Life Before & After Shark Tank with CEO Jennifer Gallagher
I thought it would be a good time to update you through a blog post for those of you that may prefer to read versus listen to a podcast episode or maybe you prefer a little of both!
It's always been one of my dreams to one day have a platform where I can inspire others to go after their goals and dreams. I believe the world needs more connection and transparency now more than ever so why not get up close and personal with you all right here and right now. Not many brands do this and to be honest, I'm not sure I can even think of one that does off the top of my mind.
I'll begin with saying to never give up on your dreams and goals no matter what. When you are going towards big scary goals that go against the norm, you are not always going to get the support from friends and family like you wish you had. I can tell you this first hand from personal experience. Over the last 6.5 years as an entrepreneur, I've become very intentional on who I surround myself with and who I share my dreams with. One wrong person comes into the picture and it can easily sabotage you if you are not careful.
Shark Tank has been a dream of mine for the last 6 plus years. When we were aloud to announce we were going to officially air, I was reminded by so many friends and family members of how they personally remember having a conversation with me talking about wanting to be on the show. I had forgotten how many people I told! But that is POWERFUL because over the years I SPOKE it into EXISTENCE. I never applied with my first business (my activewear brand) because quite frankly, I didn't feel like I had something that was unique enough to be on the show. Being in the clothing industry for 3 years, I always looked up to Daymond as he is a fashion guru and I was inspired by his story. I knew I would go on the show some day, I just didn't feel like my first business was it.
Once we announced our brand's concept to friends and family back in April 2020, we started getting SO MANY people telling us we needed to go on Shark Tank. I took that as a sign and applied online. I'll never forget when I got the first call saying that we had been selected to start the screening process to be considered for Shark Tank. I put my phone on mute and started screaming and jumping up and down! I felt like I was in a dream. I immediately told Michael and although this was not his personal goal as it was mine, he was so happy and excited as well for this opportunity. He has always been super supportive in everything I do and I'm so thankful and blessed to have a husband like him.
I felt like all my hard work, sacrifices, blood, sweat and tears were finally paying off. For those of you that may not know my whole story, His & Her Bar may have been a new business when we applied for the show, but I have been an entrepreneur since 2015. I had already been through so many challenging times as an entrepreneur that would make many people quit and give up.
On top of that, I had been called crazy, delusional, told to give up already just throw in the towel and go back to corporate America....I had heard it all but the one thing I couldn't stop hearing was that voice inside telling me to keep pushing through and that everything I had been through thus far was a test to see how badly I really wanted it.
Throughout the years, I've learned that being called "crazy" as an entrepreneur is pretty much a prerequisite for success and if you're not called crazy along the way, you aren't doing it right. It's a privilege to be called Crazy.
Over the next few months, we went through an extensive process a lot of which I cannot go into detail with per my contract, but it was definitely a stressful but also incredibly exciting time all at once and I'll leave it at that.
This Season was unique as it was filmed during a worldwide pandemic. ABC took safety precautions very seriously and we went through a series of testing and quarantine in the hotel before we even got to get in front of the Sharks.
Moments before we were about to officially walk out in front of the Sharks and those famous double doors were about to open, my legs were shaking and I was telling my body and mind to calm down but the adrenaline was so high. I had to push past the shaking and fear and go out in front of the 5 Sharks that I had been looking up to and waiting to meet in person for so many years. Just hearing Mark Cuban say my name was a "pinch me moment" like did Mark Cuban just call me by my first name? LOL
As far as the episode itself, all I can say is you are in there a lot longer than what you see on TV as they have to make edits in order to be able to show 4 entrepreneurs per show. We actually did our pitch a-cappella since our original music that aligns perfectly with the words did not get approved for licensing for TV and we had NO IDEA that the producers were going to add in other background music (until we saw the episode along with the whole world) that didn't exactly do us justice because it made us sound off-beat. We didn't get to see what was shown versus not shown, edited versus not edited until it was LIVE for the world to see, that's just how it's done.
While filming, you don't really know what to expect until you go in there. At one point in time everyone seemed to be talking all at once, we were being questioned left and right and the emotions start flowing. I will be the first to say that I never in my wildest dreams thought that so much hatred towards us would come out of airing on National TV. Something that I had wanted for so many years that came true now was something I started finding myself questioning. Was going on Shark Tank a dream of 6 plus years worth what we both had to overcome mentally?
I now have a glimpse of what celebrities go through on a regular basis. Thankfully, over time it starts to get easier to drown out the noise. I have to remind myself when negative things pop up, that this is coming from hurt people who have passed judgment on us after an 8 minute segment on TV and they really don't know me or Michael. Regardless of how strong a person is, that kind of stuff would hurt anyone that has a heart especially when this is the first time ever experiencing something like this happen.
Michael and I have had to learn to grow thicker skin and see past the negativity and focus on all the orders and positive messages we have received. We both now have a whole next level outlook on what judging others that you don't know feels like first hand. As human beings, it's sadly become a part of human nature to find yourself judging from time to time even if you don't even mean to do it. We both have become extremely conscious of not being judgmental towards anyone at any given time because you never truly know what someone is going through unless if you are in their shoes. Everyone shows emotion differently, and everyone is entitled to a bad day every now and again as well.
Back to the positive side of things the side I prefer to stay on as much as possible but also feel like being real with all of you through ALL THE FEELS is important as well.
We were blessed with a large amount of orders from Shark Tank and worked around the clock to get these orders out as fast as possible. We both want to personally thank everyone for their patience and understanding during this incredibly busy time as shipping lead times were longer than usual. We took Mark Cuban's advice to wait until the orders came through to start having the bars made and I'll be the first to say, we probably shouldn't have listened on that but it's ok Mark I forgive you! :)
We are happy to say that we are officially caught up on orders from the week of the show and have been in the process of expanding our production bandwidth and orders moving forward will take 3-5 days to ship at most unless otherwise noted online at the time you place your order.
As far as what life is looking like now that things have settled a bit....Michael and I still have side jobs along with the business and are in the process of expanding our production bandwidth to keep up with demand. During the time of airing on Shark Tank, we had lost our jobs due to Covid and had tried to get other jobs in Arizona with no luck (another thing they didn't share on air). We were actually moving across country 2 weeks after filming back to South Florida where we call home and also a place with an open and thriving economy. We got a lot of crap for being full time on a business that we launched during a pandemic that wasn't generating enough revenue yet to do so. To set the record straight, that was NEVER our plan. We wanted side jobs and we knew that was important. Two weeks after filming, we were back in South Florida and both got jobs in the service industry almost immediately which we still work to this day. Michael works full time at a restaurant along with the business and focuses mainly on production and I work a part time side job as I run a lot of the day to day tasks of His & Her Bar having more time to do so.
The last few weeks have been crazy busy and an adjustment but we are navigating through it all and have found time to add back in things that we neglected the last few weeks that are so important to us including weekly juice and food prep, workouts and daily walks to the beach with our two fur babies Maci the Maltipoo and Rusty the Beagle.
I'm going to wrap this up for now and we will update you as more exciting things happen but want to once again thank you all for being a part of the journey and for also supporting His & Her Bar with all your orders!
CEO/Co-Founder His & Her Bar