From Shark Tank to The Biggest Loser

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

By Mary Duggan

Shark Tank warns you repeatedly that at any point, even following filming, you can be eliminated. And you think you have registered the concept. But what you have really registered is OMG we are going to be on Shark Tank. And suddenly everything takes on a new urgency. They tell you that your team of producers will discuss what to wear with you; but your wheels begin to spin anyways. Hey, this is the fun part of business and as the Duggan Sisters we do fashion in triplicate. Discussions quickly turned to all of the amazing and talented jewelry designers we know. Should we wear someone’s jewelry and showcase it? Of course it can’t be mentioned; but it would still have great value for the artist.

And then, you begin to plan the Viewing Party. You kick around venues. You actually begin to assemble the guest list. You are overwhelmed by how long the list is; by how many souls have supported you and guided you and cheered you on. And so you plan the menu and again, what to wear. The Tank warns you that the week following the show is intense with media requests and you can’t do the Today Show without doing their Good Morning America first and on and on into surreal-ville and your head is spinning. Again, what to wear. Our adorable hair stylist was on the “have to be told” list and she volunteered to be on call for us anytime as needed. And all of this for a show that will likely not air until 2014.


If we had it to do over, would we have skipped the whole experience?

And then you move on to the big heart healers. The ex-husband who belittled and mocked you and the thought of him stumbling onto the show one Friday night. You can see him standing up in disbelief bellowing What the Hell!  It all comes tumbling out. You envision the excitement of your true blue fans delighting in your success; while you indulge in some nose thumbing at all the folks you thought were friends but who haven’t supported you at all – not one little can of deodorant purchased. Not one single word of encouragement. And of course there is all the family that broke your heart and damn near destroyed you so many years ago.

And finally you think about your business and you wonder what the future holds. How quickly will the changes come and what will they entail? You know that you will have to put everything in place to handle the onslaught in the first days and weeks. But there are months between taping and the show being run so all of that can and will be put in place. And you wonder if it could really be possible, that the long struggle has an end in sight. And you dream about each sister being able to go to the eye doctor and maybe even the dentist; because that is how money is measured for all of  you. What can you live without and how long can you live without it? Everything is deferred.

You study past episodes, just as you have for years, preparing for the cross examination. You learn your business upside down and backwards; and you curse that the stress of the past few years has caused you to gain enormous amounts of weight and you think damn, if only this dream could have come true 2 years ago before my endocrine system blew out completely. And so you think about what you will wear and what you can hide with a flounce here and a ruffle there. And should you get your hair highlighted? You are excited. And everyone who knows (the very few who know) are excited for you. Because this is television and this is the place where dreams come true for grownups – not Disneyland. You brace yourself for the new Mr. Wonderful in your life.


As close as we’re gonna get to this particular form of “Wonderful.”

And the ST folks warn you that it could fall apart at any moment; just as they book appointments with you to discuss wardrobe. And there are those days in California, the black out filming days, looming on the very near horizon. And they call at the appointed time, and you are there well-armed with sustaining green smoothies, excited about the one hour call but there is just the tiniest noticeable lack of the usual effervescence and then they drop the bomb. And they are so sorry. There were just too many candidates. We had to let you go. And best of luck. And you just don’t know what to do with the feelings that are left behind. And they are complex and layered and they go really deep. Suddenly, you are not thinking about your ex; suddenly you are at the 8th grade social and you are the only girl that absolutely no one asks to dance. And it all tumbles down from there.

And then it is time to go to Curves for your end of the day workout and your sisters, they of the great gift of youth – resiliency – are saying please come. And you go. And you wonder if it makes sense to work out when you are feeling like this. I don’t know the physiology of disappointment. I do know the power of grief and how it translates into disease. I watched my soul crushing divorce transform into Leukemia in a few short months. I watched it get me again years later. I know the scary dance of grief and plummeting glutathione levels and I don’t ever want to go to that dance again. And so I did my thirty minutes at Curves and when Clare caught my gaze with a too-kind smile I burst into tears and just kept pumping. I didn’t know what else to do. Just keep pumping, I guess.

The kids have a word for this kind of crappy series of days when the dog dies and it just goes downhill from there. They call it Lemonysnicket. I think I will just go with that and move on past this series of unfortunate events as quickly as I can. For sure this changes our Friday night ritual of many years. We can keep Annie’s gluten-free artisan pizzas and the gluten-free hard cider, for sure. Personally, I would like to see if there isn’t some Bill Moyers show on that we can watch. He’s more my style than Mark Burnett any day. Do you think Bill Moyers would EVER be willing to talk to the deodorant sisters? Let me know if you’ve got a connection, okay?

DISCLAIMER: This post in no way reflects the thoughts or feelings of my sisters. It is my voice and mine alone. My sisters are reporting feelings of being energized and experiencing renewed commitment and restored focus. They are way smarter, more resilient, and more savvy about the way business is actually done in “reality” – not on TV shows – than I will ever be. Furthermore, Annie does not even remember her 8th grade social; but she assures me she remembers having a really stupid haircut. Though she still seems less needing of psychotherapy than I am. I owe them this disclaimer.

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.

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6 Responses to “From Shark Tank to The Biggest Loser”

  1. Thanks for sharing your honest truth… I totally went on this ride with you and I am sure I would feel exactly the same way.

    • Mary Duggan says:

      Stephanie – thank you for saying it just that way. You “coming along for the ride” is what our blog is all about. The ups and downs of being 3 sisters united in a small family endeavor is what we have to share. With the multitude of wonderful blogs out there – thanks for taking the time to read ours. Be well, Mary

  2. Emily Jackson says:

    Have you tried going directly to QVC? Ithink if they decide to sell your product, they assist with manufacturing costs.

    • Mary Duggan says:

      Hi Emily. We have checked out both QVC and HSN. Just in the most preliminary way with each of them. Believe me, they are not without their challenges. Time will tell. Thanks for following along with the blog. Be well, Mary

  3. Kimberly Mans says:

    Love reading your words, Mary! Thank you for sharing it all. I just love your emails and your blog, and it is always very inspiring to read. Just remember God has a plan for your lives, and I’m guessing he kept the Sharks out of it because he has something bigger and better in store. Did you really want to be stuck with Kevin for life…eek! You are all better than Mark Burnett (and Whole Foods, and many others, don’t sell yourself short! 😉 I love you! Keep your chins up!

    • Mary Duggan says:

      Hi Kimberly! How wonderful to hear from you. Talk about with us from the very beginning. Thanks for your kind words. I write these blogs and it feels so good to know someone is reading them. We too have to believe that ST was not in God’s plan for us. But it still stung just a bit! Oh well, onward and upward. Keep in touch. Hugs, Mary

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