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Shark Tank Recap Season 11, Episode 11: Kevin O'Leary Lands a $400,000 Deal With Kreyol Essence

INC 2020-01-14 10:30:00

Husband-and-wife duo Stephane Jean-Baptiste and Yve-Car Momperousse were pitching Kreyol Essence, a line of skin, hair, and body products made with organic black castor oil from Haiti. There, on a company-owned farm, the founders say as many as 300 farmers and other workers harvest the seeds from the Ricinus communis plant and extract the oilThey were seeking $400,000 for 10 percent equity in the Miami-based business, which sells its products on its website and through retailers like Whole Foods. 

Jean-Baptiste and Momperousse launched the startup in 2014 with a primary focus on bulk sales, they told the Sharks. However, in 2016, they lost one of their top clients and sales dropped from $130,000 in 2014 to $40,000 two years later, prompting the couple to consider closing up shop. 

"It challenged our relationship and we felt we had failed our community and our ourselves," Jean-Baptiste said on the show. "It's my culture and identity, it's everything my parents sacrificed to get us here." 

Instead of shuttering, they pivoted to a direct-to-consumer business model and took in $327,000 in sales the following year. At the time of filming in 2019, the founders said they expected to close the year with $2 million in sales thanks to a deal with Ulta to sell in 1,200 stores. On the company's website, products range in price from an $8 bar of soap to $60 for a 3.4-oz bottle of face and hair oil.

Mark Cuban, Daymond John, Barbara Corcoran, and Lori Greiner dropped out early but praised the company's success and Momperousse's skills as a salesperson. That left O'Leary, who saw potential but believed it would be a risky investment. He offered $400,000 for 37 percent equity, which stunned the couple. 

Momperousse tried to counter for 20 percent equity, but O'Leary declined. "I'm impressed by you but now we are having a tough love discussion," he told the co-founders. "It's about money, I want to make money." 

"We were not expecting Mr. Wonderful to be a partner in a Haitian beauty brand," Momperousse said after leaving the Tank. "But, Kevin O'Leary surprises you." 

Published on: Jan 14, 2020