Vance Zahorski was fishing with some friends out on the beach while attending a wedding in 2014. He reeled in a shark that became entangled in the fishing line. While he was grappling with his catch, Vance dropped his knife in the sand, nearly cutting off one of his toes. That close call inspired the Line Cutterz ring, creating a quick, safe method of cutting fishing line.
Vance had spent the previous 14 years selling appliance and mortgages, where he learned the business world. With Line Cutterz, he could take his business skills and his passion for fishing to start a company that could help fellow fishers with a safer, more convenient way of cutting their lines.
Line Cutterz saw early success, and his business began to create quite a following. Vance started expanding his product line with a ring that holds the fishing hook steady to make it easier to knot the line on it, which helped Line Cutterz products get some global recognition with fishers all over the world.
Looking to take these simple, helpful fishing aids to the next step, Vance looked to the business experts in the Shark Tank for investors.
Line Cutterz Tries to Snag a Big One in the Shark Tank
Shark Tank Season 8 Episode 9
Explaining that he has been fishing since he could walk, Vance tells the Sharks the fishing is in his blood. He knows the lifestyle and understands others with the passion and asks for $120,000 in exchange for a 20% share in Line Cutterz, which has made around $280,000 in sales in the first year of operations.
Vance shows the Sharks just how convenient and safe his product is for fishing enthusiasts to use. Demonstrating how easy Line Cutterz cuts the fishing line, he cuts through several different lines, including a line designed to reel in a 300- pound shark. Vance’s invention works as advertised, and he boasts that there is nothing like it on the market.
Passing out samples of the Line Cutterz to the Sharks, Vance explains the potential for marketing to other multi-billion industries. The ring design and hidden blade make the Line Cutterz ideal for cutting sewing and embroidery thread, two markets in which he has no experience.
A Line Cutterz ring costs around $1.60 to make and is sold for $12 per unit. The fishing accessory was sold in over 100 locations and prime for further retail expansion in the next year.
Vance was in negotiations to have Line Cutterz sold at Walmart locations, but he was never able to finalize a deal. The world’s largest box store chain wanted Vance to lower the retail price to $4.99, but Vance was uncomfortable with the significant difference in price from his other retail agreements. Kevin expresses his disdain for this decision. Vance responded that he was more interested in building up the brand at his pricing points.
Now the Sharks nibble at Line Cutterz. Vance wanted to let the Sharks know that although fishing is one of the most popular hobbies in the world, he was serious about Line Cutterz and its success. He walked away from a six-figure salary, sold his house and gun collection for his business.
He told the Sharks that he has expanded from fishing line-cutting rings to selling apparel merchandise, which draws dramatic sighs from the Sharks. The fashion business is challenging to make significant profits with, and they all suggest Vance keeps his focus on the fishing gear aspect of this business.
Robert thinks the long-range prospects are too risky and declines to make Vance a deal. Mark is not into fishing at all, and therefore knows nothing about the business or industry, and he also does not make an offer for Line Cutterz.
Daymond wants to know what Vance would use the investment money he has requested. The three areas that need the most attention are in marketing, inventory, and adding employees. He is spreading himself pretty thin with running the company, designing the website, and building displays for his products. If he is going to take Line Cutterz to reach its potential, he is going to need some help.
Daymond is impressed with the product line, and Vance’s demeanor and approach. He offers the $120,000 Vance has asked for, but wants a 40% stake in the business, double what Vance was offering.
Kevin reiterates his sharp disagreement with Vance turning down Walmart’s offer. While seemingly building up to make an offer of his own, Daymond interrupts to make sure Vance wants to hear Kevin out, pointing out that his own offer might not be the same. Vance thinks he owes it to himself to listen to what all of the Sharks have to say. Kevin says he really has no interest and backs out.
Lori agrees with Kevin that rejecting Walmart’s offer was foolish. She really likes the branding Vance has created and thinks he is a good, smart businessman, but believes his pricing structure is too high and she is out as well.
Daymond and Vance put their negotiation skills on display and agree to Daymond receiving a 33% share of the business for a $120,000 investment.
Where Are They Now? Line Cutterz After Shark Tank
In the three weeks following his Shark Tank appearance, Vance sold more products than in all of the previous year. Line Cutterz finally did make it into Walmart, where it is selling in 50 locations and is sold at hundreds of independent dealers across the country.
The product line continues to increase, including innovative applications like the Flat Mount Line Cutterz that mounts to flat surfaces with a wide range of applications.
Bikini Bowfishing superstar Jaclynn Crooks represented Line Cutterz on the Bikini Bowfishing 2018 calendar. Vance was also in negotiations with more celebrity anglers.
Vance received his patent and introduced the DBA Thread Cutterz used in sewing, cross-stitching, knitting, and quilting.
The Line Cutterz ring has taken off in a wide range of additional applications, including scuba diving, cutting guitar strings, bagpipe strings, butcher’s string, balloon tying, and crafting.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is strictly informational; INSIGNIA SEO is not affiliated with Line Cutterz, SharkTank, or any of its subsidiaries.