Shark Tank Shock: Ashley Jones’ Tones Of Melanin receives a Massive $300K Investment from Mark Cuban!

From Side Hustle to Collegiate Fashion Powerhouse: Tones of Melanin Founder Ashley Jones Makes Waves on ‘Shark Tank’

Tones of Melanin, the groundbreaking HBCU athleisure brand, has caught the attention of investors and fashion enthusiasts alike. Ashley Jones, the visionary behind the brand, turned her passion for design into a thriving business. Drawing inspiration from her family’s history as owners of a pioneering Black-owned beauty supply company, Jones embarked on an entrepreneurial journey that would disrupt the collegiate apparel industry.

During her time at Norfolk State University, Jones realized a gap in the market for HBCU fashion. Determined to fill this void, she launched Tones of Melanin and set her sights on making history. On a recent episode of “Shark Tank,” Jones became the first-ever HBCU athleisure brand founder to pitch her business to the renowned Sharks.

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With ambition and confidence, Jones asked for a substantial $300,000 investment in exchange for a 5% equity stake. Impressive numbers accompanied her pitch: Tones of Melanin had already amassed an impressive $3.3 million in revenue since its 2017 launch. In 2022 alone, the brand generated $1.4 million in sales, and 2023 has already seen $330,000 in revenue.

Jones emphasized her commitment to reinvesting in the business, not yet taking personal profits. This dedication resonated with the Sharks, particularly Mark Cuban, who saw great potential in Tones of Melanin. Cuban initially offered $300,000 for a 15% stake, but Jones skillfully negotiated it down to a 12% equity share, sealing the deal.

For Jones, landing a deal on “Shark Tank” extends beyond financial success. She aims to inspire fellow HBCU alumni to pursue their dreams unapologetically. Jones believes her national television appearance will demonstrate that HBCU graduates can thrive in any industry, despite any doubts or prejudices they may face.

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With 40 HBCU licenses already secured, Tones of Melanin boasts a strong presence in major retailers such as Dick’s Sporting Goods, Belk Stores, and Follett College Bookstores. With the new investment, Jones plans to expand her brand further, fostering additional licensing programs and collaborations with more HBCUs.

Jones envisions a future where Tones of Melanin works directly with HBCUs, eliminating the need for third-party involvement. Additionally, she aims to amplify the brand’s empowerment line, engaging with a broader audience within the community. As philanthropy becomes a focal point, Jones is actively seeking partnerships and collaborations with companies and individuals interested in supporting HBCU students. Her ultimate goal is for Tones of Melanin to serve as the ultimate platform for all things HBCU.

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