I am so thrilled and honored to have been included in People Magazine's Sexiest Man Alive issue! Not a bad edition to be in if you ask me! :)
Back in early March, I received a call from People about the "Shark Tank: Where Are They Now" article which was to run sometime in March. I spoke with the very kind Johnny Dodd, a phenomenal writer of crime books who is also a writer for People. We had a fantastic hour-long conversation and continued the chatting sporadically over the past few months as it looked like the article was set to run again. With all that has been going on in the world, the article kept getting bumped for world events and tragedy, as it should have been! This week I heard from the editor who said it was finally running but was cut down in size to just one page. I was so happy it was finally running but I did recognize this likely meant the more in-depth story would be shortened quite a bit. With that said, I thought I'd take opportunity to tell you the full story of life after Shark Tank and share what Johnny and I talked about for the article.
So here goes....
My experience in the Shark Tank was relatively painless compared to some folks I know. I felt the Sharks were kind and open with me while I was filming. There were some lessons for me along the way about trusting my own gut when it came to producer's view versus my view that you can check out here if you'd like. If you've watched the episode, you know that I received two offers: one from Kevin O'Leary and one from Robert Herjavec. I chose Robert's deal because it was a better deal.
I was so excited when I left the Tank and so hopeful I'd hear from Robert's camp within the next few weeks to get everything lined up. We filmed in October 2010 and I ended up hearing from him in January 2011. I refreshed him on who I was and what our deal was and then ultimately, I ended up hearing from him that I was still too small and to come back in six months. I chose not to come back in six months. My episode aired in April and finally, at that point since the cat was out of the bag that I got a "deal," I could be open about what happened. Several friends and family invested small amounts which helped tremendously and I just thought, well, I can do this. I've gotten this far with sheer will and intuition.
I plugged along for about a year growing the brand and out of the blue received a message from a true angel investor in the San Fran area who had started watching Shark Tank on Hulu. He asked if I was still looking for investors and how the deal went with Robert. I told him what had happened and we talked two other times via phone. Once we decided on the investment amount in exchange for equity, which was much better than what I was offered on Shark Tank, he literally wrote me a check and put it in the mail! It was unreal. It's common for many to go through a long due diligence process that takes many months. Mine took about a week and a half. I am forever grateful to my investor who I believe is an Angel on Earth in every sense of the term. He is one of those guys who truly believes in the "angel" part of giving. As a man who has done very, very well in business, he believes in Mod Mom and wanted to help give us a a chance to really make it what we've always known it could be.
We've been able to make HUGE strides with the company because of that investment and are now in licensing negotiations for the Mod Mom brand in several product categories! It's incredible to think that a small company started in my garage (by someone who didn't even know how to design or build furniture!) is now at the point where we are in talks with major manufacturers! Due to confidentiality, for now, that's all I can say, but I can share a few things I've done over the past two years in my life after Shark Tank:
- Filmed How To Videos for Kin Community: Wood Toy Bin, Step Stool, and two food videos!
- Represented the Cabot brand in How-To videos using their new all-in-one finish
- Partnered with Columbia Forest Products to ensure the wood we're using in our current manufacturing is made in North America and has zero formaldahyde --safe for kids and adults!
- Honored with the Future Leader in Home Furnishings award by industry leader, WITHIT 2013
- Expanding into the pet market - Mod Mom Pets!
- Partnered with the amazing Samantha Cobos, our Director of Textile Design, to offer more soft good designs.
- Brought my husband on in a bigger way to help with design, expansion, and just in general, my sanity! Thank goodness I don't have to pay him! :)
- Included in international design books for toy box design.
So in a nutshell, even though the deal didn't work out with Robert, I have been very blessed by what followed and the generosity of folks who believe in what we're doing. I've always been a big believer that everything happens for a reason and I'm so thrilled it worked out this way! And I have to say, that learning to follow and trust my intuition along the way has made all the difference in the world in terms of company growth. Many of my counterparts that started back in 2007 are now out of business. The sky is the limit for Mod Mom and I'm so proud that even through the blood (biscuit joiner cut), sweat, and saw dust, I didn't give up. Believe me, there were days I wanted to but intuitively I knew I just needed to keep moving forward. Can't wait to share what happens in the next chapter of Mod Mom! I hope so much you'll come along for the ride with me!
Thanks for all of your support over the years!! Without out, this Mod Mom would have likely put that hammer back in the tool box years ago!
P.S In honor of the People Magazine article, we are having a "Sexiest Toy Box ALIVE!" sale on all of our furniture on www.modmomfurniture.com! 20% off all furniture until 11/25!
SHARK TANK EPISODE:
MOMtrepreneur: Mod Mom Furniture
Video (Kin Community)
Video (Kin Community)