Never lose another earring: Teen’s idea wins Shark Tank (with video)


Bianca Arnett has a solution for the plague known as lost earrings.

At this stage, it is an idea, but it was strong enough to make her the big winner of Maricopa High School’s Shark Tank on Wednesday. Check out our gallery.

She received not only the backing of the sharks but also the People’s Choice Award.

“I’m so happy! I can’t believe it,” Bianca said.

Mike Richey of ACE Hardware, who served as one of the sharks, said her idea was “very unique, very creative.”

Bianca calls her project “Forever Earrings.” She is researching the idea of an implant in the earlobe that would secure any and all earrings. As conceived, the implant would adjust to any piece and would also be hypoallergenic.

The MHS DECA student had to come through a gauntlet of more than 25 business start-up ideas seeking attention in the Performing Arts Center. Those with enough would-be investors (in the form of play money those in attendance distributed to their favorites) joined the top five to go before the five local business sharks to hawk their ideas.

When impressed, the sharks offered financial and service support.

All five sharks came on board with Bianca’s Forever Earrings.

“I’m sure there are people out there thinking, ‘Why didn’t I think of that?’” said Marla Lewis, CEO of the Maricopa Chamber of Commerce.

The other sharks included Dan Beach, the executive director of the Maricopa Center for Entrepreneurship, Gaveth Kerlin, manager of the Bead and Berry Coffee House, and Scott Bartle, publisher of InMaricopa.

Besides their patronage, Bianca’s award for getting the audience vote was $350 from County Supervisor Tony Smith and Council Member Nancy Smith.

Also making the top five and going before the sharks were Valeria Ortiz and  her business Reina de Belleza, Lauryn Vela and her idea for a Virtual Professor app, Brianna Walker’s business Clean Bri’s and Terynika Williams’ idea for a roller rink.

Valeria and Brianna got the most attention, some assistance and some advice.

 Valeria’s business – presenting makeup parties to teach girls and young women how to apply and care for their own makeup – is already functioning, and she received a membership in the Chamber and advertising dollars, among other support. She said she had already learned that inexpensive makeup worked just as well as the high-end makeup; women just wanted to learn how to use it and take care of it. Her sessions offer tips on makeup hygiene and organization.

***ADVERTISEMENT***Brianna’s business, too, is operating. With prices starting at $100, she and her family will clean and prepare homes selling or renting and take care of homes for the elderly. She received gift certificates and cash.

“I was inspired by my father who just started his own business,” Brianna said. “I’m not in it for the money. I just wanted the experience of being an entrepreneur.”

The sharks also noted the impressive start-up ideas that did not make the final five. Beach encouraged all of them to use the free services of the MCE.