Here's What Went Down With Jeska Shoe Company After Shark Tank

Over the years, ABC's "Shark Tank" has seen some pretty remarkable fashion pitches come across its panel of judges. The footwear industry has had a consistent presence on the show, with some hits and misses. But one of the more memorable shoe ideas happened way back in season 4, when entrepreneur Jessica Haynes pitched something totally unique: mix-and-match heels.

Haynes got the idea for her business while studying for Master's Degree in Business Administration at Southern Arkansas University. During one outing, she experienced an all-too-common misfortune: a broken shoe on her heel. "The heel of your shoe wears out long before the base of your shoe," Haynes told the Arkansas Democratic Gazette. "I thought if I'm having this problem, then millions of other women have to be having this problem too." And so, Jeska Shoe Company was born.

This isn't the only unique shoe line to show up on "Shark Tank." Pashion Footwear made a pitch for its line of removable heels, that enabled people to switch one pair of shoes between heels or flats. SoleMates was another brand that pitched on "Shark Tank," selling little plugs that went on heels to prevent them from piercing into mud and grass. The Jeska Shoe Company was it's own thing, but the inspiration behind the creative footwear solution was certainly a popular one.

What happened to Jeska Shoe Company on Shark Tank?

Prior to the show, the business owner had experienced some success for the creative shoe idea; she won the Donald W. Reynolds Governor's Cup Innovation Award in 2011, according to the Arkansas Democratic Gazette.

However, when Jessica Haynes pitched Jeska Shoe Company on "Shark Tank"  in 2012, she still hadn't technically ever made an official product sale. She told the Arkansas Democrat Gazette that she knew she needed funding to get things off the ground, and that's where the inspiration to get on the show came from. "I knew that I needed a large injection of money into the company to even move forward," Haynes explained. "And 'Shark Tank' is one of my favorite shows. So I had this crazy idea to apply."

The sharks were intrigued by the idea of switching out a pair of heels for a pair of wedges, but many felt like the Jeska Shoe Company wasn't established enough to warrant the $70,000 Haynes was asking. Robert Herjavec pulled out because he felt like women wanted to own several pairs of shoes; Kevin O'Leary pulled out because Haynes had yet to sell a pair. Haynes told the sharks that she expected to sell a pair of interchangeable shoes for $200. Meanwhile, Mark Cuban didn't know the shoe world, so he was gone, and Barbara Corcoran pointed out that women who could afford $200 shoes would probably want to own several pairs. This left Daymond John, who ended up making Haynes an offer. He said he'd agree to the $70,000 in exchange for 70% of her company. Since this was all that Haynes could get, she agreed to the deal.

Jeska Shoe Company After Shark Tank

Following the filming of her pitch on "Shark Tank," Jessica Haynes had to quickly scramble to get a website put up so that she could have something that curious viewers could turn to. "A website was just not in the budget before, but knowing I needed a website to capitalize on the publicity of the show, my family once again rallied together and we made it happen," Haynes told the Shark Tank Blog. She said she hired web designers and they created a page in less than a week. Since she still didn't have any product to sell, the purpose of the website was to track potential customers to whom she could send updates. She told Shark Tank Blog that her website "exploded" the night that her episode aired, so feedback was positive. She also explained that she had a lot of interaction on the Jeska Shoe Company Facebook page, where she also received two offers of marriage, thanks to all of the attention on her and her budding company.

Haynes also spoke about working with Daymond John. "It has been a dream come true," she told Shark Tank Blog. She added that John was the shark she was hoping to land, since he has so much experience in footwear. She also told the blog that the Jeska Shoe Company was slightly held up in pre-production but she was hopeful about getting her product out there quickly.

Why did Jeska Shoe Company go out of business?

Despite Jessica Haynes' enthusiasm for the Jeska Shoe Company and her chance to partner with Daymond John, her brand ended up going out of business. On October 6, 2014, Haynes jumped on the brand's Facebook page to make the sad announcement. "While I will always cherish the experience and the dream of the JesKa shoe, I must admit that this process has reached diminishing returns," she wrote. "I received so many positive responses to the JesKa shoe idea; I actually hung in there longer than I should have." Haynes said that she learned a lot and grew professionally. She also gave a genuine shout out to Daymond John. "Lastly, I want to thank Daymond John for the support and mentorship he provided through this endeavor," she began. "One question I get asked a lot is, what is Daymond like to work with. I can honestly say he is even more genuine than he appears on TV and working with him has been a wonderful experience."

In February 2018, Haynes returned to the brand's Facebook page to say that the Jeska Shoe Company never made it to market, but urged curious customers to check out Onesole, an interchangeable shoe that flourished thanks to "Shark Tank." To lift up another brand like that shows some great team spirit! We can't wait to see what Haynes does next. She's clearly so creative!