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Here's Why an Entrepreneur Failed to Secure Investments for Expansion Due to Her Perfectionism

Despite rejecting a potential investment due to quality concerns, Kelly plans to expand her consumer base and relocate for larger production.
Cover Image Source: 'Shark Tank' episode featuring Heather Kelly of Heather's Choice | Your Alaska Link TV
Cover Image Source: 'Shark Tank' episode featuring Heather Kelly of Heather's Choice | Your Alaska Link TV
Healther Kelly of Heather's Choice | Heather's Choice website

Among entrepreneurs who showcase their firm on “Shark Tank” with hopes of securing funds for growth, Heather Kelly, founder of Heather’s Choice, a company specializing in lightweight outdoor meals, has faced a significant setback. Despite a promising start, Kelly's insistence on perfectionism made her miss out on a potential six-figure investment, according to a report by CNBC Make It.

Heather Kelly, an adventurer at heart, founded Heather’s Choice in Anchorage, Alaska, in 2014. The company, known for its easily packable meals and snacks designed for outdoor enthusiasts, had shown promising growth, reaching its first million-dollar revenue year in 2022. However, she continued to face challenges in the form of high manufacturing and shipping costs in Alaska contributing to a $1 million debt.

Shark Tank/ABC
Shark Tank/ABC

On Shark Tank, Kelly sought a $250,000 investment for 10% of her company, aiming to scale her product line, particularly her "packaroons." But "Shark Tank" judges, including Mark Cuban and Lori Greiner, suggested that Kelly’s meals, not the snacks, held more potential. They advised broadening the target market to include students and working professionals, emphasizing the need to expand beyond Kelly’s initial focus, something Kelly wasn't willing to compromise on.

Kelly’s commitment to maintaining product quality led her to resist the idea of using a co-packer, citing past issues with maintaining standards. This insistence was met with concern from the judges who saw it as a limitation to her company's growth. Ultimately, all five judges declined to invest in the project, citing her reluctance to adapt and expand her consumer base as the key reasons for their refusal.

After the show was over, Kelly reflected on the judges’ feedback about her perfectionist tendencies. Acknowledging the need for creative solutions without compromising on quality, she revealed plans for Heather’s Choice to broaden its market. The company is set to relocate to Ashland, Oregon, and expand its manufacturing in a new 15,000-square-foot facility. Despite not securing a deal on "Shark Tank," Kelly remains optimistic, viewing the national exposure as a springboard for future growth.

Heather Kelly’s experience on "Shark Tank" highlights the fine line between maintaining quality and being open to growth and change. Her journey with Heather’s Choice serves as a lesson in balancing perfectionism with practical business strategies, especially when scaling a business in a competitive market. The company’s planned move and market expansion signifies a new chapter, promising opportunities for wider reach and success.