Sarah Moret of Curie on her Shark Tank experience: What it takes to land a deal with the Sharks
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From CPA at a top VC fund to a small business owner, Sarah Moret is no stranger to thinking big.
During her time on a VC fund’s investment board, Sarah met with founders from all over the world. Inspired by their determination to bring their visions to life, she realized that if she wanted to, she could do the same.
Her eventual foray into the life of a founder was the result of a frustration with natural body products that didn’t work–aluminum-free deodorant being the number one culprit. Increasingly frustrated by the lack of effective products on the market, she decided she’d develop her own…and that’s how Curie was born.
First: A bit about Sarah’s company.
Curie focuses on natural and effective body products. The star of the show is the brand’s aluminum-free deodorant, sold in both solid and spray form. Additional products include a clay detox mask, whipped body wash, moisturizing body oil, hand sanitizer, and candles featuring their three unique scents.
Over the last four years, Sarah has grown Curie from a side hustle into her full-time job. It’s seen steady and consistent growth, hitting $125,000 in sales in the first year and $700,000 in its second. This year is shaping up to be the biggest yet, with Curie on track to do two million dollars in sales.
Why Shark Tank?
With such a great track record, maybe you’re thinking: “Why even go on Shark Tank?”
Part of it has to do with serendipity. Ever since Sarah was in business school, Shark Tank was on the periphery of her mind. One year, home on a break from college, she came home and her mom was watching an episode of Shark Tank. “Look honey; that could be you one day!” she said.
The encouragement stuck, and when Sarah found herself at the head of a swiftly growing ecommerce business in 2019, she realized the exposure from a popular national TV show like Shark Tank could help launch Curie to the next level.
Having already found major success selling her products on QVC multiple times, Sarah knew television was a viable way to leverage this experience and get more eyeballs on her brand at the same time.
False starts and standby
In 2020, just one year after the inception of Curie, Sarah decided to apply to Shark Tank. But after making it past the initial set of rounds, she was eliminated. True to her nature, she didn’t let that setback stop her. She re-applied to the show in 2021, determined to make it.
This time, her audition tape was accepted and she was scheduled to be on the show in July. She spent months preparing for the show–practicing her pitch over and over. However, the night before she was supposed to tape her pitch, another call came.
Her taping had been rescheduled.
Curie would now be a standby for Shark Tank in September. She received a three-week window for potential call-backs, but had no idea when, or if, that call would come. So she waited. Finally, on a Sunday while hiking up to the Griffith Observatory with her fiancé, Sarah got the call. “Can you get here by four?” the producer asked. It was two pm.
Despite being across town from the Shark Tank studio and nowhere near ready for a national TV appearance, she was determined to make it. Racing home, she placed a last-minute order with a florist for her product set display, curled her hair, spritzed on some deodorant, and jumped back in the car, doing her makeup en route to the studio.
“I spent so much time preparing for Shark Tank, I treated it like a part-time job…I knew if I had the opportunity I wasn’t going to waste it.”
As soon as the camera started rolling, Sarah was unstoppable, navigating her pitch and the Sharks’ follow-up questions with confidence, ease, and enthusiasm. Having put so many hours into preparing for her pitch, Sarah knew she could handle anything they asked her–and she did.
That day, Sarah walked off the Shark Tank set with a deal.
On top of Sarah’s thorough preparation and passionate presentation, it was her drive and determination that kept the Sharks interested. She knew her worth and that of her company, and she wasn’t prepared to give up on either one.
Sarah’s top tips for going on Shark Tank
What tips does Sarah have for other founders wanting to go on this popular show? Here are a few she shared after having some time to reflect on the experience.
1. Know your numbers back to front
If you get asked to be on Shark Tank, Sarah’s biggest piece of advice is to be prepared.
Her preparations involved not only familiarizing herself with every aspect of Curie’s numbers but also anticipating any question she might receive from the Sharks–thinking through how she might answer or negotiate each one.
In her dedication to preparing, Sarah went even further, reaching out to other companies she knew had been on the show through Twitter and LinkedIn to ask them about their experience and if they had any suggestions for her.
Sarah’s intense preparations made all the difference. She stood her ground brilliantly during her taping as the Sharks hammered her with fast-paced questions about all aspects of her business.“I put my whole heart into preparing for Shark Tank,” she said.
2. It’s not just about the product: Shark Tank wants personality and passion
At the end of the day, Shark Tank is a TV show. They want the founders to be entertaining to watch. Just having a good product isn’t going to be enough. Energy and charisma are key.
Aware that the producers (and the Sharks) wanted a performance, Sarah gave it to them, amping up her enthusiasm and passion to the max during her pitch and while answering follow-up questions, making sure to be as articulate and engaging as she could.
Once she’d finished, the Sharks praised her preparation and dedication, but then each one began to back out of a deal with her. One Shark didn’t feel that skincare was their area of expertise, another thought Sarah had raised money too early on, another questioned whether Curie was well-poised for rapid growth, and yet another wondered if Sarah had too many products in the product line.
But then she got an offer from Daymond: 300,000 for 20% equity.
“It’s not about just having a great company or great product. You, the founder, are also the talent. They're trying to make a good hit TV show.”
3. Know what you want
This is where a deep understanding of what you want when entering into something like Shark Tank is critical, along with a solid sense of what you think your business is worth.
Sarah knew that 20% equity was more of her company than she was willing to give up, so she countered, telling Daymond she knew what she was doing.
Jokingly, Sarah told the Sharks: “I was HIKING just two hours ago!” emphasizing her dedication to her business and unwillingness to quit. The Sharks were impressed, especially when she relayed that she hadn’t even showered, having just used Curie’s very own all-over body spray deodorant before the taping.
Out of the blue, Mark and Barbara came back to the table with an offer of their own: $300,000 for 14% equity. After taking a minute to confirm the details of their offer, Sarah accepted.
All her hard work paid off. She had a DEAL.
“The biggest lessons I learned through the Shark Tank experience: Follow something you believe in, commit yourself fully, and don't compromise. Patience and perseverance pay off.”
Beyond the show: How Curie is leveraging its Shark Tank appearance
An important reminder for all small business owners: the reach of national television is huge.
Sarah’s Shark Tank episode aired on March 11th, and within twelve hours Curie completely sold out of their deodorant in both solid and spray form.
Thousands of orders streamed in that night, prompting Curie to eventually create a pre-order option for all their out-of-stock products. In the weeks and months that followed, Curie got hundreds of thousands of site views, tons of new social media followers, and about 25,000 new email subscribers.
From Shark Tank content alone Curie has amassed almost four million views on TikTok, and Sarah has made sure to curate Curie’s social media content to reflect their successful Shark Tank feature.
From ads to email marketing, Sarah has consistently leveraged Curie’s Shark Tank experience. You’ll now notice the phrase ‘as seen on Shark Tank’ on many of Curie’s Instagram ads.
Since the very beginning, social media has proved an effective avenue to spread the word about Curie. Shark Tank made it even more so.
“Overnight we got thousands and thousands of new customers and fans, completely selling out of our deodorant.”
For those considering Shark Tank
If you’re a founder who’s considering applying to Shark Tank, keep Sarah’s advice in mind.
As Sarah’s experience illustrates, Shark Tank is not a show to be taken lightly. While its focus is on entertainment, it asks a lot from the founders it features. Personality, passion, and business acumen are just a few of those requirements.
If you believe you retain those qualities, then Shark Tank can be as beneficial to your business as you want it to be. Whether you end up getting a deal from the Sharks or not, what you do with the exposure the show provides is up to you.