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The Road to ABC's "Shark Tank"

Posted by Julie Kalimian on

I love hearing my customers reactions to SkinnyShirt! So many customers tell me they have been looking for a product just like mine. I was too-- which is how I came up with the idea. I wanted to look better in my button down shirts. 

Alas, starting a business is hard. And, yes, it can be even harder with 4 small kids, but I believe in my product and really wanted it to succeed. However, shady manufacturers and cash flow issues almost ran me out of business. 

So, last year one of my three New Year's resolutions was to get my company on ABC's "Shark Tank". I figured that Shark Tank may be my last attempt to make SkinnyShirt the success I know it can be.

This past June I stood in front of the Sharks to pitch my business. In just over a week the pitch will air on ABC. 

Nervous?? YES!!!! 

I took myself out of my comfort zone , left my four kids and travelled across country to ask for an investment from some of the top investors in the country. 

What an amazing experience it was. Thank you ABC "Shark Tank" for the opportunity. 

While my resolution last year was to get on the show. This effort started well before then. 

May 2013 an entreprenuer friend sent me a link to apply to "Shark Tank" . That link asked for a short blurb about my biz. Three weeks later I got an email from the "Shark Tank" producers!! YAY. I was asked to submit the first round of paperwork. 

In June, I was invited to submit my video. They gave me 3 days to get it done. Those were the three days all four kids were home with no school and I had no babysitting help. I asked my friend to tape me while I put in a movie and popcorn for the kids. 

That Labor Day I got the call that I was not selected. I was devastated! The super kind producer suggested that I keep doing what I have been doing and "reapply next year". 

Some may have thought that is a nice way of saying --buh bye. Not me! :- )

Sure enough. I kept at my business despite all the manufacturing woes. I reapplied a year later. 

I got an email. I could not believe my luck! 

Then, the real work began. I had to resubmit all my numbers. I began work with the producers on "The Pitch". There were hours of back and forth as I compiled all the information needed by the show. The producers never really let you know you are a finalist until you get your airline ticket because all conversations always end with the disclaimer "this does not mean you have been selected to pitch to the sharks".

Well, I did pitch to the sharks. As you can see in the promo video Kevin O'Leary calls me a cockroach to which I respond "I am not a cockroach"! It is all very exciting. Not everyone gets to be called a cockroach by Mr. Wonderful. 

There is a saying be careful for what you wish for-- Truly, I could not be happier to have had this life experience. I feel so fortunate to work with so many great people. 

BTW: the producers are incredibly smart, nice, funny, fun and caring people. Well, at the least the two I had the honor of working with. 

Again, thank you ABC "Shark Tank" for a great experience. 

Keep a close eye on SkinnyShirt!!

Hmmm… wonder what my New Year's resolution should be this year. : -))