Nick Romero has a store called the Ave and features custom clothing that is made on location while the customer waits.

 

The Ave unique printing process on shoes

He prints shoes, shirts, hats and more on location in The Ave store. Nick has a patented printing process that will print on anything including hi-top tennis shoes.

He wants to put The Ave in every city in the world. The Ave uses a digital garment printer that is set up to print on four different types of shoes.

Nick never went to college, made up a phony resume and worked at a large company, making Barbara Corcoran trust him.

The custom shoe cost $100, and his cost out the door, including the hi-top shoes is $28. Nick what he calls a plattern, which takes less than thirty minutes.

Nick generated $570,000 in the first year of The Ave and had $150,000 profit.

It takes thirty minutes to make a pair of shoes in The Ave. The printer cost $55,000. No one else can do the printing that this technology can produce.

Nick focuses on opening up a ton of stores, but the Sharks are interested in the technology. He tells the Sharks he is never in the store anymore. He says it is all about money, but he is focusing on retail.

Company: The Ave Venice
Entrepreneurs: Nick Romero
Website 
From: Venice, California
Ask: $125,000 for 15% equity
Companies in this episode: Barkem's To Go, Brewer's Cow Ice Cream, GoGo Gear
Season: Season 3 Episode 310
Sharks: Mark Cuban, Daymond John, Kevin O'Leary, Barbara Corcoran, Robert Herjavec
First Aired: 02/23/2012
Deal: Nick does not get deal.

 

What do the Shark Tank Investors say about The Ave Venice

Mark Cuban asks how much Nick is paying himself? He says the money goes into his account, but he's been using it to buy equipment. Mark is asking how much he will pay himself, and he responds I don't expect to make a million dollars, but he would be comfortable on six figures. That throws up a red flag. Mark is not going to pay him six figures. Mark said if he hadn't told him that he was living the LA lifestyle, and stayed in the store for twelve hours a day, so for that reason, he is out.

Daymond John goes out because Nick wants to license images, not the “Plattern.” Nick wants to open stores because they are hip and cool. Daymond wants Nick to make a lot of money.

Kevin O'Leary hears Nick saying he wants to do retail, and it is moving parts, and he hates retail. He is out.

Barbara Corcoran thinks he is in love with the retail business, and he is not listening. She is out.

Robert Herjavec believes Nick sees the little picture, and he doesn't want to change his business model, so he is out.

 

The Ave Venice after Shark Tank

The Ave received the patent for their shoe technology and are licensing exclusive designs for the shoes through their online/wholesale shop.

They have a company that now makes an exclusive shoe for The Ave, making this an excellent niche business, but the opportunity of licensing the technology is a massive miss for Nick Romero.

He could have made so much more money letting other companies; significant companies use his technology. He is now limited by what he can produce.

Nick's shoes are in multiple publications, and they are cool. He gets considerable attention for his work, which makes me believe Nick is not about the money, he is about the LA Lifestyle, even though he preaches the money. Still, he found success that works for him, congratulations Nick.