Bon Affair: Here's What Happened After Shark Tank

The idea for Bon Affair came to founder Jayla Siciliano after dealing with a problem that surely many can relate to: She liked to drink wine but didn't care for the grogginess that followed the next day. Siciliano worked as a product development designer in shoes and fashion, an industry where business dinners and a whole lot of wine was the norm. However, Siciliano was also a kickboxing instructor during the day, and wine — with its reputation for killer headaches and grogginess — didn't exactly gel well with her active lifestyle the morning after.

She soon found a solution by diluting wine with soda water to make it lighter, AKA an early iteration of the wine spritzer. Sensing a lack of such products on the market for people like her, Siciliano went a step further and developed Bon Affair — a line of California wines mixed with sparkling water and electrolytes. 

The entrepreneur claimed that Bon Affair was the first premium wine spritzer of its kind in the market when she appeared on Season 5, Episode 28 of "Shark Tank" in 2014. Even better, she explained, the spritzers have no added sugar, half the calories of regular wine, and made for a much lighter alcoholic drink. To expand the company further, she sought $150,000 for a 35% stake in the company.

What happened to Bon Affair on 'Shark Tank'?

When Jayla Siciliano appeared on "Shark Tank" in 2014, it was just six weeks after the launch of Bon Affair, and at first, the Sharks seemed keen on the idea. Even "Mr. Wonderful" Kevin O'Leary — who had backed another wine business, Zipz Wine, in one of "Shark Tank's" biggest deals — had positive advice to offer.

But it soon became apparent that the company was in trouble. As Siciliano explained to the panel of investors, she had left behind her career in product design, cashed in her savings, and was working as a part-time bartender to keep Bon Affair up and running. However, money was still tight. On top of $30,000 from her own savings, the entrepreneur had raised $450,000 from outside investors at a valuation of $2.6 million. Those same early investors put up another $150,000 after issues with bottling resulted in company losses — bringing the total investment to $700,000.

To top it off, Bon Affair had only made $11,000 in sales since it launched. While the Sharks raised concerns about the wine spritzer industry as a whole, and were suspicious about the drop in Bon Affair's valuation since the last funding round, it wasn't all bad news. Four out of five Sharks had backed out, but Mark Cuban made Siciliano an offer for exactly what she had asked for — an offer the entrepreneur quickly accepted.

Bon Affair's boom after 'Shark Tank'

While Jayla Siciliano left the Tank with the $150,000 investment for Bon Affair, it took five whole months after filming for the deal to be formalized. Until then, the entrepreneur had to keep the whole thing under wraps, even from friends and family. However, once the episode went live, Bon Affair started to do better than it ever had. Thanks to the publicity from the show, the company made $40,000 in sales within a day of the "Shark Tank" broadcast. A year later, sales had grown to $500,000.

Plus, Siciliano was also thrilled to have Shark Mark Cuban's expertise. In an interview with Ravishly, the entrepreneur admitted that Cuban had sunk his teeth into all aspects of the business, including customer service, distribution, brainstorming new products, and even putting forth funding to stock inventory. "He has a team of eight people that are dedicated to the 'Shark Tank' investments," she said, adding that, "it's been unbelievable and so worth the 35% I sold to him."

Bon Affair also benefitted early on from Cuban's network and industry connections. The wine spritzers made their way into the American Airlines Center — the stadium of the Dallas Mavericks, which Cuban formerly held a majority stake in. Cuban's backing also helped Siciliano connect with large distributors and Texas-based retailers to expand Bon Affair's market presence.

Is Bon Affair still in business?

While Bon Affair's wine spritzers are indeed still around at retailers like Total Wine, the company is not as active as it used to be. The official company website has since turned into a blog, and its social media accounts have been dormant since September 2017. It's unclear when or why business slowed down, especially since things seemed to be going well for a while after the "Shark Tank" appearance.

Founder Jayla Siciliano launched a sauvignon blanc wine spritzer in 2015, which was packed in single-serve aluminum bottles rather than glass ones. The move was thought to make the spritzers as portable as canned wine for things like tailgates and pool parties. Aluminum bottles also reduced shipping costs and would open up more distribution options. Moreover, Siciliano was in talks with California-based Scotto Cellars to take them on board as equity partners, opening more distribution avenues.

However, Siciliano admitted on "Beyond the Tank" in 2016 that having so many investors on board stressed her out. Bon Affair had raised more money in the years after "Shark Tank," bringing its total investment to $900,000. Although the company's revenue was up, nearly all of it was being invested back into the business, and Bon Affair had yet to be profitable.

What's next for Bon Affair?

Bon Affair might still technically be around, but its founder has since moved to greener pastures. According to her Linked In page, Jayla Siciliano stepped down as the CEO and founder of Bon Affair back in 2016 and joined Seymour Duncan as the Vice President of Sales & Marketing. There's no clarity on whether Siciliano still holds any equity in Bon Affair, but she has certainly taken her knack for running a business to the world of real estate. Siciliano launched another company called Atlas Vacations in 2021, which manages short-term rentals.

Although Bon Affair's future is uncertain, the global spritzer industry was estimated to be worth $109 million in 2023, per Verified Market Reports — a valuation that is predicted to nearly double by 2030. Whether or not the tide will turn again for Bon Affair and its wine spritzers as the market grows remains to be seen. As for Siciliano, she's focusing on helping budding entrepreneurs start their own businesses by sharing her knowledge, experience, and wisdom on her brand-new podcast, "Seed Money."