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A Look Back at Shark Tank

Chad Riddersen

Posted on February 07 2013

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.

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40 comments

  • lollaland: July 02, 2015

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

  • lollaland: July 02, 2015

    Thanks Julie! Be careful, Shark Tank is addicting!

  • lollaland: July 02, 2015

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

  • lollaland: July 02, 2015

    Thanks Anne!

  • lollaland: July 02, 2015

    We totally agree! We lucked out!

  • lollaland: July 02, 2015

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

  • 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: July 02, 2015

    Thanks for your support Fabiana!

  • 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: July 02, 2015

    Thank you for the kind words!

  • 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.: 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: July 02, 2015

    thanks for your support!

  • 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: July 02, 2015

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

  • 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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