By BOTWC Staff via Because of Them We Can
A 19-year-old beauty brand founder landed a $400,000 investment deal from billionaire Mark Cuban, AfroTech reports.
19-year-old Tania Speaks, owner of Tania Speaks Organic Skincare, recently landed the opportunity to be on ABC’s hit show “Shark Tank.” The show features entrepreneurs who get the opportunity to pitch to what is considered one of the toughest investor panels in the country. Speaks’ brand did $2.4 million in sales since 2020, the owner netting $700,000 in profit. While the investors were impressed, none of them made an offer, Cuban choosing to invest only after hearing Speaks' inspiring story.
According to CNBC, the teen launched her company in 2017, years after being bullied in school because of her bushy eyebrows, going all the way back to elementary school. By high school, Speaks had developed an organic growing and styling eyebrow gel, some of her first customers being her classroom peers. She began selling her product in those high school bathrooms, working her way up to trade shows and eventually launching her own website. Now the Tania Speaks Organic Skincare brand boasts a wide variety of products including cleansers, toners, moisturizers and even beard oil.
Cuban and Speaks ended up negotiating a $400,000 investment deal in exchange for a 15 percent stake in the company. The teen entrepreneur said she couldn’t have dreamed of a better deal.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better outcome. Like, it was amazing. They even said I would sit there one day and be a Shark. That’s the highest compliment I’ve ever had,” she exclaimed.
The billionaire entrepreneur said he initially passed on the investment because beauty wasn’t his thing. But after closing the deal Cuban was visibly emotional as he expressed one of his only contingencies for Speaks, that she meet with his daughters and allow them to learn from her, which Cuban said is “more important than the money involved.”
“Honestly, I thought somebody was gonna make an offer. I said, ‘This isn’t my wheelhouse,’ but my wheelhouse is helping guide amazing entrepreneurs like yourself and helping them deal with the legal landmines that come along…Maybe I can’t help with eyebrow [gel]...but I can give you guidance that can help you avoid a lot of the pitfalls,” said Cuban.
Another Shark, Kevin O’Leary also expressed his public support for Speaks, saying her success “humbled” him but noting that he wouldn’t be a qualified investor for a skincare business.
“I don’t think we’ve ever had anybody in 13 years of Shark Tank stand on that carpet that has achieved what you have. But today, I don’t think I’m your Shark,” O’Leary told Speaks on the show.