Dear Ellison Supporters,
I hope everybody had a fantastic holiday! 2018 is going to be one for the books, so we are thrilled to kick it off with some exciting updates and answer some important questions about the CNBC "The Profit"
Quick synopsis of our last update, we have been forging an exclusive partnership with Marcus Lemonis Fashion Group (MLGF) -- after being carried in one of his stores, we quickly sold out, was then asked for two stores, and shortly after selling out there, we were asked to do a full roll out in all stores.
After being sold out for 4 consecutive months, we were approached by the President of MLFG and Marcus about an investment interest, and since our product is consumer facing, they approached us to leverage the opportunity of being on CNBC "The profit."
Some things to note, Marcus had signed an LOI (letter of intent) and made it clear he wanted to invest in Ellison -- however, he wanted to do so by leveraging the millions of loyal viewers via CNBC "the profit."
For those unfamiliar with the show, Marcus invests his own cash into businesses where he sees great opportunity to get in at a ground level and scales it into a dominant player. Marcus is a decorated business man with his businesses grossing $billions each year, and passionate about helping small companies.
We have officially been accepted on the show, which will begin filming in January. We believe this is a game-changer for Ellison Eyewear’s growth trajectory, so we wanted you to be in the know.
I’m thrilled at the next phase of Ellison, and growing the company into a leader in the industry with you all by my side.
PS: I've made a post prior on this announcement and received some important questions regarding the way Ellison can be potentially portrayed on the show, so I think it's important to address those inquires:
I've binge watched a bunch of episodes of the profit because I was very excited about this update... but it seems like the show the Profit is geared towards struggling business, does this company really fit that model for the show? Will the company make any money from being on the show or just the free advertising from people seeing the show?
My (Aristotle) Response:
Thank you for the feedback -- this is an important question. But, to be frank, when has it ever been a bad thing to receive a large investment and partnership by a near worth billionaire?
Do not get misguided by Hollywood antics to drive more views -- It is TV. In the end, we are receiving a large investment, and a multitude of other benefits and resources.
As detailed in our company update, you're correct, we do not fit within their typical wheelhouse -- majority of the show participants are usually more traditional "mom and pop" shops, restaurants, boutiques, etc.
CNBC "The Profit" have never done a true "start-up," like Ellison. So this will be the first startup up they will feature. All startups by nature are always somewhat unstable or "struggling" until acquisition, this includes the Facebooks, AirBnB and all other companies on the republic platform -- how they angle it, is just Hollywood antics to drive more views. Every TV show has to have drama, so this is how they achieve that "wow" factor.
Think about it this way, I'll use ABC's "Sharktank" as an example. You go on sharktank and pitch infront of 5 sharks, they eat you a part, devaluing your company, saying it's not worth anything, you're not the right founder, and you have no chance in ever penetrating the market. Theoretically, they just embarrassed you and your company in front of millions of viewers on national TV. However, say you were able to convince one of the Sharks, Mark Cuban, and he invests $500,000 --- in the end, you received a $500,000 check and partnership by Mark Cuban. This is the same will Ellison, in the ned we will be receiving a significant investment and partnership with Marcus Lemonis. Everything else is just TV-"Pazzaz" Additionally, as stated in our update, we clearly do not fit in their wheel house as this opportunity came about after SELLING-OUT in over 20 of their retail stores, which clearly is a sign of a non-struggling business, that positive sign then evolved into a deeper, investment interest. We are just leveraging CNBC "the profit" for more exposure and sales.
With that in mind, the producers, Marcus, and I have been working to ensure this is angled to highlight Ellison is the best fashion and leveraging the vast CNBC network to drive exposure and sales. In addition to Marcus' significant investment, resources, added exposure and partnership. Since Marcus and I share similar backgrounds, both from Greek Immigrant families, from Chicago, and passionate entrepreneurs, the show will be more positioned on this Mentor/Mentee relationship with Marcus --- almost like a Father/Son dynamic, as producer and Marcus have communicated that I, Aristotle, remind them of a "young Marcus" and they want to play on that.
Rest assure, this is going to change the game for the better -- and something that should absolutely be congratulated!
What does this mean for you?
Well, we have been working aggressively to prepare the company for a significant injection of capital, and while we have been successful in many areas, such as Angel, Boutique VCs, and Equity Crowdfunding, we were seeking one valuable player that can bring the experience, resources and capital to the table — with Marcus, we have found that player and are excited to scale Ellison into a leader in the space.
He has a $45MM fashion business MLFG, and is known for acquiring companies in which he invests in.
Our goal will be to accept his strategic investment, scale, and then discuss acquisition opportunities.
Since we have kept our cap table clean, books are clean, and only raised capital when we needed it, this means a significant payout for all who are involved —- as we do not think we will need to raise more after Marcus Lemonis joins the team.
We are raising capital now to bridge us to our expected cash infusion. The capital you can help us raise will be used for three distinct areas:
Scale faster & cut cost
We’re focused on investing in consumer experience across digital and offline sales touch points. This investment will help us become faster and cut overall costs related to product development without lowering the quality.
Customer engagement & growth
We have integrated more data and insights into our product development and online conversion strategy which we are seeing increasingly steady ROI from. Your investment will be used to make this area of our business even more sophisticated. We will be focusing heavily on Club Ellison, which is continually proving to be a significant growth and profit channel for our brand because there is nothing like this model currently available to consumers.
Produce inventory to fill orders
We have successfully expanded our UVA and UVB protective Ellison BlueTech line as well as Ellison optics. Our success in this area has depleted our inventory in just three months and we need your investment to fill orders in this robust market opportunity: the eyewear market size is projected to reach $184.03 billion by 2024 (source: grandviewresearch)
What can you do now?
Invest or share our campaign with your friends, family and network > Republic.co/Ellison. This is a sure fire way to get them involved before Marcus gets involved and we really begin scaling this opportunity.
Yours in service,
Disclaimer: Naturally, the show wants to keep Ellison's airing a surprise; and while we are allowed to share this information with you and your private network, we are not able to work with the press to publicize. We will start promoting to the press early February.
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