Teaspressa entered the Shark Tank in Season 7 with its concentrated tea that can be prepared like coffee in drinks like lattes, macchiatos and cappuccinos. We interviewed founder Allison DeVane, who explained to us that her love of watching Shark Tank was one of the driving forces behind her decision to start a business.
Although she ultimately did not get a deal in the Tank, she called the Sharks’ assessments, “very fair.” “They knew I was just starting and that I was sprinting before the beginning,” she began. “My favorite piece of advice was from Lori, to crawl and as the business grows walk with it, run, then later sprint when the time is right.”
Here’s what else she told us about…
How the Company Has Grown Since the ‘Tank’
When I applied for Shark Tank my business was only 3 months old, when I filmed it was right after I just funded my Kickstarter to start making product and selling it online! Shark Tank has given my business a huge starting boost. Online sales multiplied by a little over 20 times over from the show and publicity acquired after. Since the Tank, I am now opening my first store front in Old Town Scottsdale next month and now one of the first to be a Tory Burch Fellow. Once the store is complete, the cafe part of the business will commence and shortly after, production for large-scale wholesale will begin. Although this may seem small, I am incredibly proud of the progress and deeply appreciate the Tank.
What People May Not Know About Her Business
What a lot of people don’t know is that 1 month into starting Teaspressa when I was looking for a more concrete way to sell the teas, I came across a deal where I could sell Teaspressa out of brick and mortar as well as have part ownership of the shop. I have been running that business at the same time which has proven Teaspressa as a successful concept and helped to build momentum of the brand as I was building it and Shark Tank really helped to get Teaspressa off the ground. Another thing that most people don’t know is that I have been bootstrapping this business- funding the patent and the trademark, developing all the blends myself, hand packing all the teas myself, serving and operating the tea service at events I still have 100 percent of the company and waiting until the right time to court growth options through investment in the near future. I predict that will be at the end of this year soonest.
Launching New Products
We have the new LUXE infused sugar cubes that make instant flavored teas, coffees, or decorative additions to bubblies! I have ones with 24k gold flakes, strawberry flavored ones, London Fog, Rose, etc.
Advice for Future ‘Tank’ Contestants
Have fun, be yourself! I don’t think I took advantage of the opportunity enough to meet the other contestants, network and relax. I felt I was overly focused and trapped in my head about what the possible outcomes of the filming could be and it showed. Normally it wouldn’t be a case for me to have nerves in a large audience or television, but to be honest I was star struck. Shark Tank was my favorite show I would put on DVR to watch or study later. Additionally, it was one of the things that inspired me to actually start my business. It was overwhelming for me to get that far and to see the Sharks in person especially during the beginning phase of my business!
OpportuniTEAs for the Future
Next month I am opening my very first storefront where a ready-to-drink tea will be available as well as the option to customize your very own blends and pick LUXE sugar cubes to accompany your tea. As the operations of the store even out, I will begin the production for large-scale wholesale. By the time both start going, my patent and trademark should be complete which in all will create the foundation of Teaspressa. At that point I will be ready for scaling and warmly greet investment opportuniTEAs.