Editor's Note: This past Sunday, we pitched our premium single-blade razor on ABC's Shark Tank and made it out alive! Not only did we survive - we landed an offer from our favorite shark, Robert Herjavec!!
The entire experience feels so surreal. From the moment we stepped off the plane in LA, to the moment we stood in front of the sharks, to the huge party we threw to celebrate our airing... let's just say we're still pinching ourselves.
In a lot of ways, our time in the tank is still a blur. We keep recalling bits and pieces even now.
Since the airing, we've been (understandably) bombarded with questions from friends, family, and complete strangers about what it was like to swim with the Sharks. And now, we're ready to reveal it all.
Strap in. This is a long one.
FIRST, WHAT WE DIDN'T KNOW BEFORE FILMING
1. What our set would look like.
As you know from our last post, we designed our entire set for the show on a piece of paper. We ordered all of our items online (thank you IKEA!) and had them assembled in LA before our arrival. When we got to the set of Shark Tank, it was the first time we saw it fully assembled.
We were absolutely blown away by how it looked in person. Some entrepreneurs spend upwards of $10,000 on their sets. Ours clocked in at around $1500, including shipping. Even then - that was a ton of money for us.
2. The Shark Tank family is phenomenal.
We can't say it enough. Every person we met from Shark Tank was incredible. You can tell they loved their jobs and loved seeing brands be successful. They did everything they could to encourage, provide tips, and give us the best shot of getting a deal and good airing on the show.
3. The camera never stops.
When those doors open, it's showtime. There are no do-overs. If you happen to mess up, you just have to keep going.
We learned that first-hand when Patrick flubbed one of his lines. More on that later.
4. The sharks have zero insider information.
The sharks don't know a single thing about you or your company before you enter the tank. It's why your first impression is SO important, because the only information they have is what you're presenting in real time.
The biggest challenge this presents is the fact that not only do you have very little time to get your key points across - you're fighting against the Sharks for that time. They all have their own agenda for what they want to discuss, but you need to direct the flow of the conversation to get your main points across. If you don't, you're toast.
5. Deals made on the show are not final.
When you make a deal in the tank, it is a verbal agreement - not a final deal. Over the next few months, you will enter into due diligence and negotiations to hopefully close the deal. Forbes posted a study that showed over 43% of the deals on the show don't close.
OUR FAVORITE MOMENTS
1. Patrick's big screw-up
There's no way to sugar coat it. Patrick blew it on the pitch. He completely forgot what his lines were - and his entire life flashed before his eyes.
It sounds crazy, but looking back, we're grateful for the slip up. If you notice in our pitch, as soon as Patrick missed the line for the second time, Mark and the other sharks started encouraging him:
"You're one of many that does the same thing." "It's alright!"
Because of this, we felt like from the beginning the sharks were on our side cheering for us - instead of coming at us defensively.
Also if you look at Jennifer's face while he is messing up the line, you will see visible cringing. While she was freaking out on the inside, there was a forced, awkward smile through it all. Thankfully, he got it out, and the sharks were incredibly gracious with us!
2. Meeting Jesse AKA George Washington
When crafting our pitch for the tank, we knew we wanted a George Washington figure as part of it. Our producers were able to help us find a LA-based, stand up comedian, Jesse to help us out. Jesse hung out with us on set before our pitch for hours and proved to be a great distraction from all the building nerves.
He was a great dude and crushed it on air. We still die laughing watching the mustache fall off his face and his quick witted responses!
3. When Lori called the Single Edge, "The Cadillac of Razors"
Full disclosure, we don't even remember her saying this. Our time in the tank really felt like a blur. When we got back to the hotel that day after being on set, we kept remembering 15-second moments that happened during filming. It wasn't until the actual airing of our episode that we realized Lori made this amazing comparison, and we'll take it!
4. Robert complimenting all of our hard work.
"I'm excited about the two of you. It's very, very difficult to elevate a commodity product with a premium value. That's what you've done." Hearing an incredibly successful, tech millionaire compliment all of the work we've done over the past four years is indescribable. From the start, it was obvious that Robert understood our brand and was incredibly supportive of us.
5. Kevin and Robert fighting over a deal
When we were in the tank, it all happened so fast. All of a sudden Lori was out. Then, Daniel. And then, Mark. We'd be lying if we didn't say we were nervous.
But then, Robert started talking to us. We had a feeling he was going to make an offer, but we weren't quite sure.
Kevin jumped in with his royalty deal, which we were expecting. In hindsight, it was not a bad offer at all, but for the current state of our business, we need to be investing every dollar we make back into our business to scale. Hearing Robert articulate this exact position made it evident that our interests were aligned and that he would be an excellent partner to have. We respect Kevin, but in the end, it was crystal clear from the offer that Robert was the better partner for us at this stage.
6. The whole segment looked way better than we remember
Maybe we're our own worst critics, but we felt like our time in the tank was a lot worse than it actually turned out to be. We felt like we stumbled through answers, failed to negotiate hard, and came off as too nervous.
Watching our episode air, one of the biggest surprises was how great we actually looked! Don't be fooled - we were nervous, adrenaline-pumping, and on our toes the entire time. Thankfully, we felt like our personalities and backstory really came through authentically throughout our entire segment.
7. Seeing our pitch as the thumbnail for the episode on ABC
We had no idea that they would use our segment to be the highlight thumbnail on the ABC website, Hulu, YouTube, and Apple TV. It's a weird feeling opening up your Apple TV and seeing yourself staring back at you with mustaches.
THINGS YOU MIGHT NOT KNOW
1. There's no music in the hallway
That infamous "bum bah bum bah bum bah bum bah bum bum, bah bah" is nowhere to be found when you're walking down the hallway. It's just complete silence.
Fun Fact: Patrick and I did make a Shark Tank Hype playlist on Spotify that we listened to beforehand to get pumped up. Need some jams? You can find the playlist here.
2. The room is HUGE
Looking back at other episodes, you can see it, but the room you're in with the sharks is massive. We did not realize this going in. High ceilings - and SO much space. There's a whole area behind the sharks and behind the set.
If you've ever watched an episode and thought the sharks were yelling, you're probably right. It's really hard to gauge how loud you're projecting in the room, and the sharks are about twenty feet away. Jennifer is definitely shouting at the beginning of our pitch and thankfully came down to a more normal volume as the segment progressed.
3. Don't pet the sharks
You aren't allowed to approach the sharks, except for three reasons: to pass out samples, if they ask to see a different product closer, or you make a deal.
Totally makes sense and makes you wonder what may have happened in the past with entrepreneurs. Safe to say, we kept our distance!
4. Kevin LOVED our Matte Black Single Edge
Many of the sharks, especially Kevin were convinced that our Matte Black Single Edge was our best seller on the site. In case you're wondering, the original Classic Matte Single Edge is still our most popular razor to date with Matte Black coming in second place.
You'll notice that Lori is holding our Jet Black Single Edge when she goes out. She was originally given a Classic Matte razor in her Starter Set box. When Kevin noticed our Matte Black razor in the bathroom scene, Patrick ran it over to him and handed the Jet Black razor and Midnight Black Travel Case to Robert and Lori.
5. The edits of our segment did not accurately portray our product costs
In the final episode, you heard the price for our Single Edge Starter Set, which is $125, and includes the razor, shaving cream, brush, and post shave.
They then cut the discussion to make it seem like we produce the Single Edge Starter Set for an extremely low price. In reality, that's not how the conversation went.
The cost figures quoted on the show were the manufacturing cost of the razor handle alone. They did not include the costs for the blades, additional shave settings, brush, shaving cream, or post shave that are included in the set.
More importantly, they didn't include all the additional costs that are required to get our products in our customers' hands (freight, taxes, packaging, shipping) - or the additional overhead that's required to run a business that prides itself on providing a superior customer experience.
6. The sharks were a blast
We had so much fun interacting with each and every one of the sharks! After binge watching so many episodes of the show, it was really interesting to see each shark live up to their on-air personalities.
Kevin came straight for our numbers. Lori wanted to know more about our backstory and how we came up with this idea. Mark was interested in our claims of why a Single Edge was better than our competitors. Robert was every bit as kind and charismatic in person as he comes across on TV.
7. What happened when we MADE THE DEAL with Robert
What you didn't see on the episode after we made the deal with Robert is how affectionate and excited he was about it! He ran up to us hugged us both and then grabbed Patrick's face and rubbed it!
While they didn't show the footage on our episode, there was an awesome picture snagged by ABC that we're able to share. It was hilarious and such a fun moment to share of closing the deal!
WHAT HAPPENED AFTER THE TANK
1. We celebrated for a day
After we got back to the hotel, we took a deep breath and started reliving every second of the day together. In so many ways it felt unreal what had happened to us. We had watched so many episodes over the past few years to the point where you feel like you really "know" each of the sharks. Fast forward to being in the tank, and they're asking, "should we call you Jenn or Jennifer?" It's hard to explain the disconnect in your brain.
We headed out for a celebratory sushi meal and drinks in LA before heading back to our daughter the following morning. The whole 48 hours after the filming we were overwhelmed by how well our time went in the tank and how incredibly kind each of the sharks had been to us.
2. We got to work
With the Season 11 premiere of Shark Tank airing on September 29h, we knew we needed to be prepared JUST in case we aired that first Sunday. So, we started placing purchase orders for all of our products in preparation. In order to upgrade some things, we updated every single packaging detail for each product we offer in our store. If there was anytime to update, it was now.
There was a huge fear placing huge purchase orders for products since even though you film a segment for Shark Tank, you are not guaranteed that your segment will air. In the back of our head, we kept reminding ourselves that the holiday season was coming in Q4, so if we didn't air, at least we would be amply stocked and prepared.
3. Started working with Robert's Team
We can't share any details about this, but we have enjoyed meeting and talking with Robert's team. All of the people connected to Robert have been incredible to work with and are truly a reflection of how great personally and professionally he is.
4. Prepared for our November 3rd airing
You only get a three week heads up that you're going to be on national TV - no big deal, right?! Wrong. We got the e-mail and were ecstatic! And then it was go time.
We tried to predict the pain points we would have once the show aired, and the first thing that came to mind was customer support. We always strive to keep our customers top of mind and take care of them the way we would want to be treated. We were able to bring on our newest employee, Val just a week and a half before airing, and boy, are we grateful.
Then, we planned a big, live watch party at our HQ here in Fort Worth. We have worked so hard for over four years and wanted to really bookmark this experience and celebrate with close friends, family, and colleagues. It was a highlight of our company standing in the room with so many people we love and getting to share the episode live for the first time with them.
There was shark-cuterie, shark cookies, an epic photo booth, and even an appearance by our MOST favorite baby shark [see evidence below]. Jennifer cried happy tears after seeing the episode for the first time, which could partly be due to the fact that she's pregnant. We were both so overwhelmed with emotion: To see a three year long dream fulfilled. To celebrate with so many people that have been with us from the very beginning. To see the response from you after the airing.
We have received so many kind comments, e-mails, and orders from customers around the globe who resonated with our story. Some battled depression themselves, while others have struggled with razor burn and irritation for ages. We are so grateful that our personal story and our brand can remind so many that they are not alone. And that there is hope.
Since our episode aired, we've already hit our record month in just the first 5 days of November! We knew there would be traffic from the airing but had no idea the response would be like this. It has been non-stop at our HQ answering emails, creating orders, and taking care of our customers the best we can.
Thank you for following our journey to the tank. We love that we get to change people's lives every day, starting with their morning shave. If you aren't yet, we'd count it an honor to have you as a customer and a part of the Supply fam.
And if you aren't already, sign up for our newsletter HERE to stay up-to-date with new product launches, announcements and more.