Kisstixx on Shark Tank
Dallas Robinson and Mike Buonomo became friends during college in Salt Lake City, Utah. Dallas originally had the idea of creating a lip balm that changes flavors. They found a team of chemists who worked with them to find flavors that worked well together. The pair made for unlikely lip balm magnates, but their product had undeniable potential and a certain romantic appeal.
Dallas and Mike felt they had gone as far with Kisstixx as their business experience and financial resources could take them. They were ready to pucker up and enter the Shark Tank to see if they could take their business to the next level.
Kisstixx on Shark Tank
Shark Tank Season 3 Episode 7
The college buddies took to the stage asking for $200,000 in exchange for 20 percent equity in their business.
Kisstixx comes with two compatible lip balm flavors that create a chemical reaction when mixed during a kiss. Samples they presented included strawberry daiquiri and pina colada, which when combined created Miami Vice. Other sets included peaches and cream, and raspberry lemonade.
Dallas presented a fully functioning kissing booth on the stage, with two chairs next to a table full of samples of Kisstixx. Barb and Kevin were invited to the stage and they joined the pair, reluctantly. Kevin – being Kevin – announced to the room at large that he hoped Barb’s kiss wouldn’t turn him to stone.
With the two of them hesitant and embarrassed, the rest of the panel started up rallying cries. “Kiss, kiss, kiss!” Kevin muttered something about needing to see if it worked. Barb covered her eyes, puckered up, and leaned in. Kevin made his move and went to put his arms around her. Robert heckled Kevin, telling him not to grab her. Getting more embarrassed by the second, Barb put her head in her hands.
Dallas told them they needed to hold the kiss for at least a couple of seconds for the chemical reaction to take place. Finally, they kissed and held it to the point where everyone felt uncomfortable. Daymond was visibly repulsed by the sight of his fellow Sharks locking lips. Kevin said it was very tasty and he could feel the flavor changing.
Dallas asked if any of the Sharks were feeling the chemistry and were interested in investing. The business began about a year prior to the taping and Kisstixx had generated $800,000 in sales. They were actively working with Walgreens to roll out Kisstixx to 7,500 stores throughout the country, with an order in the works for $540,000 of product.
Depending on the size of the order, the cost to produce Kisstixx varies from 85 cents to $2 per pair of tubes, wholesaling for $3 a unit. The package is sold for a suggested retail price of $5.95. The single order with Walgreens would generate $337,000 in revenue. At that time, most sales had come from online orders, though Kisstixx was also in over 100 locations, and had recently brokered a deal to get Kisstixx into 500 grocery stores. Dallas explained that they were looking to test more kiss-and-match products, such as a breath spray.
Barb was the first to go out based on gut feeling it just wasn’t for her, though she allowed for the possibility that her decision could have been swayed, at least in part, by kissing Kevin. Kevin liked Dallas and Mike and their presentation, but he did not agree with the million-dollar valuation they had presented for Kisstixx. He was also out. Though he was happy he did not turn to stone, Kevin wondered if there was any meaning behind the fact that the only two who had tested the product were the first ones to go out.
Robert was on the fence and needed to be convinced. Dallas told him that he and his college friend had the work ethic and passion to get the job done, and the smarts to be able to listen to other professionals willing to invest and offer advice and guidance. They had already done a lot of the legwork to create a solid foundation with room to grow and expand. Mark wanted to know what they were going to do with the investment money. A large portion would go to filling Walgreens order, with the rest used for marketing and distribution efforts. While he was impressed with them and their product, Mark too felt the company’s valuation was too high. He offered them $200,000 for a 40 percent stake in Kisstixx. He told them he would finance their inventory as they grew without giving up any more equity.
Daymond admitted that was a better deal than he had planned on offering and he went out. While Robert would have loved to grab Kisstixx out from under Mark, he too felt it was a good deal that he could not better, and Robert was out, too.
Mark said it was decision time for Dallas and Mike. He was the lone Shark with a deal on the table, but it would not stay there for long. The owners of Kisstixx agreed to the deal without hesitating.
Where Are They Now? Kisstixx After Shark Tank
Kisstixx was inundated with orders after Dallas and Mike appeared and Shark Tank. They took advantage of the instant boost in visibility, securing deals with large retailers like Harmon, Kmart, and Kroger’s grocery store.
Sadly, the romance didn’t last long.
As of this writing, other than on eBay, Kisstixx is not available for sale online or in stores. They have no working website and their Facebook page lays dormant – the most recent post dates back to 2016.
Both Dallas and Mike have taken what they learned from their experiences with Kisstixx to secure impressive upper management positions in successful business ventures. Dallas is one of four co-owners of The Baked Bear, a Utah ice cream store specializing in ice cream sandwiches. Mike is the founder and COO of Wise Home Solutions, providing smart home security in Draper, Utah.
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