Evanston resident Steve Gadlin still wants to draw a cat for you. And now he wants a team of investors on an ABC show to invest in his cat-drawing business.
Gadlin, the man behind IWanttoDrawaCatForYou.com, will be on ABC’s “Shark Tank” on Jan. 27 to pitch his business to the show’s team of millionare and billionare investors. While he can’t say much about his show appearance until after it airs, he said the experience was a blast.
“I’ve watched the show a lot before, so it was surreal to be standing there doing it,” Gadlin said.
The entire project started as a joke about a year and a half ago, and in July Gadlin said he sent “Shark Tank” an email on a whim asking to be considered for the show. Now that his appearance is set to air, he’s been putting in extra work to make sure his site can handle the extra traffic.
“From what I’ve heard I’m going to have a ton (of cat drawings) to deal with come Jan. 27,” Gadlin said. “Or maybe not. Maybe this will air and everyone will say ‘That is the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen in my life.’”
He has also been working on other products to capitalize on the traffic influx he expects from the airing: a t-shirt with the names of two movies instead of one, and personalized theme songs, which will be written by a man in New York.
Other items pitched on “Shark Tank” have included a cat toilet training kit, a jewelry line, and a bib that doubles as a disposable barf bag. According to the show website, there has never before been a pitch for hand-drawn works of art.
Gadlin's cat drawings have previously gained wide media coverage, including TV segments on NBC and TruTV, but he said he has never been recognized in Evanston. That may change after his "Shark Tank" appearance, however.
While he can’t remember why he came up with the idea to draw cats in the first place, Gadlin said he comes up with a lot of random ideas and occasionally goes through with them.
“I didn’t expect any of this to go beyond my friends,” Gadlin said. “It’s been a fun ride.”