Successful entrepreneurs are a rare breed of individuals who refuse to give up. On his first time on Shark Tank, Les Cookson went home empty-handed after pitching his barf bag bib idea. But on his second attempt, he pitched LUCIDArt’s Lucy Drawing Tool and got a deal with Daymond John. As of 2023, Lucy Drawing Tool is worth an estimated $4 million.
About the Founder
Les Cookson is a serial inventor from Lincoln, California. Not much is known about his formal education, but the entrepreneur has been turning his ideas into reality for almost two decades.
The first company he started was actually LUCIDArt, but initially he focused more of his attention on his other company, Practical Industries. The company was responsible for creating the Carsik Bib which featured on season two.
Carsik Bib was a type of barf bag that can be attached to the neck of children with car sickness. Cookson took the invention to the Tank in 2011, but Kevin O’Leary told him to give up on the venture.
Founding the Company
Afterwards Les refocused his efforts on his first company, LUCIDArt, which was created in 2005. The company made replicas of old art devices from the Early Renaissance period.
The Californian worked on recreating the camera lucida, a light chamber that projects a three-dimensional object onto a canvas for an artist to trace. The original tool was a bit of a fixer-upper, so Les made an improved version.
He was constantly sidetracked, but he eventually launched Lucy Drawing Tool after four years of developing the product. The product had a steady rise over the years, and by 2021, lifetime sales reached over $10 million.
Shark Tank Appearance
Les Cookson got the courage to give Shark Tank another shot in early 2022. The business was already booming but he believed a Shark could help lower customer acquisition costs. Les appeared on season 13, seeking $300,000 for 10% equity.
He had a very entertaining introduction, reminding the Sharks about his first time in the Tank. Amazement replaced laughter when Les revealed he had done $10 million in sales. Strangely most of the Sharks weren’t interested even though he had strong sales and a fair valuation.
Only Daymond John was left and used it to his advantage, he offered $300,000 for 20%, Cookson countered, and they agreed on $300,000 for 15%. Being honest, Daymond probably wasn’t top of Cookson’s wishlist before the show.
After Shark Tank
After the episode aired, Lucy Drawing Tool experienced the “Shark Tank effect” and the show helped drive a sharp rise in new orders. Daymond hasn’t featured the business on his website so it wouldn’t surprise me if the deal never closed.
There are two versions of the product, and the smaller one just had its price lowered to encourage beginners to try it out. The product is available on Amazon and their website, DrawLucy.com.
Currently, it has an average rating of 3.1 stars from 15 customer reviews on Amazon. There haven’t been many updates about the company and its recent sales, but it should still be making around $4 million in annual revenue.