Nick Romero, from Venice Beach, California, pitched his company, Ave Venice, a custom printing shop for clothing and sneakers. He bought a shirt-printing machine and spent two years modifying it and designing software so that he could print custom artwork on sneakers. The patent-pending plate that holds the sneakers in place is his “secret sauce.” Customers bring in their own artwork or choose from the designs that Nick has available and have their clothing or sneakers printed while they wait. Nick had his printer with him and demonstrated for the sharks how quickly a pair of sneakers can be printed. His business had already generated $750,000 with $150,000 in profit. He was looking for an investment so he could expand his shop and franchise Ave Venice.
The sharks all passed on investing. Some because they do not like the retail business, Mark because Nick is already too successful to work really hard, and Daymond, interestingly, because Nick is “cool,” and Daymond had been burnt by “cool” too many times.
Nick has now custom printed hundreds of thousands of shoes and garments. He is well known as a designer who creates wearable art and receives orders from all over the world. He opened Ave Los Angeles, a 5,000-square-foot facility for online and wholesale orders. Due to his appearance on Shark Tank, he became a “Venice Hometown Celebrity,” and Ave Venice is among the “Places to See” for tourists.