By Matt Kempner
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
An Athens husband and wife are slated for another slice of national prime-time publicity, capitalizing on their connection to outspoken billionaire investor Mark Cuban and the hit TV show Shark Tank.
On Friday, following this week’s episode of Shark Tank, ABC airs the second installment of a new spinoff show called Beyond the Tank, which follows the drama between entrepreneurs and the investors they made deals with on Shark Tank.
A chunk of the 9 p.m. program is scheduled to feature Diana and Josh Harbour, who founded The Red Dress Boutique as a clothing store in Athens and then turned it into a popular online retail fashion site. Cuban, who owns the Dallas Mavericks basketball team, invested in the company in a show that aired in October.
But what happens when billionaire Cuban, who took a 15 percent stake, disagrees with young entrepreneurs who have a different vision for their $14-million-a-year business?
Diana Harbour said she talks or trades messages with Cuban at least every other day.
“We butt heads on some things,” she told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Wednesday.
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“But that is normal with any company that takes on investors.”
The hard part, she said, “has been trying to find out how to find that middle ground” when you have two passionate people.
“He is always very magnanimous. He says, ‘It is your company. It is your final decision.'”
She and her husband are among several Georgians who have made appearances on Shark Tank. Some were surprised by its impact.
The Harbours say they’ve been told their on-air segment Friday will be at least 15 minutes long, which is about twice what they got on their initial Shark Tank foray. That airing immediately resulted in millions of hits on their web pages, crashing their site.
Cuban and his team have helped eliminate most of the online technical problems, but the couple differed with him over whether to launch a new site.
The Harbours said TV crews for Beyond the Tank followed them in Athens and to a meeting with Cuban in Dallas, their first in-person since appearing on Shark Tank.
Diana Harbour, who said Cuban refers to her as his Mini-Me, said she only asked him once for advice on clothing lines.
“He goes, ‘That’s not my forte.’ He does not get involved in the fashion side at all.”
Harbour’s journey from a corporate cubicle to launching and building a company was featured in a 2013 AJC column.