By now we’ve probably seen or at least heard of ABC’s Shark Tank, the popular reality tv show where entrepreneurs present their products to a team of investors, aka the sharks, with the most brilliant- or most foolish- sales pitches.
Pitching a business to a team of executives must be extremely nerve-racking (especially as a female entrepreneur), but what happens if the sharks don’t take your business seriously? Or better yet, what happens if they do?
While some ladies have made life-changing deals with the sharks, others took matters into their own hands. Either way, they came out strong!
Here are three companies whose post-Shark Tank success stories inspire us:
Entrepreneurs that got the sharks to bite…
Where they started
Judy Edwards, along with her son, Bobby, and husband, Bill, embarked on a mission to change the way America uses the bathroom.
You thought your family was weird
In season 6 of Shark Tank, they pitched Squatty potty, a stool that corrects your posture while using the toilet, thus improving any colon issues.
And the Sharks bit! Lori Greiner made a deal-350k for 10% of the company (via Investopedia). She felt that the family was sitting- or squatting- on a gold mine.
Where they are now
Today, the family has built an empire atop the porcelain throne. Squatty Potty has found a home in every Bed Bath & Beyond across the USA and Canada and partnered with many major retailers. After their unicorn commercial went viral, they earned 15 million in sales and, as of 2021, reached over 164 million dollars in sales (TheRichest). Greiner calls Squatty Potty, “ One of Shark Tank's most successful stories ever” (ABC).
So, if you think your crazy product is a sh*tty idea, it might just make you millions!
Wicked Good Cupcakes
Where they started
When a mother-daughter duo from Massachusetts introduced their cupcakes in a jar to the Sharks in 2013, one judge- Kevin O’Leary- was particularly impressed.
Eventually, a deal was made: $75,000 for a $1 royalty per unit, and then, once the money was paid back, a 45 cents royalty per unit (Mashed).
Where they are now:
Since appearing on the show, Wicked Good Cupcakes has grown significantly! They now have a new production facility, and partnerships and the company has made over 1 million in sales (ABC).
Tracey's biggest hope is to "inspire other women to start a business and follow a dream” (ABC).
Entrepreneurs Who Didn’t Need the Sharks…
The Lip Bar
Where they started
The Lip Bar- the vegan, affordable, and cruelty-free makeup company was formerly rejected on Shark Tank in 2019. While the rejection was a disappointment, the company’s Founder, Melissa Butler, didn’t let it stop her.
Where are they now:
While it took 6-7 years for the company to grow, The Lip Bar (TLB) now has a net worth of 7 million dollars and can be purchased at Walmart, Target, and Meijer. Despite making it into major retail stores, Lipbar still has a small business feel and its own shop in Detroit.
Butler says it wasn’t easy getting the company to where it is today, she says how she had to take it day by day and focus on what her company could do in the moment rather than in 10 years (Detroitfreepress).
There’s even a documentary about The Lip Bar's struggles and triumphs.
Butler wanted the documentary to show her audience that she "didn’t do anything magical," to become successful (Detroitfreepress). She wanted to tell her real story, where she came from, and what she did to make something of herself.
When it comes to secrets of launching a business, TLB's lips definitely aren't sealed.
From a toilet stool that swept the nation, to vegan makeup and cupcakes in a jar, Shark Tank success stories remind us that no idea is too small or too silly to make millions.
And if you have a million-dollar idea that your friends roll their eyes at, who knows? You might just be the next entrepreneur to make it big on Shark Tank.
Got another favorite Shark Tank product? Share it in the comments below.