Recently, I had the opportunity to attend Barbara’s 4th Shark Tank All-Star retreat. Once a year, she invites her favorite entrepreneurs to join together for a 4 day business summit, so to speak. Even better, ABC’s film crew was there to shoot an update, which will be aired tonight on Shark Tank. Always exciting!
This was our first-ever International destination. We spent 4 days in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, working and playing and this is a brief account of what goes on behind the scenes.
Barbara always hooks us up with phenomenal accommodations and this year I had an awesome room overlooking the pool at Bahia Hotel & Beach Club. For starters, our group arrived and enjoyed “meet and greet” cocktails at the Esquina Bar. Below is a list of my fellow All- Star Entrepreneurs.
Cousin’s Maine Lobster: Both Jim and Sabin were there. These guys are killing the game with multiple franchises and their new restaurant in LA. Always good to see these guys. Smart. Fun. Cool dudes. Love them.
Daisy Cakes: Kim’s cakes are the best and she has been expanding her business and also the personal side of things (speaking engagements and stuff like that). Kim is Mrs. Personality and my bud.
Ry’s Ruffery: kid superstar Ryan Kelly and his Mom, Daniela were on board. A Great one/two punch. Their organic dog treats are on point and they are making some huge deals. Ryan is my li’l dude and you got to love his Mom, Daniela.
Tom + Chee: Kings of the Grilled Cheese, I believe Trew and Corey are now up to 31 franchises. They have a full-scale operation and some of the best marketing I’ve seen. Smart, creative tandem. Trew can dance! Corey is creative as hell.
Pipcorn: Jeff and Jenn’s Mini Popcorn brand has gone national. They’ve been on all the big shows and making Barbara proud. Upbeat, dynamic brother -sister team. You cannot NOT love these guys.
Piperwai: Jess and Sarah are the overnight sensations with the natural deodorant that has done $2 mill in just a few months. Wow!!! College friends making it BIG! Great to meet them for the first time!
Villy Custom: That’s me….Fleetwood. I think we make the best cruiser bikes in the world. I feel so blessed just to break the bread with these guys!
Each day is busy. Barb, our leader, packs a full schedule. Day 1 we had a group conference where we all discussed our biggest accomplishment (good thing) that we could share with the group. Each entrepreneur has an informal presentation and everyone else watches, listens and takes notes. Afterwards, comments are made and it is amazing to see the number of creative ideas presented. Seems that everyone has something to share and something to learn and that is what its all about. Passion equals emotion, and I actually got emotional talking about the Foundation we started giving kids with Cancer DREAM bikes, but its all good;)
After the work session, Barbara took us all on an incredible Group Sail. We had a sharp crew that took care of us with food, drinks, music – culminating in a private spot where we all went snorkeling and paddleboarding. We enjoyed an epic sunset sail back and then an amazing dinner.
Day 2 was our Shark Tank filming day. We continued the group meetings discussing a variety of business topics while ABC filmed and interviewed each entrepreneur. There is a lot going on with all the camera’s. The Director (Sami – who has won 2 Emmy’s) has it all organized down to the moment. The “film set” was in an amazing Villa overlooking the ocean. We also shot a group scene where we all just played around on the beach. I had brought a Villy Custom bike on the trip and this is where I pulled it out and got to drive around a bit and got a few shots with Barbara…just having fun! Having my bike there was a blast….and I even sold it to the Hotel we stayed at so I didn’t have to transport it back!
After the shoot, we had a group dinner and all went to a club, had some drinks and even hit the dance floor. Lots of fun…but what happens in Cabo…stays in Cabo ;)
Our final day included more meetings and afterwards Barbara surprised us with a great outing. We went to a nature preserve and got to ride Camels on the beach. I shared my Camel with Kim from Daisy Cakes. We enjoyed some amazing views and great times. Wrapped it up with a private, authentic Mexican style lunch. We all had a blast. It was great day. Always an adventure with BC in the house!
Barbara and her crew are all great people. They treat us like family. We ARE a family. The annual retreats she orchestrates bring us all together in a unique environment that bonds us and promotes us working together. That is the biggest gift from Barbara that I have learned and I want to continue to try my best to incorporate that atmosphere at Villy Custom.
As I always, this was a wonderful experience. I won’t EVER forget this part of my journey. Big shot out to “Mi familia” and you guys know who you are!!!!