Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Baby Jack feeds the Sharks of Shark Tank for Open Casting Call in Milwaukee

I am elated that US Cellular would bring Shark Tank Casting Calls to #Milwaukee. They sponsored this year's open casting and having it in our backyard at the Milwaukee Art Museum made this mom's audition with kids in tow an easy task, less of a frenzy and a beautiful view. Why not!?

My friend informed me about Milwaukee Shark Tank open auditions last week, she saw a post on WISN 12 regarding the opportunity and emailed me immediately. Last time open casting was in the Midwest, Chicago, I had a charity conflict. Can you imagine my face knowing it was 15 minutes away!?

I didn't have a lot of time to prep - mentally. I was flying to NYC with my mom and mother in law for a business trip - we were attending a VIP baby shower for bachelorette Ashley and JP (we created a custom blanket for them) and used this opportunity to explore the city. On the roundtrip flight, I filled out my 24 page application equipped with essays about how we came up with the idea, our growth and our business plan. Printing the 24 pages the night before and getting a good night sleep for myself (and kids) was the plan, then we were off!

The day for me starting out at 6AM, per usual. I received a text from two amazing friends that they secured my place in line at 5:55AM. They got #073 in line for me and we were able to get in the doors first round of pitching! Thank you Julie and Karen. Bailey was dropped off at a play date in the AM and we drove downtown.

I arrived with Jack and my mother in law Nancy around 8AM and packed some goods to keep Jack entertained, i.e. Angry Birds, Cheese crackers and a bottle of water. He was content!
CEOJack of Baby Jack & Co. waiting in line

Once the doors opened and they had us sit in the WADING ROOM, instructions were given. Bring your A game, personality and smile. Be yourself and show your passion. Check and check. I know my product and feel confident that I have been successful, the only thing that I was unsure about was Jack. Would he talk? Would he contribute? Smile? Throw a tantrum?  Kids are unpredictable and I just had to go with the flow and not really have any expectations.

The producers and casting of Shark Tank ABC were beyond accommodating. They were literally excited for you, cheering you on and wanted to know about your story. I was sought out while standing in line as they must have known about my business from social media. They asked about my product, my pitch and where we want our business to go. I tend to send random tweets and hash tag like crazy and we also we received some great mentions / coverage from WISN prior to the audition so I assume that is how they heard of us.

Inside I was approached by casting and asked if they can film the entire pitch. Sure, of course (I thought they did that anyway). They then asked if I could return for a post pitch interview - with the kids. Naps were essential (for me too!) so I set it up for 3pm. Knowing that I had kids, they kindly bumped me to pitch #26 instead of #73. Amazing right!?

The pitch literally is a room of 5 tables. Five brands walk in, move to an open table and pitch...in under 90 seconds. The crew is energetic and they made it comforting to talk. We were done until 3PM.

Want more Baby Jack Co. and Shark Tank? See our interview on WISN12 and Metroparent

BACK TO THE TANK...3PM we returned to the Milwaukee Art Museum for a post pitch interview. I figured it was an opportunity to talk about being an entrepreneur, building business and balancing it all. This time, my daughter #VPBailey (3 years old) came with.  En route downtown, Jack was prepping her about Shark Tank and how you "do not actually touch Sharks" and that you "talk about blankets, take pictures and that's it." said Jack. "It's not hard. You can do it Bailey". 
The post interview was in front of cast and crew - a screen with lights and I was given a mic and makeup touch ups. Jack and Bailey also adored getting touch ups and the extra attention. I pitched again, on camera, answered a few questions and the day was complete. Genuinely kind LA cast worked with us Midwesterners and made the day a memorable one. Thank you ABC Shark Tank!

#VPBailey and #CEOJack pose in front of the Shark Tank sign
It's a waiting game. We should find out this week if they want to see Baby Jack & Company again!
Until then, enjoy 20% off all items on our website with code MILWAUKEE

8:07PM I GOT THE CALL!  Shark Tank Casting has invited me to move to Round 2 - video submission. I will be working with some friends on an entertaining video to send into Producers in LA. Due next Wednesday!  More details to come...

September 26, 2014 - WE WERE ON TV!

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