On The Road With ABC's Shark Tank: Black Company Spotlight On Cuffed Designs

On The Road With ABC’s ‘Shark Tank’: Black Company Spotlight On Cuffed Designs


Every Friday night millions of fans tune in to watch ABC’s Shark Tank. Values Partnerships leads a nationwide casting tour for the reality television show, focused on bringing more diverse ideas and voices to the show.

In 2016, the company will host casting calls in 8 cities, giving diverse entrepreneurs the opportunity to pitch their businesses on Season 8 of Shark Tank. In addition, they will provide pitch prep, entrepreneurship resources, and access to capital discussions to entrepreneurs around the country with the goal of every entrepreneur leaving our events better than they came.

At each stop, Brandon Andrews from Values Partnerships will sit down for a Q/A with entrepreneurs from the Shark Tank casting calls and the organizations that support them. On March 4, 2016, the casting team for ABC’s Shark Tank is headed to Miami for the first stop in the nationwide casting tour. Values Partnerships partnered with the Knight Foundation, Urban League of Broward County, Miami Bayside Foundation, and FIU SBDC to host the event at the LAB Miami.

[Related: ABC’s Shark Tank Seeks Entrepreneurs of Color]

BlackEnterprise.com caught up with Andrews who sat down with Winston Lee and Dap Dunbar of Cuffed Design, handmade leather apparel and accessories.

BlackEnterprise.com: What makes your product unique?

Cuffed Design: The mission statement embodies it all for us; to engineer luxury leather essentials for iconic tastemakers worldwide, while focusing on craftsmanship, innovation, & design. We are dedicated to producing a timeless commodity with raw materials that appreciates over time. We put a lot of thought into what it is that we actually do as a company. The mission statement ultimately was derived from our internal culture of product development all the way down to the end user.

You pitched at our Miami casting call, how was the experience? What does the opportunity to be on Shark Tank mean to you?

The experience couldn’t have been more enlightening. We are totally stoked that we were given the opportunity to pitch our product before trained and experienced professionals. We have worked tirelessly to establish a world renowned brand and being featured on Shark Tank would surpass this ambition, giving us global recognition.

How do you plan to grow Cuffed Design in 2016 and beyond?

We have significantly evolved from the brick and mortar phase of our company on a shoe-string budget by making timely decisions, operating lean, and most of all networking. Our plan to grow the business directly involves a boost in manufacturing and using strategic distribution channels. We have set a goal to open our first flagship store by 2019. We all have grand ideas. What we need most to bring these things to fruition are the tools of knowledge and resources to get the job done on a larger and more sophisticated scale.