Shark Tank

15 May 2014

At 9 o’clock on most Friday nights, there’s only one place to look for John and me: in front of our TV, watching Shark Tank :) Perhaps not as hopping as your Friday night plans, but we adore this show, and love to talk about it with anyone who will listen! Today, y’all are my captive audience :)

We started watching in the second season, in 2011. I was headed to a conference where one of the sharks, real estate mogul Barbara Corcoran, was the keynote speaker, which sparked my interest in the show. By the time the conference rolled around, we were hooked! At this particular conference, attendees are randomly split into small groups for dinner with the speakers. I practically levitated out of my seat when I found out I was one of eight dining with Barbara! Our dinner lasted about four hours (!), and she was so genuinely interested in what everyone did and the market segments they operated in. (As a side note, I’m not surprised that intense curiosity is one of Barbara’s defining character traits – I think a desire to continuously learn is a mark of most successful people. It’s something I noticed about Martha Stewart when I attended a taping of her show a few years ago.)

barbara corcoran

For those who aren’t familiar with it, the show features a panel of potential investors (sharks) who consider offers from entrepreneurs (of varying levels of success) seeking investments in their businesses or products. Many investors leave without a deal, some partner up with one investor, and a few, with more than one. As the show has become more popular, even just appearing on the show without getting a deal can cause a huge spike in orders.

I actually really like all of the sharks for different reasons – Kevin’s curmudgeonly ways crack me up, Mark can be surprisingly emotional, and I have a personal connection with Barbara – but if I had to choose, I think Robert, “the son of an immigrant factory worker,” is my favorite.

Aside from the fact that I L-O-V-E entrepreneurs and seeing people go after their dreams with total passion (cheesy? yes), my favorite part of this show is the products and businesses being pitched. A few that have stood out to John and me:

Favorite entrepreneurs:
Simple Sugars Scrub (loved this 17-year-old gal’s passion!)
M3 Girl Designs (wildly successful mother and two daughter team)

Products we’ve actually purchased:
Clean Bottle (water bottle that unscrews at both the top and bottom for easier cleaning)
Freaker (one-size-fits-all bottle insulator made in the USA – this guy was also one of THE most memorable entrepreneurs we’ve ever seen)
Gobie (water bottle with a built-in filtration system with “flexflo” technology)

Products we want:
Spatty (miniature spatula designed for getting the bits out of makeup/lotion bottles)
Bambooee (reusable bamboo towels on a roll – machine washable!)
Revolights (bike lighting system that illuminates in 360 degrees)

Products I’m proud to have known about before I saw them on Shark Tank:
Lolla Cup
Freshly Picked Moccasins
FuzziBunz cloth diapers
Mo’s Bows (we featured him in Southern Weddings V5!)
Nearly Newlywed

Most memorable:
I Want to Draw a Cat for You (John and I catch ourselves singing his little song to ourselves from time to time)
Copa Di Vino (this guy went on twice with his premium wine in a glass, and he was quite the character)
Billy Blanks Jr. Dance With Me DVD (Billy and his wife had a really emotional segment, and they initially left the tank without a deal – until Damon chased them down and worked something out.)
Rent a Goat (enough said)

If you don’t watch Shark Tank, I’m afraid this post might sound like total gibberish to you – but if you do watch it, I hope it brought back some good memories! If you fall into the latter camp, I would love to hear about your favorite product or entrepreneur, if you’ve ever bought a Shark Tank product, and if you have a favorite shark!

  1. Yes! My husband & I love Shark Tank! I was proud to have known about Grace Lace before we saw it on the show. It’s a husband and wife couple who after they lost their baby right after she was born started this company, most notably for knitting those cute lacy socks that go above your boots! Now, they have made enough money have built (I think) two orphanages in India and are working on two more this year. Love them!

  2. Shark Tank is my guilty pleasure (especially since there are so many seasons on Hulu Plus!) Barbara and Lori are my gals!

    I love the Bambooee couple and another favorite is Lolacup – even though I have no need for a child’s sippy cup I’m enthralled by the name and the adorable design.

  3. I love Shark Tank too, ever since my cousin was on it :)

    I haven’t heard of the Bambooee and I’m obsessed!!! I might have to try them out!

  4. Sarah

    We bought the breathometer!! It was backordered for a while, but it finally came in and it’s awesome!

  5. Though we’ve never seen Shark Tank, we’ve been on the same roll of Bambooee for nearly a year–they’re AMAZING!

  6. Laura

    I’m in Canada and we have a similar show called “Dragon’s Den”, Kevin is one of the inverters on it as well. They are both fascinating shows!

  7. Kelly Strawberry

    I didn’t realize the Freaker was on Shark Tank. What makes this so neat for me is that I got three Freakers at a White Elephant gift exchange from this guy named Carl – who actually has his face on a Freaker – the “Dirty Carl.” How cool is that?! He’s practically famous! lol

  8. BAMBOOEE!!!!

    OH YOU KNOW this was one of my most favorite posts by you, ever! I’m going to add a few in my own list:

    Products we’ve actually purchased:
    I want to draw a cat for you!!! When we paid off our house, I had 2 cats drawn screaming “we’re debt free!” and I gave it to Will as a gift. (I think this takes our nerdiness to a whole new level. A debt freedom cat drawing. Only the Thomases can fully appreciate this! I think you are our only friends who fit in this category!)

    Most Memorable:
    The stuffed elephant marriage communication tool (Memorable for being SO dumb!)
    Show No towels. I LOVED this woman’s passion and heart. I’ll never forget her!

    Products we want:
    Freaker. Now you’ve convinced me :)

    Now that I’m risking posting a mini-blogpost within your comments, I’ll close with this: I am immensely jealous of your Barbara picture. WHY did I not go to that Engage?!

  9. Someone asked me how they could learn more about business and entrepreneurship the other day – I told them, “Watch Shark Tank!” You have access to some of the greatest business minds of our time!

    Love all of the sharks, but my favorites are Mark and Robert, though they butt heads pretty regularly.

    The cat gift Nancy got for me was amazing. One of the most memorable moments for me was on Season 3 (I think) when Robert recounted (at the point of tears) his father immigrating to N. America from Croatia, and what that meant for him. Such a great show!

  10. I’m a total Shark Tank fanatic! Robert is my favorite — he seems the most honest, compassionate, and interested in the people pitching their products. I don’t think I’ve ever bought a product seen on the show, but there are some on my wish list! I always want a Spatty when I reach the bottom of a product and there is more in there that I just can’t get out. (And the Spatty was the very first product I learned about when I discovered Shark Tank!) I also want Eva the Elephant that helps parents give their kids medicine. My husband wants the Tie Not for water balloons :)

  11. @Taylor: I remember them! The sharks were very impressed with their sales.
    @Sarah: So fun!
    @Lena: Good to know! I think Bambooee might be my next ST purchase!!
    @Nancy: That. Is. Amazing. And I 100% appreciate it. I don’t remember the Show No towels person – I’ll have to look her up!
    @Will: Yes, I remember that – has stuck with me, as well! It’s interesting their shifting perspectives on “made in America.”
    @Brooke: Eva is the ultimate Shark Tank product! Barbara mentioned it as one of her favorites at dinner :)

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