Glow Recipe’s Shark Tank Experience – Part 1

The Open Casting Call

We were on our 2nd hour of standing outside the ABC studios on 65th St in NYC, for Shark Tank’s open casting call. It was a crisp, strangely cold day in April. A long line of hopeful entrepreneurs snaked around the block, and we weren’t even sure whether we’d arrived soon enough to receive tickets to present to the producers inside.


The long line outside of the ABC studios on a cold, windy day.


Our Shark Tank band. Squeeeeal!

We knew that Shark Tank was a long shot, but taking the leap had often paid off over our careers, which spanned a combined 20+ years in the US and Korea beauty industry. Whether that was Sarah being the first marketer from the L’Oreal Korea offices to move to NYC headquarters or our taking the entrepreneurial plunge just over a year ago, we knew we had to at least give it a try.

The Call

Fast forward 2 weeks, and we were amazed to get an email from a producer asking us to submit a video audition. We had flubbed our lines during our casting call pitch and definitely weren’t expecting to hear back! We worked feverishly with a friend over the weekend to film a video pitch that captured our mission – to bring the best natural Korean beauty products to the states with the right curation, translation and education. That also captured how much effort we put into stringently curating only the best products and brands we discovered in Korea. We also wanted to be honest about our situation. It was just 5 months into our business and the days were an exciting, yet exhausting blur of managing during the day, packing boxes in the office overnight and running around the city to meet any beauty editors that would give us face time.

The Pitch

A few months passed and we had forgotten about our submission, until I got a call out of the blue from a producer. We were going to LA in September! The long prep process started, reviewing our numbers, drilling each other with every imaginable question about our business. We reassured one another that while we may not be the most polished public speakers, that as long as we communicated our passion for sharing beauty and building a community of beauty-forward women that love skincare, it would be ok. We were finally shuttled into the ABC lot on a sunny day in late September, and lead to a green room with the sign ‘Glow Recipe’ on it. And after an orientation session with other entrepreneurs, a lightning fast session with hair & makeup and a few hours of restless pacing later, we were suddenly walking down that long, long hallway and facing five, very serious-faced Sharks.


We were here, at Sony Pictures Studios!

The Sharks

The bright studio lights flash down on you and there’s almost 30 seconds of silence before you start your pitch so that the producers can take the shots they need. During this time Mark, Barbara, Kevin, Lori and Robert were either on their phones, or staring at us and we were silently looking right back at them.  Then we got the signal to start the pitch. The Sharks were energetic, incisive and rapidly fired questions at us as we did our best to answer them.

Shark Tank - Sarah & Christine

We were showing the sharks our best-selling products at Glow Recipe, and to show the real sea kelp sheet mask, we placed the two-piece sheet mask on a white plate.

Shark Tank Sarah Lee

Sarah and Lori holding hands?!

In summary, it was one of the most exhilarating experiences of our lives. We don’t take it lightly that five, extremely accomplished, self-made business people – and mentors – spent over 40 minutes with us dissecting every facet of our business.  We’ve heard that segments get edited down significantly, so we have no idea what will be airing tonight, but we can only say that we did our best and we walked out of there knowing that we gave it absolutely everything we had.  We’ve been bursting to share this news, which we’ve kept a complete secret from everyone since filming!

In Conclusion

Shark Tank is airing tonight at 9PM EST on ABC. We have no idea what Shark Tank will mean for our business but we want to promise our customers that we will do everything in our power to ensure that we continue to provide you with an enjoyable, seamless experience and best-in-class customer service. We wouldn’t be here without your support, which means the world to us. And we’re incredibly humbled to have the chance the share Glow Recipe’s story with a national audience today – and send huge thanks to the Shark Tank production team for an experience of a lifetime.

Get your glow on,
Sarah & Christine

P.S. Curious about what really happens inside the tank? Check out Part 2 of Glow Recipe’s Shark Tank experience!

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