Any entrepreneur knows building a brand can be brutal. On ABC’s hit show Shark Tank entrepreneurs put their companies and innovations to the test in front of investors, or “sharks,” to see just what they’re made of.
Shane Talbott and Steven Nakisher were avid fans of the show when they decided to try their luck at landing a chance to pitch to the sharks. Their Chicago-based company, Talbott Teas, had been featured on the Oprah Winfrey show, QVC, and the tea was being sold online and in department stores across the country.
But, the duo needed cash to fund their inventory.
“We had been open since 2003, but found ourselves looking for financing,” Talbott, 40, said. “We were hitting a brick wall with every bank and financier, and needed money to fund our inventory—we couldn’t do it out of pocket anymore.”
After nine months of trying, Talbott and Nakisher, 43, found themselves taping the show in June 2011. All those nights spent watching the show certainly paid off, Talbott said, as they knew what to expect once they landed in front of the camera in front of investors Barbara Corcoran, Daymond John and Kevin O’Leary.