SENDaBALL

Successful businesses can begin in the most unexpected places. Like in line at a post office. Michele Kapustka had a ball she was going to mail to a friend. She had found out that the post office would mail just about anything. A man in line asked her about the ball, then offered to pay her to mail a ball for him. Instead, she explained to him how to do it, but by the time she got home, the idea for a mail-order business had taken shape. She immediately called her sister (and neighbor and business partner), Melisa Moroko, and together they founded Send a Ball, an online company for sending greeting balls rather than greeting cards.

Sendaball Shark Tank 2

The sisters set up shop in Michele’s garage with their combined seven children as “worker bees.” The colorful balls are custom-printed with messages like “Have a ball on your birthday!” or “Bounce back soon!” The recipient’s address is written on the ball, and stamps are affixed. The inflated balls ship without a box, packaging or bubble wrap and are delivered by regular mail carriers. Yearly sales were $100,000.

The sisters were asking for a investment so that they could purchase the equipment to make the balls. Their supplier could no longer keep up with the demand. They also wanted to be mentored by a shark. But the sharks did not bite, some because they felt the sisters were doing fine all by themselves, others because the business could easily be copied.

Sendaball Shark Tank 3

The sharks were right. The business was copied, but Michele and Melisa were “first to market,” a distinct advantage, and they had been on Shark Tank—instant celebrities! And they did fine without a shark. Send a Ball is rolling right along. The website is filled with rave reviews from their happy customers. The estimated revenue for 2020 was $1,000,000.

sendaball.com

Shark Tank Air Date: 2/5/2010 – Season 1 – Episode 14

 

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