Johnny Georges Stays True To His Roots
As we previously reported, the Tree T Pee is a product helping farmers save thousands of gallons of water per year, and improving the livelihoods of agricultural families in America. The inventor of this simple yet innovative product is Johnny Georges, a fly-under-the-radar type turned overnight sensation thanks to his appearance on ABC’s Shark Tank and subsequent investment deal with John Paul DeJoria, an advocate for the farmer.
In a recent conversation PowerHouse Growers had with Johnny, we asked him how his experience on Shark Tank and partnership with John Paul has changed his life. Johnny explained that by working with JP he’s learned a few things about himself. “The biggest advantage I’ve learned is business is business. Don’t go on my personal feelings…take the emotion out of it.” As for what JP has learned from Johnny: “John Paul found out it wasn’t going to be as easy as he thought. They’re farmers. And farming is farming” says Johnny of the struggle to show the value of water conservation.
As John Paul stated on the show when he made the original deal with Johnny, “Farmers are the cornerstone of America”, and so it’s with this aligned vision that the two of them have been able to work together so well. Though it’s been somewhat of a whirlwind experience for Johnny to be under a spotlight, he still keeps his priorities in order. “God, family, work” says Johnny of how he continues to live his life.
When asked how the Tree T Pee is doing in sales since the new partnership with JP, Johnny shares with us the exciting news that his product is selling most well in Germany since signing a contract with an international company. “What makes the Tree T Pee so special is you’re helping not just one person you’re helping the whole world” says Johnny. “Helping others is a wonderful blessing.” Johnny goes on to share with us the success that Tree T Pee has brought to the United Arab Emirates and other Middle Eastern countries who rely on the expensive process of desalination to supply their water.
Indeed its rewarding for Johnny to hear about the positive impact his product is making around the world, from people he otherwise wouldn’t have even known existed. When discussing how he’s dealing with all the attention Johnny says, “John [Paul]’s advice was to not pay any attention to the naysayers. Just do what you do.” This is fitting advice for Johnny as he has always chosen to remain positive no matter what challenges he faces. “I’ve never preached what I call the scary stuff” says Johnny, “I don’t preach fear I preach solutions. If I want anxiety I’ll watch TV or read the paper.”
As for the exciting events ahead, Johnny is working on two new products. The first is a retrofit piece that snaps right on to an existing T Pee and is used for catching rainwater as well as repelling pests. The Bug Bear, as he’s called it adds 80% more water to the tree and is lined with a metallic material to reflect light and drive away bugs. “I made this without having to use chemicals – no pesticides” says Johnny of the advantage the Bug Bear has over other pest repellants. “You throw fertilizer in the top and when it rains it runs down to the base of the tree.”
His second new product is an underground water containment system. This sub surface irrigation line holds the water on one plant for as long as needed until it’s then released down into the earth. “We don’t need nearly as much water on corn wheat, barley, rye” explains Johnny about how this new system would be best applied. The colander style system contains fewer holes in the high part and more holes in the lower part, and can be flipped to water above ground plants like strawberries.
“Agriculture is changing because of water and how we use [it]. Water is the life blood of the land. As water practices change, agricultural practices change” explains Johnny of how he will continue to develop products that conserve water for the farmer.
Ultimately, Johnny’s success on Shark Tank has given him a tremendous platform from which to do this. The world now knows Johnny’s story of genuine care for the future generations and their water supply.
Friday May 2nd we got to experience Johnny’s passion and success yet again as ABC’s Swimming With Sharks aired featuring the good, the bad, and the ugly entrepreneur pitches and all-out brawls between the sharks.
As for us, we continue to learn from Johnny each time we have the privilege of chatting with him. This time around, Johnny leaves us with these words: “You can’t buy time and health. If you had all the money in the world you can’t buy that minute back.”