VoChill

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VoChill Shark Tank Update

VoChill

Mark Furr

This post contains affiliate links, and we may be compensated if you buy something after clicking on our links.

VoChill’s personal wine chillers keep your wine crisp, cool, and refreshing without the need to water down your wine with ice cubes or to pour your nice wine into a clunky metal cup. But will the Sharks be cool with this new way to drink a very traditional beverage? Read our VoChill Shark Tank Update to see if the Sharks were ready to pop the cork and join VoChill in its mission to help wine lovers everywhere enjoy a cool sip of their favorite beverage. 

What is VoChill?

VoChill is a company which makes stylish, innovative personal wine chillers. The company is located in Austin, Texas. 

VoChill’s personal wine chillers keep your wine crisp, cool and refreshing by actively pulling heat out of your glass for truly effective and long-lasting temperature control. The company believes that with VoChill’s personal wine chillers, there is no longer a need for clunky metal or plastic tumblers or ice in your wine-it’s just you, your glass and your favorite pour, perfectly chilled.

Who created VoChill?

VoChill Founders

VoChill was created by husband and wife team Lisa and Randall Pawlick in Austin Texas. Lisa Pawlick attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she earned both a BA in Spanish and a BS in Communications. Prior to co-founding VoChill, Lisa started her professional career as a Business Development Associate for the Australian Trade Commision, and she then went on to work for HEB Restaurants, where she held positions as both an Innovations Research Analyst and Marketing and Sales Manager for the company. 

While his wife, Lisa, has an impressive education and business pedigree, co-founder Randall has always been an inventor and entrepreneur at heart. According to an interview in Winerist Magazine, even as a young boy, Randall was always finding ways to sell things, whether it was picking up and bagging pecans to sell to his teachers or loading the back of his truck with grapefruit from his family’s farm to sell to Texans in the Rio Grande Valley. He has always been a tinkerer, taking apart and rebuilding machines to figure out the mechanics. The skills he learned in a CAD Design class brought together his passions in one product, as the original inventor and designer of VoChill.

How did VoChill get started?

The idea for VoChill was born in an outdoor wine bar in Lisa and Randall’s hometown of Austin, Texas. One day, Lisa was taking the first sips from a flight of white wines, and she soon noticed that, like on many previous occasions, her wine was quickly warming in the heat and she wasn’t enjoying the wine as it warmed up. Lisa then said to Randall, “I wish there was something I could rest my glass in to keep my glass chilled.” They both recognized immediately that there was a business idea here, so they started to brainstorm about how they could keep their wine cool while enjoying it in the outdoor heat.

They really didn’t want to put ice or any frozen objects into the wine, and they thought that plastic or metal tumblers were not good options, as they tended to change both the flavor of the wine, and the wine-drinking experience. They knew that the wine glass was key to really enjoying their wine, so they wanted to come up with a solution which would allow them to drink from a wine glass while keeping their wine cool at the same time. 

Randall told Winerist, “Once the idea was born, I immediately set to work. By the next day I had tested and proven the idea with the most basic of prototypes, a few small ice packs formed into shape and held together with foil and then secured to a wine glass with rubber bands. The prototype worked! I was so excited that I continued to use this very basic prototype with each glass of wine while refining ideas using my CAD skills, growing more excited with each glass by how well it worked.”

What happened to VoChill before Shark Tank?

After going through the design and prototyping process, Lisa and Randall started to pitch their idea and listen to people in the wine industry so that they could begin to understand the market. They also started to look for manufacturing partners, and they discovered that finding a US-based manufacturer would not be easy. After a number of failed attempts, their persistence paid off, and they located two manufacturers that would take on their new product. 

They quickly learned that finding investment was also time-consuming, but they did finally enlist a small group of investors who believed in their product and the company. The Covid pandemic then brought with it a number of challenges, including labor shortages and packaging problems, but they finally conquered these challenges, and in late 2020, they launched  their product. Sales began to come in, and they also received strong support when both USA Today and NBC News chose VoChill as a top wine gift for 2020. 

Prior to their appearance on Shark Tank, the company had only been trading for one full year, in which the company had $820k revenues, and during their pitch in the Tank, they told the Sharks that they were on target to have $1.8 million in their second year. 

What do customers think of VoChill?

VoChill Product

During their appearance in the Tank, VoChill co-founders Lisa and Randall told the Sharks that their personal wine chillers were sold direct-to-consumer on both the company website and on Amazon. The company now has a fully developed Amazon Store, and from their ratings on Amazon, it appears that the products have been very well received. 

Their most popular product, the Stemmed Wine Glass Chiller, has 935 ratings, and customers rate it at 4.5 out of 5 stars. 75% of customers rate the product at 5 stars, and 11% give it a 4 star rating, so overall, customers are very happy with VoChill’s personal wine chillers. 

What are customers saying about VoChill?

With high overall ratings for the product, it is no surprise that most Amazon customers have good things to say about their personal wine chillers. From reading the reviews, the consensus seems to be that the product is simple, stylish, and it does exactly what it is advertised to do. 

One satisfied verified purchaser wrote, “I bought 4 of them, great gift! EXCELLENT…finally a cold glass of wine! that STAYS COLD!”

Another happy VoChill customer writes, “It works, it’s fun to use, a cool conversation piece when you’re sitting by your fire bowl or fire table.”

With the overwhelmingly good ratings for VoChill, there weren’t many negative comments, but we did find a few. One unhappy customer wrote, “Bought this product for my mother and sister. I love gadgets and was hopeful it would work as described. It never specified how long the chill would last. That should have been a red flag. I had the cups in my freezer for about 3 weeks before I gave it to my mother. Unfortunately, the cups only stayed cold less than an hour. Very disappointing. And now I’m stuck with them because it’s past the point of returning them.”

Another dissatisfied customer linked her negative comment to the company’s appearance on Shark Tank: “Barbara on Shark Tank was right. This is ugly. I would never use it. Returning it. Price is way out of line for what it is.”

When did VoChill appear on Shark Tank?

VoChill appeared on Shark Tank in Season 14, Episode 10, which aired on January 6, 2023. This episode featured guest Shark Gweneth Paltrow, actress and founder of lifestyle brand GOOP. 

VoChill appeared in Season 14, which saw many companies, such as Kudos Diapers, leave the Tank with a new Shark as a business partner. 

What happened to VoChill on Shark Tank?

When VoChill co-founders, husband and wife team Lisa and Randall Pawlick, entered the Tank, Lisa said, “Hang on Sharks, I’m a little nervous, so I’m gonna need a drink for this.” Lisa then poured herself a glass of wine and was just about to put some ice cubes in it when Randall exclaimed rather loudly, “What are you doin’? That was a really nice bottle of wine, and you’re gonna put ice in it?”

Lisa then exclaimed that it was warm in the Tank and that no one likes warm wine, so she just needed a little ice. Randall then let the Sharks know that “People do all kinds of crazy things to keep their wine chilled, like putting ice in it, or using metal cups.” Randall explained that all of the things which people do to keep their wine chilled both changes the wine drinking experience and makes the wine taste awful. 

Randall and Lisa then tell the Sharks that they had invented the world’s first, and only, personal wine chiller, VoChill, which keeps wine crisp, cool, and refreshing, without compromising the wine or the wine-drinking experience. 

Randall lets the Sharks know that VoChill will keep wine cool from first sip to last, and it is incredible for red wines, as it is able to take a red wine at room temperature and bring it down to cellar temperature in about ten minutes. While the Sharks are examining their samples, and having a sip of wine, Randall also explained that you just need to put the detachable chill cradle in the freezer for a few hours, and it is ready to go. 

After a sip of wine, all of the Sharks looked ready to get down to business, and Barbara Corcoran opened the questioning when she asked for the retail price and the cost to manufacture the product. Lisa told Barbara that the stemmed version of VoChill retails for $49.95 and the stemless version is priced at $44.95. She also informed the Sharks that the stemmed version costs $9.27 to manufacture while the stemless one costs $8.62 to make.

Guest Shark Gweneth Paltrow indicated that she enjoyed her white wine really cold, and her red wine just lightly chilled, so she wanted to know how VoChill accommodated the difference in temperature. Lisa then told Gweneth that for white wines, VoChill would hold the cold temperature, but for reds, it would cool them down from room temperature to wine cellar temperature in about 10 minutes. 

Kevin O’Leary next decided to show off a bit of his knowledge of the wine world when he explained that no one put ice in rose wines until after 1955 when Bridget Bardot asked a server in St Tropez to ice her wine. O’Leary then explained that about 50% of people drink their rose with ice, and winemakers have changed their recipes to accommodate this new style of drinking. 

O’Leary continued to address the VoChill team, telling them that unless they had a ton of sales, their valuation of $6 million was very high. Lisa explained to Mr. Wonderful that in the previous year, their first in business, they had sales of $820k, and in their second year, they were projecting sales of $1.8 million. Lisa added that these sales were all made online, either through the company website or Amazon, and they had only one basic product, in just three colors. 

O’Leary did not let up on the questioning, as next he asked for their customer acquisition cost, and he learned that it was $57. All of the Sharks winced when they heard this very high cost of acquiring customers online. Gweneth Paltrow jumped in to ask if the company had realized a loss last year, and she learned that they had lost $470k in their first year in business. 

After the shocking reveal of the customer acquisition cost, it appeared that the Sharks had all they needed to hear, and they were ready to declare their thoughts on the investment opportunity. 

Did VoChill get a deal on Shark Tank?

Unfortunately, the VoChill team were unable to make a deal in the Tank. Kevin O’Leary had jumped in with an early offer of $300k for 10% equity, but he also wanted a royalty of $2 per unit until he recouped $1 million. Lisa and Randall declined this offer. 

Kevin O’Leary, having disputed the valuation of a company that was both losing money and had an extremely high customer acquisition cost, made his early offer of $300k for 10% equity, with a royalty of $2 per unit until he recouped $1 million. However, Lisa and Randall did not respond at all at first, as even though they were aware that Mr. Wonderful was the wine guy, after his offer, they seemed more interested to find out what the other Sharks had to say. 

Mark Cuban spoke up next and bowed out quickly saying that Kevin was the wine guy, and this investment would just not be a good fit for him. Barbara Corcoran also showed her hand quickly as she said, “I think functionally, I love it, but it’s just so ugly looking, I would have to hide it in my beautiful kitchen.”

Guest Shark Gweneth Paltrow next declared that she had purchased a multitude of wine gadgets; however, she said that she never ends up using them. Gweneth said that she likes to invest in things that she actually uses, and she thought that this could be a problem with this product. 

Finally, Lori Greiner, who is known as a consumer product design specialist, told the VoChill team, “I would be sitting there trying to change this. To make it smaller, make it simpler, and I don’t think that’s what you need or want.”

At this point, Mr. Wonderful was the last Shark swimming, and he told Lisa and Randall that he realized that they were trying to protect their valuation, but that he also wanted to make sure that he would recover his capital. Lisa countered that they would not be interested in the royalty piece because they want to keep all of the money in the business. 

Finally, O’Leary said, “You’re asking me to give you $300k, and then go to work for you. I have a job. I’m busy.” Lisa came back with one final counter asking O’Leary if he would make a deal at $300k for 8%. And O’Leary responded, “If there’s no royalty return of capital on this, and I have to do all the work to sell it, I’m not gonna do that deal, you should know that.”

Lisa responded that they appreciated the offer from O’Leary, but the royalty is not something that they could do. 

VoChill Shark Tank update, what happened after Shark Tank?

Despite not getting a Shark on board, VoChill looks to have continued to grow after appearing in the Tank. According to an interview in Tribeza, a publication in the company’s hometown of Austin, Texas, the company has expanded its distribution network with products now being available at some independent retailers, in restaurants, and in wineries. 

The Tribeza article describes that two Texas-based wineries are using VoChill as a “try before you buy” experience. Meierstone Vineyards and Texas Hills proudly boast the product in Stonewall and Johnson City.

“My wine is one hundred percent grapes, and all merchandise we sell in the tasting room are from Texas vendors, so VoChill is a perfect fit for our brand,” says Meierstone Vineyards owner, Krystal Patel. “Most people have seen bottle chillers but once the wine goes in your glass, it gets hot. I love sharing the story of VoChill with my customers. They get really excited about it, especially once they hold it and see how easily it comes apart and doesn’t take a lot of space in their freezer.”

Aside from the new avenues of distribution, VoChill received a huge vote of support when they were listed in late 2022 as one of Oprah’s Favorite Things. Even with the continuing growth of their company, the VoChill co-founders remain grateful for all of the help they have received, and they are still very rooted in their local community in Austin. 

The couple plans to pay everything forward and is already working to mentor other business owners and help them connect with other people who could be of help.

“We received a lot of help along the way, and a lot of times people don’t realize how much a seemingly meaningless conversation to them can do for someone else,” says Lisa. “We will always pay it forward, and we are excited for our kids to grow up in Austin. We have a five-year-old and a seven-year-old, and for them to be part of the city here and to know and feel like the sky is the limit, that’s pretty unique.”

Even without a Shark, it appears that there are more great things in store for VoChill, as well as for all of those wine drinkers out there who will enjoy a cool, crisp sip of wine, without the ice cubes!

Author

  • Mark Furr

    Mark is a professional writer and editor currently living in Belize. He taught abroad at universities for many years, and he was also a Series Editor for Oxford University Press. After a career in education, he moved to Hawaii where he owned several businesses in the tourism industry. As a former business owner, Mark is interested in entrepreneurship and has always been a fan of Shark Tank and Dragon’s Den.