Photo credit: ABC/Eric McCandless
Written By: Sarah Paiji Yoo – CEO And Co-Founder @Blueland
We auditioned for Shark Tank this past spring. We’re big fans of the show, and we thought our company could be a great fit! We prepared a short video where we showcased our Clean Essentials Kit which includes our Multi-Surface Cleaning Spray, Glass + Mirror Spray, Bathroom Spray and Foaming Hand Soap. We made our audition video and had a lot of fun with it.
So, what was our pitch? The Blueland mission! We asked the Sharks to help us eliminate single-use plastic packaging in our cleaning and personal care products in an easy, affordable and effective way. Our mission and products spoke for themselves and we were invited on the show.
How We Prepared For The Show
When we found out we were selected as contestants we were so excited! Our excitement quickly turned into hustle. We wanted to be really prepared and showcase our best effort. Because we are still a very new company, we knew that being on Shark Tank would be a huge opportunity for Blueland and we wanted to take advantage of it. Syed and I started to prep for the show immediately. I had done some press appearances for Blueland before, but nothing like Shark Tank. We were both nervous but our nerves helped motivate us.
To prepare, we did what any contestant would, we binge watched! We watched tons of episodes we hadn’t seen before and rewatched all of our old favorites. We wanted to understand how we could best position Blueland as a brand and also how to best position our products. We read everything we could about the show and the Sharks and that helped us figure out our pitching strategy. Once we decided how we wanted to pitch Blueland, the only thing left to do was practice. Syed and I spent a lot of time preparing with each other and the team to make sure we felt confident going into the Tank.
On Set With The Sharks
After months of prep and practice, when we finally made it on set with the sharks it felt surreal. We had a lot of adrenaline and we were ready to go. We asked for $270,000 for 2% of Blueland and went right into our pitch. Our pitch went well, though not everything went exactly as planned (check out the episode to see!) The Sharks tested our products and learned more about Syed and me as entrepreneurs and our personal stories. They had some tough questions for us, but we took them in stride. When the pitch was over we had no idea what direction the Sharks were going in. We collected ourselves and tried to mentally prepare for all possible scenarios.
We walked back on set to hear what the Sharks had to offer. They had some really helpful feedback, and to our surprise, Daniel Lubetzky (founder of KIND Snacks) proposed that he and Lori Griener invest one million dollars! We were shocked to hear that number, but unfortunately the 25% stake in our company they wanted in exchange was just too much to give up. While Lori and Daniel negotiated with each other, Kevin O’Leary offered us a deal. Kevin offered us $270,000 for 6% of the company. Quickly thereafter, Lori and Daniel came back with $270,000 for 8% of the company.
Syed and I took a minute to consider our options. Both deals were great, but still not quite what we were looking for. We decided to try our hand at negotiation. We countered the offers with 3% for $270,000. While we knew we might get a big reaction from the Sharks we wanted to hold firm. And in the spirit of negotiating, Kevin offered 5%. We felt we were so close to getting this done that when we countered him with 3% of the company with a $0.50 royalty until he makes his money back (his favorite kind of deal!). Almost immediately, Kevin accepted our deal! The moment happened so quickly, we didn’t have time to process. We were so happy and excited to announce that we made a deal with Mr. Wonderful. Kevin is going to be an incredible partner for us to work with, and we can’t wait to see where this goes! Want to try the products that caught the attention of Mr. Wonderful? You can buy our Clean Essentials Kit here!