Tough Apparel, a Gilbert-based small business focused on creating men’s accessories designed to withstand all of life’s messes, is set to appear on ABC’s Shark Tank this Friday, May 8 at 7 p.m. MST.  

Necessity is the mother of invention – at least it was for two Mesa entrepreneurs. Skylar Bennett and Kevin Shoemaker, two young professionals and new dads, grew tired of having their work clothes ruined. So, in 2016 they created Tough Ties, durable, machine-washable neckties that can withstand the elements, including baby spit up! 

Now these local small business owners are getting a once-in-a-lifetime chance to be seen on the critically acclaimed and Emmy® Award-winning reality show, Shark Tank. The May 8 appearance will expose their products to a national audience and help take the brand to the next level. 

“Having our business profiled on Shark Tank is unlike anything we ever imagined” said Bennett. “In 2017, we took a risk, quit our jobs, and threw ourselves into developing a line of durable and machine-washable ties that could stand up to the wear-and-tear of real life. We knew we were in for an enormous challenge starting a business from scratch but we also knew our idea was something young, professional dads would appreciate.” 

“Really it all boils down to taking an idea you’re passionate about and running with it,” added Shoemaker. “We saw a need in the marketplace for fashionable ties that were also resilient. We are proud of our company and the growth we’ve already experienced. Now being able to introduce our products to the self-made business pros on Shark Tank, and getting their feedback, is unbelievable. We cannot wait to see the impact on our Tough Apparel business once the Shark Tank episode airs across the U.S.”

Remember to tune in to ABC-15 on Friday, May 8 at 7 p.m. MST to see if one – or more – of the Sharks are interested in investing in Tough Apparel and helping make Bennett and Shoemakers household names! 

For more information on Tough Apparel and their line of ties, belts, socks and new face masks, visit

A pair of entrepreneurs from Mesa, Arizona, hope to sell millennials on a modern version of a fading fashion trend for men.