Our Shark Tank Appearance
Our Oct. 19th appearance on Episode 406 of Shark Tank was a long time in coming, and of course, the actual filming was much longer than what was shown on television.
Here is a behind the scenes look at our episode.
We were finally told that we were accepted, and might be filming during the summer. We were finally given a date and we were very excited. But even after the filming, you don’t know if your episode will even air.
About three days prior to shooting I got food poisoning, and unfortunately, I wasn’t better at all by the tape date. To give you an idea of how sick I was, I had lost about 6 lbs. by the day of the taping. (Bonus: Not having to worry about the camera adding ten pounds!).
By the time we were supposed to appear before the Sharks, I really just wanted to get the shoot over with as I wasn’t doing a good job of keeping down liquids or solid foods at all. I had already thrown up several times that morning and before we actually went into the sound stage to pitch to the Sharks, I was escorted for one last trip to the bathroom by some poor PA who had to wait outside, threw up my lunch, and pretending like nothing happened, strutted onward and into the set.
I decided that if I could accomplish three things, the appearance would go well:
1) Not show I was sick (I was terrified that if I threw up on camera our pitch wouldn’t air – network standards can be that way)
2) Look really good
3) Remember every perfect answer I had planned out to every possible question they could ask me
I was extremely focused on not showing that I was sick, and I’m an actress – I did my job.
I looked great (yay, good hair day!)
Unfortunately every single perfectly canned answer I had to every possible question they could ask me went straight out the window.
Oh, well. Two out of three aint bad!
People may say it looked like we weren’t prepared – but we were OVER prepared as far as I was concerned. Everything totally changes when you are standing up there in front of the Sharks. I probably should have trained under more stressful conditions like they do with astronauts. We got a lot of mail with various questions about our appearance – below are some of the most frequently asked ones.
Q: How long did you film for?
A: We filmed for around an hour.
Q: What did we miss? Why didn’t you mention “_____” on the show? (fill in the blank with anything you can possibly think of).
A: There was a lot that we covered during our taping in the Tank that simply didn’t make it to air. We covered pretty much everything about our company and products you can think of.
We spent some time demonstrating how our product is a natural fabric softener with the Sharks feeling different sets of towels for comparison.
Mark Cuban stuck his face in some towels washed in Eco Nuts and inhaled deeply. Then I asked if any of the other Sharks wanted to smell the towel after he did and they all said, NO!
We spent some time discussing our concentrated liquid detergent which only requires a teaspoon for a regular load of laundry. We also mentioned our line of certified organic cleaners made from soap berry concentrate which are very effective for difficult cleaning jobs.
We also told the Sharks about all our awards and that our products are in approximately 2,000 stores including some Big Box names. At the time of the taping, we were being reviewed by a very large distributor for distribution – and we’ve since signed with two of the largest distributors in the US. Now we are in the Southern Pacific Region Whole Foods and are being reviewed for national Whole Foods placement, as well.
Q: What’s this about being a Social Media Ninja?
A: My explanation was skipped for the show but I had garnered over $50,000 in sales using almost only social media when we were starting up with almost no budget. I’m proud of that and I think that constitutes “ninja” status. I don’t consider myself a guru or know-it-all – just someone who has done well with very little. I also used to stay up late at night working ‘under cover of darkness’ and I tend to wear a lot of black so it was a little nickname I gave to myself. I was being cute. Because of how I mentioned Facebook, I knew we would have a ton of traffic to our facebook page to check it out (Which we did! More than most brands have when they air) and thousands of likes during our airing.
Q: What about Scott? He seemed so quiet.
A: Scott actually spoke more than I did during the presentation and has just as big a personality as I do. He diligently produced many great facts about our products, the environmental benefits, our distribution, and what sets us apart from competitors, etc. Scott also gave an excellent explanation and clarification for his flub which the Sharks agreed was a good answer. Naturally, that part didn’t air. So while he originally misspoke about the size of the market, he did not misrepresent our company. Ninety percent of the retail stores in the US that carry soap nuts are carrying our Eco Nuts brand. Our company was valued at $1 million at the time of airing. These things are true, though the editing made it seem like that was not the case.
Scott also went into detail about how and why our no-plastic packaging sets us apart — earning us the NEXTY award as pioneers in our industry and a mention in the Natural Products Industry Forecast for 2013 – which did not air either.
Unfortunately all these cool things about the product and our company weren’t nearly as TV-worthy or interesting to the segment editors as my feisty New Yorker wise cracking and the edit focused on our sterilization process, which was a very tiny portion of what we’re about and what was discussed.
Q: Am I mad at Scott?
A: No, not at all! Right before he threw out that $1 million number, we were discussing our business valuation and the number $1 million was coming up a few times, so I think he just said “$1 million” because the number was stuck in his head — and that was a mistake and it was immediately corrected but not on the air! It was a slip of the tongue mistake, and that’s all it was. He wasn’t trying to pull one over on the Sharks or be disingenuous. That’s just not in our DNA. Likewise, Scott is not mad at me for anything I said, either.
Q: It looks so easy to just go there and talk about your company. Was it harder than it looks?
A: Being on your feet before the Sharks is hard and stressful. It’s easy in your living room talking to friends, and it’s much harder when you’re wearing uncomfortable shoes and a suit and getting grilled nonstop for 40 minutes to an hour under hot lights and Mr. Wonderful is giving you the evil eye. You are under a ton more pressure than it looks like on TV. Details about your business and products that come to your brain easily while sitting at a table or even at our booth at an exhibition are so much harder when standing under bright lights with a million eyes watching.
Q: Engaged for five years? Are you guys still together and if so, when’s the wedding? A: Many people were wondering if we are going to stay together after this or if we are still getting married – the answer is of course! We love each other and no reality TV show stint is changing that. I couldn’t have a better partner – in business or in life.
Our long engagement started because of bad timing with a family issue. Now we work so much, the idea of taking time off to plan a wedding or a honeymoon feels overwhelming. We’re super busy!
We didn’t get married on Shark Tank because we were completely taken by surprise and really want our families there with us for our special moment, though Mr. Wonderful O’Leary was extremely sweet to offer to officiate, and we may take him up on that offer in the future.
It may take less than an hour to get married, but when you have family all over who you want to share that with, it gets a little more complicated. We only want to get married once. We very much want to get married and our families are rallying for us to do so. You’ll probably be seeing an Eco Nuts Wedding in the near future.
Q: Why didn’t you guys listen to Mark Cuban?
A: We did! He gave us some good advice. We have tweaked our packaging design. What looked like us talking over him and arguing was editing for extra drama.
Q: You said WHAT to Robert?
A: We weren’t going to take his deal -– we had already turned it down. I didn’t botch the deal. I was making a joke. We had talked a few times about working 16 hours a day during our Q&A and by the time I brought it up again at the end, it had become a running joke. I am pretty sure all the Sharks got the joke at the time even if what aired made it look like a jab and not a joke.
Frankly, I would never actually ask an investor to work at our company like that. Running jokes, unfortunately don’t work when they edit out the first two times it comes up. Then it turns into a rude comment with no context. To be honest, I didn’t even think about the comment after the day we filmed. When we filmed it, it didn’t seem rude or out of place and I totally forgot about it.
Q: But why did you turn down Robert’s offer?
A: I know it is our job to make an investor’s money work–it just wasn’t a good deal for us to give up half our company. In retrospect, I wish we had bargained with him a little more, though I have to admit it’s also hard to bargain with a potential investor after being under severe duress for nearly an hour. Taping was very stressful. We had also been in talks with other investors who had better offers and more to bring to the table. Regardless, not getting a deal was the best thing that could have happened for our company and we don’t regret it.
Q: What else did we miss?
A: What you don’t see on the show is that there is a very talented and dedicated group of people behind them. Everyone from the PA s to the producers, hair and makeup art department – they were all fabulous. I’ve been on a lot of sets and this one ran wonderfully! It was a pleasure to work with everyone.
Q: You’ve gone cage diving in the water with real sharks before – do you prefer live sharks or investor sharks?
A: It’s like comparing Apples to Oranges, but I will say that it’s much more relaxing to be under the water with a live shark. Scott will probably completely disagree with me on that, though