Valley entrepreneurs to be featured on ABC’s ‘Shark Tank’ on Friday

May 8, 2020, 12:00 PM | Updated: 1:29 pm
Skylar Bennett and Kevin Shoemaker (American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved.)...
Skylar Bennett and Kevin Shoemaker (American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved.)
(American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved.)

PHOENIX — A pair of East Valley entrepreneurs are putting their business to the test when they appear on TV’s “Shark Tank” on Friday night at 7 p.m.

Skylar Bennett and Kevin Shoemaker of Mesa will attempt to convince a group of tycoons known as the “sharks” to invest in their Gilbert-based small business Tough Apparel, which sells durable men’s accessories.

“Having our business profiled on ‘Shark Tank’ is unlike anything we ever imagined,” Bennett said in a press release.

The former commercial real estate agents in 2017 developed a line of durable, machine-washable ties.

“We took a risk, quit our jobs, and threw ourselves into developing a line of durable and machine-washable ties that could stand up to the wear-and-tear of real life,” Bennett said.

Shoemaker added, “Really, it all boils down to taking an idea you’re passionate about and running with it.”

The two on their website said they have been watching the Emmy Award-winning show for years, currently in its 11th season, and made it through an applicant pool of thousands who want to take their business to the next level.

“Being able to introduce our products to the self-made business pros on ‘Shark Tank’, and getting their feedback, is unbelievable,” Shoemaker said.

There have been at least a handful of Valley people on that show over the years.

Brothers Brian and Michael Speciale back in 2017 secured a $50,000 investment from the show for their product Original Comfy.

Phoenix creators of a tipping app also landed a $150,000 investment for their company as well in 2017 after pitching their business on the show.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Kathleen Patterson (Maricopa County Sheriff's Office and Facebook/Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Are...

Missing hiker found dead at Spur Cross Ranch in Cave Creek

A Valley woman who went missing over the weekend was found dead in the Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area on Wednesday morning, authorities said.
12 hours ago
Republican U.S. senatorial candidate Blake Masters speaks at a campaign event in Phoenix on Aug. 1,...
Kevin Stone

Blake Masters thinks independents will back him over Sen. Mark Kelly

Blake Masters, the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate in Arizona, said Wednesday he thinks the key independent bloc will support him in his effort to unseat Sen. Mark Kelly despite recent polling showing otherwise.
12 hours ago
(Pixabay Photo)...

Authorities investigate fatal boating accident on Colorado River in Arizona

Authorities are investigating the death of a California man in an apparent boating accident on the Colorado River in northwestern Arizona.
12 hours ago
FILE - Arizona Corporation Commission Chairman Bob Burns smiles during a meeting, Thursday, June 20...
Associated Press

High court says lone Arizona regulator can seek utility records

The Arizona commission that regulates utilities cannot prevent a single member from issuing subpoenas to investigate companies that the panel oversees, the state Supreme Court ruled Tuesday.
12 hours ago
(Apache Junction Police Department photo)...

Suspect in fatal shooting in Apache Junction turns himself over to police

A young man suspected of fatally shooting his brother in Apache Junction has turned himself over to authorities.
12 hours ago
(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)...
Luke Forstner

Sheriffs suggest ways to tackle drugs and addiction in Arizona

With big fentanyl busts in the news and numbers up in Arizona, experts are talking about the best ways to address addiction.
12 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Key dates for Arizona sports fans to look forward to this fall

Fall brings new beginnings in different ways for Arizona’s professional sports teams like the Cardinals and Coyotes.
(Courtesy Condor)...
Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines shows passion for destinations from Sky Harbor with new-look aircraft

Condor Airlines brings passion to each flight and connects people to their dream destinations throughout the world.
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Most plumbing problems can be fixed with regular maintenance

Instead of waiting for a problem to happen, experts suggest getting a head start on your plumbing maintenance.
Valley entrepreneurs to be featured on ABC’s ‘Shark Tank’ on Friday