Shark Tank airs on Channel Ten, and each episode, Aussie entrepreneurs seek investment in their businesses from a panel of highly successful ‘Sharks’.
Flanked by her stunning Sonsee Angels (including my girl @curvesinacardigan), Vanessa did curvy girls everywhere proud as she introduced her specialised plus size tights to Channel Ten viewers and more importantly, faced the Sharks.
Seeking a $50k investment in return for a 20% share in her business, Vanessa showed the Sharks how Sonsee tights differ from other plus size brands on the market, and as a loyal Sonsee customer myself – I know they blow the competition away. Without ugly and uncomfortable gusset panels, Sonsee tights are super stretchy, so comfortable, and amazed me when they didn’t creep down or roll. One of the Sharks asked about their ability to snap back into shape after being worn – I can attest to their ability to bounce back myself. I wear the same pair of Sonsee tights now as I did when I was 9 months pregnant – and they fit just as perfectly now as they did then!
Vanessa ended up having not one, but two Sharks circling her business, but quickly decided to partner with Naomi Simson (of Red Balloon fame) for a 20% stake in Sonsee (for $20k and an 80k loan).
Vanessa agree to spill the beans on everything Shark Tank… So let’s cut right to what people want to know…
Its been a great experience many doors that were usually closed have opened and we are really looking forward to the opportunities that we now have.
Many companies walk away empty handed from the Shark Tank. Did you see it as a gamble?
I really believe in Sonsee and the amazing hosiery we have and the business so I felt as though I didn’t have anything to lose, it was a great opportunity to get not only an investor and mentor but “Sonsee Woman” behind the brand.
Was there an audition process?
There was a lot of paperwork, phone calls and an audition which all happened very quickly. From my online application to standing in front of the Sharks it was only about a month.
Who were you most nervous to meet and who were you hoping to get investment from?
There was a lot of nerves that’s for sure! I wasn’t so nervous meeting the sharks, I actually only knew 24 hours in advance who they were. After doing some research on each of them, I knew it was Naomi. I was more nervous of freezing and becoming that person on you tube that everyone laughs at!!
What is Naomi like in real life?
What you see is what you get. She is an amazing inspiration and full of experience and knowledge that she wants to share.
I recognize a couple of the Aussie Curves babes moonlighting as your Sonsee Woman Angels supporting your presentation. How important was it for you to use real customers instead of models?
We have always believed that our customers need to see Sonsee on real women. There are so many products on the market that do not deliver on what they promise and what better way to show our product really fitting than having it on some real women.
How long did filming take? Do you have any behind-the-scenes gossip you can share?
I was in the shark tank getting question after question shot at me for over an hour. What you see is real – no takes or breaks, its like being in the meeting of your life but adding cameras and lights and the fact that close to a million people will watch it!
Looking back, is there anything you’d change about your segment?
That I didn’t answer that question from Steve Baxter about “how big’s the market?” I knew the answer I just couldn’t think of it at that time still kick myself.
Where to now for Sonsee Woman?
We are developing a whole range of new products one of them is our new anti chaffing short which we are very proud of – its super light weight, not shape wear, just the perfect solution to combat chub rub. We will be adding intimates and also active wear to our collections which we are so excited about so watch this space….
Congratulations to Vanessa on a fabulous presentation, and a big congratulations to Naomi for recognising a brilliant opportunity when she saw it.
I wish the team all the best!
You can purchase Sonsee Woman products via the website.
All images used in this post are taken from the episode on Channel Ten. You can watch the whole episode on Ten Play here.