CASH & FUNDING: 12 Lessons from the Stella Valle pitch at Shark Tank

stella valle


Hi all,
Presently preparing to coach a client for a pitch, I thought of a quick checklist I made out of one of the pitches I saw online. The accessory brand Stella Valle pitches at the TV Show Shark Tank. Mark Cuban and Lori Grenier both invested in the business for USD150,000 for a 35% stake.

  1. Prepare a solid one minute Elevator pitch and repeat it until you are able to say it very naturally.
  2. Have samples ready and present them well, in a way that the audience immediately understands what your brand identity stands for.
  3. Master the art of storytelling: in the video, the fashion entrepreneurs explained how they came up with their idea. Having served at the army, the sisters arrived dressed in army uniforms and undressed to reveal feminine and flattering lines before telling how they launched their brand.
  4. Stick to your brand identity. As usual, I insist on that point since it’s so important. Your story, your design and your strategy should build your brand identity. In this example, they briefly tell how their past at Westpoint contributed to the line.
  5. Find a long-term trend that your brand can identify with. For example Stella Valle appears in times where women empowerment is rising.
  6. Show that you already have proved to be successful with your line. Either with current sales or by showing pre-orders, you need to show that your brand already attracts and is expected on the market. Of course, mentioning sales to a renowned store like Bloomingdales or Henri Bendel in this video is even better.
  7. Suggest that you acted as a smart business person. In this example, they explain that they started small and growed by reinvesting each dime they earned. This cleverly suggests that money the investor will put won’t be wasted.
  8. Know your figures and main financial indicators by heart. You need to know exactly your sales level, your net profit of the past years in your currency and in percentage. Round up the figures in thousands or millions of the currency you are dealing with, whichever is appropriate for you.
  9. Present the average margin by product. In this example, they have a wholesale price of USD96 and have the fashion item made for USD3, which immediately increased investors’ attention.
  10. Give back. And when you do, donate or contribute to a cause that touches you. In this video, some of the jewels are made with a star which is a screw with USA engraved in it. A portion of the proceeds are told to be given to the Wounded Warrior Project plus one of the business women mentors a wounded soldier.
  11. Know how much you want and how much you are ready to sacrifice in exchange of the investment.
  12. Trust your brand and trust yourself. You’ve built a great brand that speaks to your heart, tells a story that defends your values and already brings joy to some happy customers. Follow your heart and do the best out of it, the world will thank you for that.

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