Meghan Tarmey didn’t get the offer she was looking for Friday night on “Shark Tank,” but her appearance on the show has already spawned additional opportunities for her business, The Caddy Girls.
Following her appearance on the popular ABC show in which entrepreneurs and inventors pitch their businesses and products to a group of wealthy self-made tycoons in the hopes of eliciting an investment offer, Tarmey and her business have been wildly popular.
The Myrtle Beach resident’s phone and email address, and the business’ Facebook page, Twitter account and website have blown up. Tarmey said she had approximately 50 independent investment offers by noon Saturday.
“My web developer said he was surprised my site didn’t shut down and the server could handle all the traffic,” Tarmey said. “I just want to feel things out for a little while and see what the exposure from the show does. I might want an investor. If there is a really good investor that can help my business with their pull and really make my business blow up that’s what I’d like.
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“But I enjoy working on my own and we’ll see what the exposure does for me and if I need an investor.”
The Caddy Girls provide a combination of caddie services and entertainment for approximately $150 per round. They are at least minimally trained in caddie duties and their outfit consists of skorts or shorts, knee-high argyle socks, sneakers and collared golf shirts.
Tarmey created the business as Myrtle Beach Caddy Girls while a student at Coastal Carolina in 2005.
The Sharks present for Tarmey’s pitch were Mark Cuban, owner and chairman of AXS TV and outspoken owner of the 2011 NBA champion Dallas Mavericks; “Queen of QVC” Lori Greiner; technology innovator Robert Herjavec; fashion and branding expert Daymond John; and venture capitalist Kevin O’Leary.
Tarmey was asking for $100,000 for 20 percent of her company, and her request was turned down by four of the five Sharks. O’Leary offered her the investment for 50 percent of her company, Tarmey responded with a counter offer of 40 percent, O’Leary declined and Tarmey then declined the 50 percent offer, saying as she left the show’s set, “I’m not giving him half. That’s like a divorce.”
Though her segment only lasted about 10 minutes on the show, which ABC says has an average viewership of more than 8 million per episode, Tarmey, 29, said she was grilled by the Sharks for more than an hour during filming, which took place in June.
“It’s way too much to give up for all the years and work I’ve put into this,” Tarmey said. “I think from the exposure from the show I’ll benefit just as much as if I got an offer.”
The Caddy Girls has continued to prosper, even without the benefit of “Shark Tank” exposure and funding.
She said on the show that she had $148,000 in sales in 2013, the business is growing at an average of 30 percent per year and it grossed $34,000 in sales in May alone.
The Caddy Girls does business in 10 markets, with the most active destinations being Myrtle Beach, Florida and Arizona. Tarmey has approximately 80 caddies on the Grand Strand who have signed exclusive caddie contracts with her.
Last week, she was in Bimini, Bahamas, shooting the 2015 Caddy Girls calendar. It was the first of her five annual calendars that were shot outside of Myrtle Beach and included caddies from outside the area for the first time. The calendar is sponsored and funded by Resorts World Bimini and Traditional Golf Packages.
Tarmey has two big upcoming tournaments for which she’ll supply 35 caddies each – a celebrity tournament in Miami sponsored by Loews Miami Beach Hotel and a Boys & Girls Club benefit in Scottsdale – and she has received more big tournament requests since Friday night.
Concept footage of a reality show featuring The Caddy Girls has been filmed on several occasions and Tarmey has spoken to executives of several network and internet outlets. She said four significant production companies have contacted her in the past week, but she’s holding off on a commitment, especially considering the boost in interest generated by her TV appearance.
“I’ve told them I’m going to wait and see what’s the best deal I can get, what’s best for the company,” she said. “I don’t want a Myrtle Manor replica.”
In addition to the exposure, the “Shark Tank” preparation and experience were beneficial.
Tarmey went through five years of financial records to put an evaluation on her company and document its growth. “The whole process was amazing in itself because I learned so much about my business and what I could probably do with it,” Tarmey said.