A night of television and a hankering for some chocolate cake led Danny Youssef of DAY Vision to become the lifeguard who helped save a South Carolina baker after her appearance on ABC’s popular “Shark Tank” show led to a late-night website crash that threatened to sink her business.
Youssef and his wife were watching the show in late April when Kim Nelson of Pauline, S.C. appeared before the “sharks” on April 22 to find an angel willing to invest $50,000 in her growing company, Daisy Cakes, the small baking company she started with her mother to sell homemade cakes that are shipped throughout the nation. Nelson won support from “shark” and New York City real estate magnate Barbara Corcoran and the appearance sparked a massive spike in traffic to her website.
Youssef, who wanted to buy a chocolate cake for his wife, found that he could not access the site when he tried to place an order shortly after the end of the show. When the site remained down more than two hours after the national television debut, he realized the site, the company and Nelson’s hard-won support from Corcoran were all in danger. “I figured this was a problem that should have been quickly resolved and it wasn’t. I knew we had the capability and expertise to help so I reached out to Barbara Corcoran. I told her that we could get the site up and running and processing orders,” Youssef said. “Within the first hour after our call we were put in touch with Kim and we worked all day to correct the problems that brought it down.”
In business in the Lehigh Valley since 2003, DAY Vision specializes in website development, e-commerce and online marketing. Youssef uses a proprietary content management system and e-commerce program developed by his staff to help businesses across the country optimize their e-business opportunities. He has worked with businesses such as The Burger Shack, Lehigh Valley Academy, Margle Law Offices, P.C., American Home Medical, East Penn Hardwood Flooring and Realty Abstract in this region and has clients in New York, New Jersey, Maine, Colorado and California.
“I knew what the problems were and I knew that we could help Kim get back up and running, which was vitally important in the hours after her national television appearance,” Youssef said. “We had the site back up by mid-day on Saturday and fully operational within 14 hours of her appearance on Shark Tank.”
Youssef is a Lehigh Valley native who worked for several years as a fashion and commercial photographer in New York City before returning to the region after the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks to begin a new career and raise his family. He now lives in Upper Macungie Township.
Shark Tank is a popular reality TV show that gives entrepreneurs the chance to seek investment support from a team of five wealthy investors – “sharks” – who grill each guest and then decide whether the company has the potential to grow and provide a return on the investment. After pitching to the sharks who got to taste her cakes, Nelson found support only from Corcoran, who was interested in her prospects and noted that the four men on the panel kept eating the cakes even though they shied away from an investment.
“Danny’s lightning fast response and outside of the box methods of contacting us showed creative initiative and healthy ambition. Danny took on the task of saving ilovedaisycakes.com as if it was his own business and delivered the goods,” said Corcoran. Youssef’s offer led to other business with Corcoran and the two have developed a growing business relationship. Corcoran began her real estate career with a $1,000 investment and parlayed that into The Corcoran Group, which she sold for $70 million in 2001. She is the author of “If You Don’t Have Big Breasts, Put Ribbons On Your Pigtails” and “Nextville, Amazing Places To Live The Rest Of Your Life.”
“Danny Youssef and the DAY Vision team were as vital to our success in the days following my Shark Tank appearance as Barbara’s investment. All of our hard work and planning leading up to that appearance would have been wasted because no one would have been able to order our cakes,” said Nelson. “Thanks to his expertise, hard work and the quick turnaround time we were up and running in no time, and just knowing Danny’s watchful eye is taking care of the technology lets me and my mama do what we do best – bake our blue ribbon cakes!”