What Happened To Lord Von Schmitt After Shark Tank?

Psychedelic, sustainable, exuberant... when Schuyler Ellers appeared on "Shark Tank" in May 2020, he made an indelible impression with his handmade, crochet fashions. He brought to the show five models who walked some of his pieces, which include coats, hoodies, ponchos, overalls, onesies, pants, shorts, and underwear. Even the sharks gamely tried on his fashions, "accessorized" with a "lower carbon footprint and reduced weight." Ellers' pitch included an ask of $100,000 in exchange for a 10% stake in his company, Lord Von Schmitt

The sharks then barraged the designer with questions. They soon learned that Ellers had studied visual arts at Columbia University and then taught English in Barcelona, where he first began to make clothes from recycled materials. Ellers' crochet fashions eventually found an audience online and among those who go to festivals, such as Burning Man, and the LGBTQ+ community. His company earned $188,000 in sales over four years — $37,000 in the year prior alone — with Ellers adding that his business plan was to sell more of what he liked best.

Unfortunately, none of the "Shark Tank" stars (of varied net worth) took this kaleidoscopic bait, however, Ellers remained undaunted. He told the show's producers that he'd had a positive experience regardless: "If I'm an artist and I have this charisma then I need to sell myself for more. And that was great to hear from them and that gave me the power to do it myself." So, where is he now?

Finding fame with flamboyance

Years after his "Shark Tank" appearance, Schuyler Ellers retains a solid Internet presence. His online store carries his college nickname, according to The Shark Tank Blog, and showcases "fun and comfortable fashion designs" made from "mind-melting patterns and vibrant colors of 1970's era crochet blankets." Based in Nevada City, California, Lord Von Schmitt also sells via an Etsy store that has racked up more than 3,000 sales and high customer ratings. The media has also championed his repurposed fashions. 

Ellers' splashy parasol helped create the look of a 2022 Penthouse Magazine cover, as he announced on Facebook. Meanwhile, a range of online and TV outlets, including The New York Times, BoredPanda, Esquire magazine, E!, Fox News, and "Good Day Sacramento," have featured news of Lord Von Schmitt, according to the local newspaper, The Union. Ellers also "had the pleasure of participating in Skyy vodka's Pride campaign representing the color Red," while the spirits company featured his rainbow styles in their ads. 

"We've got a lot glittering out there on the horizon, and we need your help to see it through," Ellers recently wrote on Facebook. Reading between the lines suggests that, having made it through the harsh days of the COVID-19 lockdown, he's now making a post-pandemic push for renewed business.

Will this eco brand take flight?

In 2023, sustainability is a fashionista buzzword, so this just might be the year that Lord Von Schmitt aligns with the zeitgeist. Key tenets of eco-fashion are purchasing secondhand and developing a second life for old clothes, according to Vogue. Both of these ideas are central to Schuyler Eller's outlook. The lifeblood of his brand is handmade crocheted blankets that he buys from thrift shops. 

Even though Ellers told The Union, "They're the kind of afghans your granny made," it's clear he sees them as much more — artisanal folk art worthy of reinvention. These materials may be green, but the process to repurpose them is far from simple. The designer, along with his business assistant, Aida "DeeDee" Brownell, cuts up the textiles made of yarn and sews them into coats, pants, and other items using a unique (and top secret) technique. 

"Let's just say we've developed a particular stitch on a certain sewing machine," Brownell, a seamstress, told The Union. Fans of the brand with a distinctly retro vibe watched with disappointment as Ellers left "Shark Tank" without a payday. Yet he's grown his brand organically and relentlessly since then. It's clear the fun and playful "Lord Von Schmitt" has some serious edge.