This is Part 2 of our 4-part Shark Tank Chronicles series. If you missed Part 1, start here!
When September finally rolled around, the Shark Tank producers reached out and told me that I was going to be a standby company. It's sort of like being an understudy in a play.
I received a tape window (which was a few weeks) and was told to hang tight and wait for a phone call. It was a good exercise in letting go of my ego. I was just excited to have a shot.
I decided I wasn't going to put my life on hold, or obsess and wait by the phone during the tape window. I lived my life, and focused on what I could control. One Saturday night in September, about half way through the taping window, I went out and enjoyed margaritas and greasy fajitas with friends at one of my favorite restaurants, Casablanca.
The next morning, Josh and I decided to go for a hike up to Griffith Park observatory. I figured the odds of getting called in on a Sunday were slim. But as we were finishing up our hike, I looked at my phone and saw I had two missed calls and a text from a Shark Tank producer.
I called them back right away, “we’re running ahead of schedule today, and I think we might be able to squeeze in one more pitch,” the producer said. “Can you get here by 4:00 PM?” It was 2:00 PM. I was covered in dirt, slightly hungover from the margaritas the night before, nowhere near the studio, and nowhere near camera ready.
Immediately I went into panic mode, doing the math in my head and realizing there was no way I would be able to make the 45-minute journey home to Santa Monica from Griffith Park, shower, do my hair and makeup, buy all the fresh flowers and citrus I needed for my set, and then get to the studio in Culver City by 4:00 PM. I told her no, it was impossible.
(check that time stamp—I took this photo as were just starting our hike UP the mountain at 1PM)
After we hung up, Josh (who had been eavesdropping) walked over to me. “Did you just tell her no?” he said. “Call her back right now. We can make it! Call her back and say yes, Sarah.”
Josh is my most trusted sounding board and always a voice of reason. I am so grateful he was there at that moment.
He had it all planned in his head: he was going to floor it home, drop me off, then run to the store and get me a coffee and all the fresh citrus I needed for my set display while I got ready. Then he’d drop me off right at the studio lot. He already checked and traffic wasn’t too bad, either. Bless him!
I called my producer back and told her I was in. At this point, I was giddy. I love a good adventure!
From that point on, everything was a blur. We sped home while I called a florist and got an arrangement made and delivered to the set (which was crucial, as most of my set was made up of fresh citrus and flowers to reflect our product’s ingredients.)
I practiced my pitch in the car two or three times. Then I got home, curled my hair, threw on my outfit, and jumped back in the car to finish my makeup. (Yes, I did my makeup for a primetime national TV show in a moving vehicle).
There was no time to be nervous or anxious. It was all fight or flight — the adrenaline was pumping, and I was high on the energy and chaos.
At the gate, I was met by my producer in a golf cart and was whisked away into the studio. My set looked incredible. The producers showed me my mark and then took me back out to the green room to get my mic on. I felt like a celebrity, and I loved every second of it.
Then it was GO time. I got a hair and makeup touch-up, the doors opened, somewhere in the shadows a producer yelled, “Begin!”, and I started my pitch.
Stay tuned for Part 3: The Pitch!