re up to 10 corporate employees and just recently moved into beautiful new offices to accommodate our growth. We also just announced partnership with The Gap and will announce a major cruise line in late August. Our philanthropic efforts have also kicked into high gear through partnerships with the Mayo Clinic and Joe DiMaggio’s Children’s Hospital. I couldn’t be happier with the growth of our company and cannot wait to make thousands of kids happy this holiday season!

What He Learned From the ‘Tank’

Preparation pays off. Prior to taping, I spent weeks watching past episodes, memorizing key facts, and practicing responses to their typical questions. That studying allowed me to relax on the set, enjoy the moment, and of course, throw a couple punches. Same goes for the night of the airing. We studied the ‘Shark Tank Effect,’ and had nearly 90 servers running to handle the load. We handled 100,000 visitors to our site over that weekend with 100% uptime!

Not Regretting Rejecting Kevin’s Deal

Kevin was greedy and completely out of line with market valuations for high growth startups. We’ve gone out and raised a sizable amount of capital at the proper valuation for our lovable company. This capital is enabling us to optimize our operations and kick start our marketing machine: Budsies will become a staple keepsake in households worldwide.

Advice for Future ‘Tank’ Contestants

Have fun! The show is actually very founder friendly. Everyone on the set was highly supportive of the founders, and the producers do what they can to help you shine. Do your preparations at home so once you get on the set, you can relax and talk to the Sharks like you would chat with any potential investor.

To read all of Heavy’s Shark Tank coverage, click here.