Here's What Went Down With SneakERASERS Shoe Cleaner After Shark Tank

It's a problem so many of us have experienced. You get the latest chic, white sneakers, pack them into a bag for a vacation, and they come out all scuffed. For entrepreneur Chris Pavlica, he recognized this was an all-too-common an issue, and so he decided to come up with a product to help: a portable sneaker cleaning pad.

As Pavlica explained in 2019 to The Columbus Despatch, the idea came to him in 2016 when he was about to head into a business meeting for a totally different line of work — only to realize his sneakers had gotten scuffed in his suitcase. After failing to get them clean in time for his meeting (despite trying a bunch of quick home remedies), Pavlica knew he has a business idea on his hands. He then called up his college roommate Kevin Consolo and urged him to fly over to him. The two quickly got to work and ended up inventing a specialty cleaning pad that could be used quickly and on-the-go. Just weeks after that phone call, the first iteration of sneakERASERS went into production. But it wasn't exactly easy to start from scratch. "Like any entrepreneur, we started out of our garage and did an assembly line and had some friends [work on it]," Consolo recalled of how the company started out. 

Not long after, they duo took their idea to a sneaker show, with their product selling out in just two days. After that, they knew it was time to really start scaling the business. And that's where "Shark Tank" came in.

SneakERASERS struck a deal on Shark Tank

It was early 2020 when SneakERASERS' Chris Pavlica and Kevin Consolo popped up on "Shark Tank" Season 12. The two impressed Sharks Mark Cuban, Barbara Corcoran, Kevin O'Leary, Lori Greiner, and guest Shark Alex Rodriguez, with news that the company's product was already available via the likes of Walmart, CVS, and Amazon. Asking for $200,000 for 8% of their company, Pavlica and Consolo got into sales numbers, revealing they'd sold $219,000 worth of product in 2019 and brought in $1.1 million of revenue that year.

With numbers like that, it was no surprise the Sharks were interested. O'Leary went first with their pitch, offering the full amount for 15% of the business. Rodriguez then dug a little deeper to find out why they wanted the money, which left some Sharks even more intrigued when they learned the duo had plans to better market the product (and the other items). But that's when Corcoran decided to dip. She explained she wasn't sure the focus would be on the SneakERASER if they had other products. 

However, Rodriguez and Greiner remained undeterred. In the end, the pair of sharks teamed up, offering the whole amount for 20%. Cuban was also still interested, and only wanted 12.5% of the business. The entrepreneurs clearly wanted Cuban on board, but things took a turn when they countered at $300,000 for 10%. With that, Cuban took back his offer. The two then tried their luck with Rodriguez and Greiner, but after they refused to drop equity, a deal was struck for their original offer.

After Shark Tank, SneakERASERS appeared on QVC thanks to Lori Greiner

Despite getting multiple offers, Chris Pavlica and Kevin Consolo later admitted that they didn't necessarily have the easiest time on "Shark Tank." "It was very exciting and very traumatic," Pavlica told Ohio University News in 2021 of their time on the ABC show. Still, despite not having the easiest time on the show, the appearance helped SneakERASERS open doors shortly after its episode aired. 

For one, SneakERASERS sold out of product on both Walmart.com and Amazon after the episode. Shark Lori Greiner also landed the company a spot on QVC to show off its goods, which no doubt resulted in some sales. But all that was just the start for Consolo. "I feel like we're just scratching the surface on our retail partners and channels," he told his alma mater. "There are so many questions we get from customers that ask, 'How do we buy this?' We want to explore selling our products in other countries and selling through other retail channels." And that they did.

It's still conducting business today (and making big marketing moves!)

SneakERASER (and the company's other available products aimed at golf and motor cleaning) are still very much available for purchase today. According to Zoom Info, the company (known collectively as FTI Products) is valued at just under $5 million with a workforce of under 25 people.

And it seems like the entrepreneurs stayed true to their word when they said they planned to put their "Shark Tank" money towards marketing, because they stepped up their ad game in a big way. In August 2023, the brand shared a video on Instagram depicting their logo plastered across the giant, world famous Sphere in Las Vegas. The brand teased in the caption that they had to sell a whole lot of erasers to afford the giant ad campaign, but noted it was so worth the epic promo. 

SneakERASER announced a massive collaboration with a huge brand in late 2023

As for what's next for SneakERASER? Well, it seems like big name collaborations are still very much on the table. Because this company clearly isn't slowing down. In fact, in December 2023, the company announced a huge collaboration with the global brand Skechers. The company even designed a product specifically to keep the classic shoe clean. "Today, we're at a pivotal milestone," Chris Pavlica shared in a YouTube video announcing the team-up. "This partnership brings you our latest innovative product, SkechERASERS, the embodiment of our award-winning patented technology," he added.

And it sounds like the talented entrepreneurs have big plans to keep on growing their business even more. In a message on the brand's website, which was signed by Pavlica and Consolo, the two promised, "We aren't done yet. We'll keep innovating and keep making things easier for you. That's what we are here for!" And, we have to say, we have no doubt that will prove to be true.