Swimming With Sharks
Before the Tank
After years of watching and recording Shark Tank, I applied to the show, anxious to get my three-month-old business off the ground. With a newly-funded Kickstarter campaign, my confidence was booming, and I was ready to take a risk. Even more than the financial benefit I sought, I was most excited about the opportunity for a business mentor – an advisor and partner that could help me make the soundest business decisions. Shark Tank was one of the biggest inspirations behind starting Teaspressa in the first place, so I was inspired to step into the Tank to pursue my entrepreneurial dreams.
Since the Tank
Of course, not getting a deal really hurt my confidence at first. This business is an extension of myself and processing the experience to move past viewing it as a failure was really tough. However, I soon realized I should appreciate and celebrate this opportunity: what started as a dream on my living room couch turned into the reality of pitching my dream company on my dream show, which is a huge accomplishment! This experience taught me so much in such a short amount of time, which is very beneficial as a young entrepreneur. Because of the great advice from the Sharks, I know that I need to take smaller steps and be more patient with the process. I have huge expectations for myself and the company – I dream big! However, I need to slow down and carefully plan and execute each step to make my dreams a reality. Shark Tank really boosted my morale and gave me more excitement to keep the company going!
The exposure alone led to sales, continuous media attention, and an overall increase of traction. In the words of Lori Grenier, Teaspressa went from “crawling” to a “light walk” practically overnight. Sales have more than tripled, which provided the funds to open my own brick and mortar storefront, and I was named a Tory Burch fellow! Through all of this, I have learned to be more aware, focused, and to take time to process my experiences internally before making big decisions. My mind is usually racing at a mile a minute, and sometimes I get lost in my own enthusiasm. I am learning to take my time, breathe, and be patient…but I’m ready to get this business running!
Now, I’m looking toward the excitement of owning my own brick & mortar store to house my blooming business. Unlike most companies, Teaspressa began with an online store and is just now moving to a storefront. My hope is to establish myself in my café while simultaneously building my online sales. The next steps are to set myself up for wholesale production as I await the processing of my patent and trademark. Once these foundational steps are complete, I will reconsider seeking investors.
Want to know more? Check out Teaspressa on Shark Tank and make sure to visit our café on Main & Goldwater in Scottsdale, AZ opening in mid-August!