A Look Back at Shark Tank - lollaland

A Look Back at Shark Tank

Lollacup in line at the Shark Tank Season 3 Open Casting Call

Lollacup in line at the Shark Tank Season 3 Open Casting Call

Our episode of Shark Tank is re-airing tonight on ABC at 8 p.m., so I thought I would take a stroll down memory lane.

Although our actual segment on Shark Tank only lasted 10+ minutes, we stood negotiating in front of the sharks for well over an hour.  It was an incredibly stressful yet exhilarating experience.  How often does one have an idea, turn it into a product, and then pitch the business to moguls like the "sharks"!

Things I never want to forget:

  • Getting called back after each round of casting
  • Landing, not one, but TWO sharks as investors/business partners
  • The fun viewing party we had with close friends and family at our old high school, where Mark and I met
  • Running [and growing] this business, hand-in-hand, with my husband
  • Opening my email inbox after our Shark Tank segment aired and seeing 3000+ emails.
  • Receiving our first email from Mark Cuban and Robert Herjavec
  • All the amazing people we've met as a result of this business and being on the show
  • All the friends, family, colleagues, and strangers who've helped us get to this point

Things I'd like to forget:

  • Mark spilling a bottle of water down his shirt moments before our taping
  • The eternal wait in between each round of casting
  • Wondering if we would ever get the chance to pitch in front of the sharks
  • Going on backorder for months soon after our segment aired = a lot of lost revenue for a small business like ours
  • The incredible stresses [& sleepless nights] of owning and running a small business

 

Overall, our experience on Shark Tank has been like the gift that keeps on giving.  Now that it's been about a year since we first appeared on Shark Tank, people often ask us, "Was it worth it?" and "Would you do it again?"  Absolutely!  One thing I learned about entrepreneurship is that you have to seize every opportunity, and not take luck and timing for granted.




Chad Riddersen
Chad Riddersen

Author



40 Responses

lollaland
lollaland

July 02, 2015

Thank you for your support AND for spreading the word! We really have the best customers!

lollaland
lollaland

July 02, 2015

Joel – Business is good. We are definitely growing and we’re hoping to launch some additional products in the coming year. Thanks for your support!

Marian
Marian

July 02, 2015

We discovered you via Shark Tank, and are so grateful – we LOVE our Lollacup! Our daughter started drinking from it, effortlessly, even at 7 months old! We’ll definitely be ordering more, for ourselves and others =) All the best!

Joel Ramirez
Joel Ramirez

July 02, 2015

You didn’t answer the question everyone wants to know – How’s business?!

LOVE the cup, has been in constant use since Poppy Lea got hers after the backorder.

lollaland
lollaland

July 02, 2015

Karen – Just spent some time on your blog. What an amazing mother you are. I was blessed this morning to have started my day reading your story! I hope Lollacup becomes Grace’s go-to cup.

lollaland
lollaland

July 02, 2015

Thanks Alyssa for your kind words, support of our business, and suggestions!

Karen
Karen

July 02, 2015

Were the sharks there for you when you needed them and did they give you the deal they said you would get? Good luck!

Rachel
Rachel

July 02, 2015

Definitely getting your cup for my nephew after seeing on Shark Tank last night!! =) I clicked on a link ’Jay-Z and Beyonce take Blue on a lunch date" and I thought you might like to know Jay-Z is holding your cup!!
http://bossip.com/723973/baby-ballers-daddy-hov-and-bey-bey-and-julius-take-blue-ivy-out-for-a-lunch-date/2/

DSK Steph
DSK Steph

July 02, 2015

Watching you guys on Shark Tank right now! I definitely want to get a cup for my niece. :)

sylvia hackbarth
sylvia hackbarth

July 02, 2015

Awesome product wish I had babies ! Thank you for keeping them American made

Julie
Julie

July 02, 2015

Just discovered you on Shark Tank (which I have NEVER watched until tonight, ha! glad I caught the end of it tonight ;) and I ordered my first lollacup! Can’t wait to get it! LOVE your idea. Hope this sets your business over the top!! Congratulations on the deal.

Allison Yager
Allison Yager

July 02, 2015

I was shocked to see that the hospital in my area is caring your cup. I wish I would have had this when my first child was little, and look forward to using your US made product with my second due in August.

Karen
Karen

July 02, 2015

Watching you on shark tank now! I’m interested in buying a cup to try on my daughter. I think we own every sippy cup that’s ever been made! My daughter has special needs (see my blog) and we see speech therapists and are desperately trying to get her to drink from a straw! Love the weighted straw concept! Excited to try this one (and hope its our last one)! Thanks!

Alyssa
Alyssa

July 02, 2015

One of the most memorable moments of your 10 minute airtime that really impressed my husband and I was your refusal to take production overseas. Safety and product quality is our #1 concern and with lollacup we have no worries.

Our whole family loves lollacup. They are so cute and so easy to clean and use!

As a future product idea- I’d love to see a narrower version so it fits better in my daughters car seat.

Fabiana
Fabiana

July 02, 2015

I’m completely in love with your product. As soon as your segment was over, I turned to my husband and said, “go get your credit card…or else!” ;) I’m excited to receive it and for my 10 month old to try it…and ENJOY IT. Will be keeping up with you guys via FB & Twitter. Looking forward to more! Congratulations!

lollaland
lollaland

July 02, 2015

Karen – We did get the exact deal we made on tv, and they are AWESOME partners…just the right amount of involvement and an excellent resource!

lollaland
lollaland

July 02, 2015

Jennifer – Thanks for sharing this story with us. We are working on adding measurement markings, so hopefully soon!

Jennifer
Jennifer

July 02, 2015

Saw you guys the first time your episode aired on shark tank and my cousin purchased the pink cup for my now 9th month old daughter for Christmas. My daughter has absolutely refused bottles and was breastfeeding every two hours! we have tried every bottle and sippy cup on the market and then just about a month ago I saw your lollacup just sitting there and tried it and she now drinks out of a straw no problem! It was a life saver! I love the cup and my daughter thinks its funny when I close the lid to hide the straw and the face pops up! My only suggestion would be that I wish the cup had measurements letting me know how many ounces she is drinking! Best of luck!

Mrs. Small
Mrs. Small

July 02, 2015

Rachel: too funny… i just saw the same picture on mediatakeout… and after seeing the episode of Shark Tank – I logged on here to let them know!

Love the lollacup idea… wish it was around when my daughter was using sippy cups! If I ever have another… (or for my next gift idea) – I think this is perfect.

lollaland
lollaland

July 02, 2015

Thanks :)

lollaland
lollaland

July 02, 2015

Thanks Sylvia…“Wish I had babies…” :) In due time!

lollaland
lollaland

July 02, 2015

Thanks Julie! Be careful, Shark Tank is addicting!

lollaland
lollaland

July 02, 2015

Allison – congrats on your second! I am due in a month with my third! Have a great pregnancy.

lollaland
lollaland

July 02, 2015

Thanks Anne!

lollaland
lollaland

July 02, 2015

We totally agree! We lucked out!

lollaland
lollaland

July 02, 2015

Thank you for sharing the article and your kinds words or support.

lollaland
lollaland

July 02, 2015

Justin – We literally checked the website daily – they will one day post the open casting call schedule. We applied online, but made progress by attending the open casting call.

lollaland
lollaland

July 02, 2015

Thanks for your support Fabiana!

Anne McShane-Massie
Anne McShane-Massie

July 02, 2015

As a new mommy of a 7 month old baby girl, I am thrilled to have come across your product! I am constantly in search of baby products made in the USA, and was deeply impressed by your refusal to take production overseas. My husband and I are HAPPY to pay extra for a product we can trust, that keeps dollars in the hands of small business owners and whose manufacturing pays a living wage.

We have an order in for our first Lollacup! Best of luck to you and we will be on the look out for more American-made innovations from you in the future.

Jennifer
Jennifer

July 02, 2015

I loved watching your segment on SharkTank. It is great to see a great couple with a terrific couple get the investors you did. I love Mark and Robert – what terrific partners! Thanks!

nonny mouse
nonny mouse

July 02, 2015

Just saw this on C&L: http://crooksandliars.com/susie-madrak/shark-tank-vulture-chides-couple-maki

SOOOOOO glad to know you didn’t take up Kevin O’Leary’s so-called ‘offer’ to take 50% of your profit while forcing you to manufacture in China! I know it’s unfair to regard EVERY Chinese product as cheap, nasty and unsafe, but the track record has been so abysmal, the first thing I do is look on the label to see where it’s made – if it’s Chinese, I pass. Particularly when it comes to anything to do with food. I prefer my clothing without formaldehyde and my food without melamine.

I wish you both huge success, and hope you start exporting them as well – I’m sure there are a lot of Australian parents who’d snap them up in a heartbeat!

Justin Roberson
Justin Roberson

July 02, 2015

Hey. My name is Justin with Etchpressions,LLC. Loved your segmant.. We have a great idea that goes into any market that i would like to take to shark tank.. Can you kinda give me a couple of tips on how to start the process. Ive applied via email to casting, but wondered when they do open auditions.

Beth F
Beth F

July 02, 2015

I saw you on Sharktank a few months back, and was just browsing thebump.com (I’m 20 weeks pregnant) and there was your product!

It must be so cool :) Way to go. I hope your business keeps on growing! Best of luck.

lollaland
lollaland

July 02, 2015

Thank you for the kind words!

Tanya
Tanya

July 02, 2015

Just saw you on a re-run of Shark Tank, it’s Monday 08/19/2013 and I had to look you guys up. I thought your presentation was fantastic, I love the idea of your product and would certainly buy/order if I had a young child. However, I am the mother of a 20 year old, so I have no need for your product, but as a fellow entrepreneur, I wish you nothing but the best!!

Suzanne W.
Suzanne W.

July 02, 2015

I just wanted to say I caught that episode with you on it and then tonight I was on a mommy blog and saw your button (and recognized the sippy cup!) in a sidebar. Shark Tank is one of my favorite shows! I love to see start-up businesses thriving! How wonderful! Congratulations! :)

lollaland
lollaland

July 02, 2015

thanks for your support!

Karen W.
Karen W.

July 02, 2015

After seeing you and your product on Shark Tank I was greatly impressed. I’m buying cups for my twin grandchildren. Your decision to keep production in the states had me cheering for you. Like others here I check labels and prefer to buy American when I can even if it means spending a bit more. Thanks for staying true to yourselves!

lollaland
lollaland

July 02, 2015

thanks for supporting our business! Mark and Robert are awesome to work with!

Thi
Thi

July 02, 2015

Just ordered an orange Lollacup. I like the product, and I also like the philosophy of your company, which is to offer a product that’s made in the USA. I always look for products that are made in the USA because I would like to support our economy. (FYI: Robert Herjavec & Mark Cuban are my 2 favorite sharks. They’re nice.)

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