July 09, 2018 7 min read
Ever wondered what the Shark Tank experience is really like?
For the original article on NaomiSimson.com (click here)
So glad I faced my fears and did it anyway,,,,,
The below is extracted from Naomi's article ...
Behind the scenes of a Shark Tank journey
Shark Tank Behind The Scenes
Ever wondered what the Shark Tank journey is really like? See Shark Tank behind the scenes and through the eyes of Lori from The Inappropriate Gift Co. who was featured on Episode one of Season 4. Since her air date, life has been very busy! We asked Lori to share with us her journey before, during and after Shark Tank. This is what she had to say:
My Inappropriate journey, before during and after Shark Tank.
Before Shark Tank
We’ve all been there on a Friday night, busy week at work, stressed, tired and needing to relax with our favourite friends — Sauv Blanc and Pizza. One particular Friday night I realised I really didn’t enjoy what I was doing, and there must be more to life than this?
One of my previous bosses once said “You’ll never work a day in your life if you enjoy what you do”, this started me thinking…
The only thing I enjoyed doing was sharing inappropriate memes with my friends and shopping for random funny gifts on the internet for friends and family. And that’s how it all started; as a fun hobby. The early days were a basic website a few designed products, lots of inappropriate memes and a trickle of sales — which meant the moon to me!
I saw Naomi advertise on TV that auditions were closing soon for series 4 and I smiled. I imagined being in the Tank and sharing my profanity-laden products with them. I have loved that show for so long and I have always admired the entrepreneurs for the balls to go on and get interrogated by the Sharks. I never imagined that would be me.
The difference when you have a business you truly love doing is that you don’t care what others think because you are so internally driven. I thought what is the worst that can happen? I get ripped to shreds on National TV but the flip side is that even if I do, my business would get the exposure that no startup can afford to pay for and I was ok with that cost/benefit analysis.
During Shark Tank
The whole process was so exciting, here is a photo of me getting my make up done at home for the audition! (I don’t spend much time out of my activewear so getting “done up” is an occasion for me!)
If you saw the episode you will see that I didn’t get ripped to shreds, I received offers from all five Sharks. Choosing Naomi was a no-brainer for me, she has always been an inspiration and she shares the same vision as us — ensuring people do not receive boring gifts! In addition, she has travelled exactly the same road we are embarking on and those lessons learned will be invaluable to us.
Next is a photo of my husband Ben and I straight after the filming, at our local pub. Can you see the glint of pure happiness and excitement in our eyes?
We found out two weeks beforehand when our airing date was. We met with Naomi and her team a few times before the airing date to ensure we were prepared for the onslaught that would come as a result of exposure on National TV — Shark Tank Series 4 Episode 1.
We watched the episode live with our friends. My family are in the UK so I Facetimed live with them as well. Needless to say, much fun and champagne was had. Budget Ben had our website analytics live on another screen and within 1 minute of my pitch, our visits were rising astronomically hitting 6k concurrent users during the pitch (our usual numbers were 15-30 live at any one time). Our stats went from 1,000 daily page visits to 18,000 daily page visits over the next couple of days — an increase of 1700%. Although our numbers are not that high now, they are still a lot higher than pre-Shark Tank and we also had a huge surge in sign-ups to our newsletter which was awesome. Our sales peaked on the Wednesday after Tuesdays episode and have remained at a higher level than pre-Shark Tank which considering we are not in any gift giving season has been amazing.
After Shark Tank
It’s been busy, one of the best things has been all the people who have been in touch with their wonderful words of support as well as all the interesting suppliers of inappropriate gifts. We have some amazing new products coming as a result! (I’m laughing just thinking about some of them… Fathers day and Kris Kringle are going to be a blast!)
Budget Ben joined the business as at 1st July as G.O.D (Global Operations Director). I am C.E.O. (Chief Expletive Officer) and we have yet to come up with a suitable name for Naomi our mentor and equity shareholder. We also have the wonderful Sophie working for us as Head of Customer Experience, she takes the stress out of your online shopping and puts the fun back in.
We are working with Naomi and the Big Red Group on our structure and our strategy so we can reach our BHAG — 20/20/20 ($20 million in revenue in 2020). I have had to swap my Big W activewear for something slighter smarter as I now work from Gravity Coworking 1-2 days a week.
Overall a life-changing few months. We are so excited for the future and we look forward to keeping you updated on our inappropriate journey.
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Thanks for the catch up Lori. We’re happy to have you in at Gravity with us, and we’re looking forward to the next chapter of your entrepreneurial journey!
Love love LOVE Inappropriate Gift Co, so nice to have such refreshingly funny gift choices for a change. So glad it’s going well for you Lori, best of luck for the future x
Don on July 10, 2018 at 12:10 pm
Great Business Idea. Isn’t it?
LOVE inappropriate gift co. It’s my go to for all my present purchasing! Have been a fan for ages, great to see them on Shark Tank
I am now an avid recruit for many gift giving occasions ( I need to keep some appropriate ) love your products and already have earmarked gifts for family and friends. Thanks for having an inappropriate sense of humour ladies
You are killing it girlfriend!From one inappropriate mum to another thanks for the giggles and for making my xmas shopping a breeze this year! If the fuckers didn’t have a sense of humour before my gift from inappropriate gifts… they soon will!
Pure gold x
I love these products and congratulate Lori on finding such an amazibg way to buikd a career!
This is the best thing for all us inappropriate mums
Can you come up with an inappropriate acronym for Naomi? Very funny products!
In this day & age when everyone is offended, it’s important to be prepared to be properly inappropriate …. and where else would you go but the Inappropriate Gift Co! Providers of the most welcomed gifts since office KK was created. You may be offended, but you won’t be disappointed.
Love Lori’s products and her way of doing things, keeping it fun and light!! Congratulations on your success so far and partnering with what can only be described as a perfect match in Naomi!!
Lori, you’re an inspiration. If it is to be, it is up to me – you are living proof of these 10 powerful two letter words. And I bet you know more than 10 four letter words as well!
Amazing story for an amazingly inappropriate business!! I have purchased a gift on your UK website and received excellent customer service! Love your work The Inappropriate Gift Co
Amazing Lori! Congratulations and all the best on reaching your 20/20/20 goal!
So exciting!!! Thanks for sharing!
You’re inspirational Lori. Only you could have dreamed this idea up and made it work. I love The Innappropriate Gift Co and am so looking forward to seeing you kill your 20/20/20 goal x
You are an inspiration Lori, congratulations and keep kicking butt.
Best gifts ever – I love how they are inappropriate and make me laugh – need more inappropriateness in the world.
Keep smashing goals!! I love having that “go to” place where i can buy items that say exactly what I’m needing to express!
Lori you are bloody awesome. Can’t wait for drinks in 2020… your shout!!!!
Love your work Lori. I use your inappropriate gifts daily and love to send my inappropriate friends your way. Please don’t stop!