The Party People pitched to the shark’s on Channel 10’s Shark Tank for episode 7 on the 22nd March 2015. As smart company magazine (see image) reported, we turned down an offer from Janine Allis.

A year earlier I was in the USA visiting a friend and I was watching Shark Tank [The US version], I thought it was a really cool show since there is no TV out there for entrepreneurs and this show nails it. I saw a commercial on Ten saying they were casting, so I went straight onto the website and signed up. A few months later I appeared on the show.

From the beginning Janine Allis (Boost Juice) and Naomi Simson (Red Balloon) were the two I had hoped showed some interest and lucky enough Janine made me an offer. While Steve Baxter, Andrew Banks, John McGrath and Naomi all bowed out of the negotiations, Allis was keen on the idea – as long as she could have 40% of the company instead.

I just didn’t think my family business could be given away when the potential is so much greater and when she made the offer I had a choice, take it and give up 40 percent or back myself to take the business where it can go without giving away nearly half the company. I took the latter. There was an added incentive for me to go with Janine as I had planned from the start to try to target her, given she was the shark with the most ideal background for me and I really respect what she is doing at Zoo Retail. I would have been thrilled to work with such an amazing business person like Janine, but not at 40 percent.

I declined the offer and while it may have seemed a loss at the time, great things happened after appearing on the show.

After watching the American version, entrepreneurs that walk in with valuations like mine get torn to shreds so I knew the only way to survive was to be exceptionally well prepared. As it turns out they were not that bad, in fact they were really nice and we had a great debate on my valuation.

We have since been approached by investors, received franchise requests, contacted by suppliers to setup product launches, and best off all increased sales from the national exposure. I am not sure where we will go from here, lots of discussions are being had and hopefully you’ll see many The Party People shops popping up around Australia some time soon!

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