What Happened To Pashion Footwear After Shark Tank?

Many women are told that beauty is pain -– especially when it comes to footwear. The real reason women wear heels is complicated. While some rock their pumps to add an extra oomph to their outfit, there are also societal expectations for women to wear heels at formal events. The issue is that heels are notoriously uncomfortable. Well, young entrepreneur Haley Pavone created a solution to this problem. Pashion Footwear introduces the revolutionary concept of detachable heels, which allow wearers to convert their favorite pair of pumps into comfy flats.

In 2021, Pashion Footwear arrived on Season 12 of "Shark Tank." In her pitch, Pavone explained that she invented the shoe while she was just a sophomore in college. After winning a series of business competitions, she got to work patenting her unique design and founded the company in 2019 (per Shark Tank Blog). At the time of filming, Pashion Footwear had an impressive portfolio: 30 patents and over $2.5 million in funding. Additionally, they grossed $500,000 in sales (via Shark Tank Recap).

With such a successful business already, Pavone and Pashion Footwear already seemed to be in a good place. However, the business hopeful explained that return profits in the footwear industry are tricky. With only $250,000 left in the bank, her company would barely last through the year without a major investment (per Shark Tank Recap). So, all she needed was just one Shark's help keeping her innovative company afloat.

What happened to Pashion Footwear on Shark Tank?

There is no doubt that Pashion Footwear offers a product that cannot be found anywhere else on the market. In addition to detachable heels, the midsoles provide arch support that makes each pair of shoes fully convertible. The Sharks were immediately impressed by Haley Pavone's invention, despite her hefty ask: an investment of $500,000 in exchange for a 5% stake.

Before negotiating started, investor Mark Cuban warned Pavone that the equity offer would need to be higher in order to snag a deal. This forewarning proved correct: Kevin "Mr. Wonderful" O'Leary was interested in making a deal but wanted a royalty on each pair of shoes sold. The Pashion Footwear founder was not a fan of this idea, as she wanted every dollar to go into the company's growth.

When it came time to cut a deal, Barbara Corcoran was the first Shark out due to the company's financial issues. Cuban, Lori Greiner and guest investor Kendra Scott were also out. Scott notes that the shoe itself didn't feel particularly comfortable to her, so she couldn't invest in the company. Finally, O'Leary's offer – $500,000 in exchange for a 5% stake and $5 royalty – is the only one left. Pavone was not willing to agree to the high royalties, and Mr. Wonderful wouldn't budge. Thus, Pashion Footwear ended up leaving the Tank with no deal.

Pashion Footwear after Shark Tank

Despite Haley Pavone's dire financial situation, not all was lost for the small business. Just weeks after the "Shark Tank" episode aired, Pashion Footwear raised over $1 million in investments, they announced via press release. With this funding, they continued to release more complex shoe designs and heel kits seasonally, such as knee-high boots.

As of 2023, the woman-led company has found exceptional success, generating over $8 million in sales since 2019, according to its website. Pavone even landed a spot on the 2022 Forbes "30 Under 30" list. Of their triumph, Pashion COO Jess Norman told Netsuite: "Being on Shark Tank catapulted our exposure and validity because people now saw it as something that was real." While nabbing a deal may seem like the ticket to success, gaining a Shark's support isn't necessarily a saving grace. Just look at Boot Illusions, a footwear company that shut down despite the help of Baraba Corcoran.

As an online retailer, Pashion Footwear has become particularly popular across social media. Their TikTok page has over 220,000 followers, who look to the brand for styling tips. Thanks to reviews from users across TikTok and even in The New York Times, the convertible heels have gained more public awareness. The brand now offers a wide range of stylish shoes, heels, and even customizable kits. However, these kits are quite pricey. On their shop, a pair of Pashions will run you about $150, with customized sets leaping up to $190.