FINALLY, We Can Talk About Shark Tank

Can these two brands make beautiful music together? Time will tell.

By Mary Duggan

It’s finally over! But, talk about emotional whiplash.

Our experience with the Tank did not end following our casting call in Chicago last spring. We got the call back. We just couldn’t tell you. Secrecy is a big part of the Shark Tank experience. What happens in the tank, stays in the tank. We understood. You all thought we’d gotten eliminated. We hadn’t. We actually got the call back even sooner than expected.

Moving to Part Two was exhilarating and followed by INSANE amounts of really hard and time-consuming work. But we completed the assigned tasks and put it all in a box and mailed it to our charming Casting Producer. It weighed over 13 pounds. And again, we got the next call back sooner than we’d expected.

Before we knew it we had advanced to Stage Four. Stage Five being filming. We had advanced, we were told, to a place few people ever saw. We were in a “really good place.” And then they forwarded the ENORMOUS contract and we began the work of Stage Four. We had to agree to really scary terms. We discussed, prayed, meditated, and  sought the advice of two phenomenal and trusted attorneys. We requested and got clarification on the scariest point of all and decided finally to sign the damn thing. 7.5 million eyeballs were calling to us. Generation Reality TV awaited us. We knew how terribly excited our “fans and family” would be. It is, as they say, REALLY EXPENSIVE MONEY. But we took the leap.

Finally about a week ago the call came in from Shark Tank. Suddenly it was more exciting than scary. Shark Tank was going forward with the sisters! We were given our September black out dates for filming in LA.  We agreed to a date for Thursday, July 25, TODAY, for a phone session with our newest team of producers to discuss things like wardrobe, display, etc. We sent them the next group of requirements: photos, logos and the like. We made a few of our “only as needed” shares with folks who would need to know if we were going to be out of town: staff, pet sitters, that sort of thing.

Mind you, we’d been warned. Each and every phone call from anyone on the ST team is preceded and completed with a carefully worded and firmly delivered caveat. Even if we film you, there is never a guarantee that you will be on the Tank. Until your segment airs, we might, for any number of reasons pull it. Okay? But, Ladies, congratulations, we are so excited to be going forward with you. We love you Ladies!

So, today we gather around the computer for our 2:30 Skype with our Producers. But not to discuss our wardrobe choices. It went something like this. So sorry Ladies (that is what they always called us, as they were always telling us just how much they loved us) but we have too many candidates for the show. We just keep getting bigger and more successful and more popular and we found ourselves with too many folks. And so we had to make the difficult decision yesterday to not go forward with you. And after that I am not entirely sure what got said.

Emotional whiplash. We were very polite. They were very polite. If you Ladies still need us in a year, you might want to try again, okay?

Okay? No way. I lack the emotional resilience of my amazing and courageous and positive and steadfast and determined sisters. I know we deserve more than 15 minutes of fame – everyone does. I know we can make money the old-fashioned way. We can earn it. I know that it had always been an expensive proposition. I know there are investors out there way more in sync with our values and our vision. I know. I know. I know. But why do I feel so sad? Again? Do we get any credit for having tried so hard?


Adios dream of being on Shark Tank.

I will always remember the end of our Shark Tank experience colliding with the untimely and shocking death of our sweet little dog, Chester. I think I know which memory will always hurt terribly and which one will fade away with time and victories. I think you do too.


What’s next? Read Mary’s final Shark Tank post: From Shark Tank to The Biggest Loser for the final chapter

About the author:

Mary DugganMary Duggan is Co-Founder and President of the Duggan Sisters.

The Duggan Sisters cracked the code and created a natural deodorant that actually works: lifestinks.  We hope you will spend a few minutes exploring to experience their spirited approach to wellness through their natural products and healing stories.

****** Please leave your comments and thoughts below. We love to hear from you.******

Facebook Twitter Email


16 Responses to “FINALLY, We Can Talk About Shark Tank”

  1. Anne-Marie says:

    Hi Mary,
    So sorry to hear this. I can’t even imagine the emotional roller coaster the Sisters have been riding. Lets hope there is a yet unseen silver lining to the story. Hugs.

    • Mary Duggan says:

      Thanks love. I hate being such a brat about it. I know terrible things are happening to wonderful people all over the world. But really I’ve had it for this week. Thank God for the B(l)oomers Party to look forward to. And a silver lining is a nice thing to look forward to, as well.

  2. That truly does SUCK!!! So sorry that they built you up just to let you DOWN!

    • Mary Duggan says:

      Thanks so much for the kind words. When I ask the girls, if we had it to do all over, would we? Of course, they say YES. I am not so sure. My “aftermath” blog goes live tonight at 7PM CST – something to occupy folks who are not watching a Shark Tank rerun. Be well, Mary



    • Mary Duggan says:

      MPD – I really hate how this feels. Wish I was taking it more in stride like the girls. What is bigger than the 10 million eyeballs of Shark Tank? Do you think this would have hurt less if the dog had not just died? Part two of this post goes out at 7 PM CST – to coincide with a ST rerun. Which will occupy your time? PLUS, and a BIG PLUS… we thought we would be seeing you. Damn.

  4. holly simon says:

    You tasted it….so close, how amazing. But really, you are already super stars to us:)

  5. Ah, media. This post encapsulates every joy and pain of being involved in media of any kind. I am so sorry that you weren’t able to get on the show, especially after so much work on your part. But that doesn’t mean you won’t go forward. Thanks for sharing your experience.

    • Mary Duggan says:

      Thanks, Stephanie. Sounds like you have had your own “blood in the water experience.” Make sure you tune in at 7 PM CST tonight when we go live with Part Two of this post. Love to know what you think of it. Be well, Mary

  6. Missy Hickey says:

    The boys and I were praying and sending money vibes your way. They are going to be so bummed. I told them I didn’t know. It sucks that they dropped you after they told you if was a go. I don’t blame you for not wanting to do it again with all the hard work that went into it. UGH! You are awesome and making it on your own terms. I keep spreading the word here!!!

    • Mary Duggan says:

      Missy, you and the boys are wonderful! With all of you on our side how can we go wrong? Wish we could have connected in Columbus – but our schedule was tight and our energy was low. Your area is wonderful. I have blogged a bit about being in Columbus “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff…” so please check it out – and I have one more Columbus blog in me – specific to a wonderful night in Easton Court (Square?). If you can find the time – OH MOTHER OF FIVE!!! there is a part two to the Shark Tank story. Would love to get your feedback. Thanks, always, for all the love and support. Be well, Mary PS: Tell the boys to hang in there; from all the information we garnered today off line we are probably blessed to have been passed over. Dodged a bullet – and not a silver bullet. PSS: Opened 8 new stores in Ohio today!!!! Make sure you are on our mailing list to get the info.

  7. It is too unfortunate (do you like that word fortune?) that you guys didn’t make it through, but I have sent and referred lots of my clients to you and I know that your perseverance and dedication to your mission will make it to the height you want.
    I love your products and there is no stink in my life anymore.
    Thank you.

    • Mary Duggan says:

      Hello Debra – you my dear are a true blue. Thank you always for the support and encouraging words. We know we will be okay. Just need a few days to catch our breath. Be well, Mary

  8. Jan Rossi says:

    Shark Tank is just the beginning. I believe there is greatness in store for you ladies. I noticed sometimes they bring on people on the show that are deliberately goofy and odd – just for ratings. It’s not as straight forward as helping people out in business to get to the next stage.

    If you feel you need money to get to another level don’t be shy about using the resources at the SBA for an SBA loan. There are many ways this can help you out. The SBA is always looking for good investments. The people on Shark Tank would take a HUGE chunk of your profits anyway….do not worry. The fact that they were even interested is very cool.

    Good luck. I am almost out of my natural deodorant and I will be purchasing. Add paypal please? Love that option….and that’s where some cash is sitting right now….so ……

    • Mary Duggan says:

      Hi Jan, thanks for the encouraging words. Indeed Shark Tank is not a philanthropic organization and the money from ST is very expensive. We debated for over 3 years before jumping into the fray and going for the 10 million eyes of instant marketing.

      Regarding SBA, we have worked with the top lender for the SBA from day one (5 years ago) and their funding dried up years ago. They even took our product to the halls of Congress to encourage our elected officials to push for support of not just Wall Street, but Main Street, as well. We were encouraged by the SBA to export, as there was still some funding there. So now we are exporting and we will see if anything is happening to get money to the SBA. They are great folks; I hope they get funded again soon so that small business like our own are no longer driven to the desperate measure of having to appear on reality TV to make ends meet.

      Again, sorry, until they get their commissions down we will not be doing business with Paypal. Be well, Mary

Leave a Reply