How A Naked Man Helped A Raleigh Company Win Success On ‘Shark Tank’

By Brooke Cain
The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.)

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Harriett Mills is the CEO of “Wine & Design.” Mills says that the nude male model she brought onto Shark Tank with her was a nod to a special Bachelorette Night concept the company introduced two years ago. Wine & Design, which currently has about 76 franchises in 15 states, offers nights of art classes — with wine, of course — for groups and individuals.

The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.)

When Harriett Mills showed up at the studios for ABC’s “Shark Tank” to pitch her Raleigh-based business Wine & Design, she took along her husband, who is the company CCO. She also took a nude male model.

Yes, the model who dropped his robe on Friday night’s episode — causing the jaws of investors poised to hear Mills’ pitch to also drop — was really naked.

“That was actually my idea,” said Mills, in an interview Monday. “I needed to get the producers’ attention, and this is what got their attention. … He was actually naked. That was the first time ‘Shark Tank’ has ever had a nude anything on their show. It was a big deal. They had to make an announcement to the entire crew, so that if people weren’t comfortable they could leave.”

Mills, the Wine & Design CEO, said the male model — hired in Los Angeles — was a nod to a special Bachelorette Night concept the company introduced two years ago. Wine & Design, which currently has about 76 franchises in 15 states, offers nights of art classes — with wine, of course — for groups and individuals.

On Friday’s episode, Mills accepted an offer from Kevin O’Leary, typically seen as the toughest of the sharks on the program, which allows entrepreneurs and inventors to pitch businesses and products and hopefully win the help of investors.

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