Our Journey to Shark Tank

Pluie Founder & CEO, Addie Gundry, and Co-founder & COO, Brittany Hizer

After a lengthy application process, we received the most exciting news – Pluie was headed to Shark Tank!

With news like this, we immediately rallied the troops. Our amazing team came together to ensure we were set up for success on the big day. We prepared around the clock and despite those last couple of weeks leading up to our trip being completely full of energy, it all went by so fast and today feels like a big blur. We could not have gotten through all the prep work without both Olivia Beckman Stroube, Director of Growth, and Melanie Whaley, Director of Brand, who were new team members at the time – having only joined Pluie just a month before filming. We also had a sales contractor, Ben Hizer, who was helping us prep and two amazing summer interns, Joseph Sullivan and Ford Baker, who watched a lot of Shark Tank that summer (what a fun job!) and took note of all the standard questions so we could be fully prepared. Not only were we meeting as a team to strategize, memorize and role play, but we were also practicing our pitch with the toughest of audiences – our little ones at home!

Thankfully, we also had wonderful Shark Tank producers involved to ensure we submitted every required document and were completely prepared to film – which is A LOT. Things like set design, prop selection, and the specific language used during that first 90 second pitch, were essential pieces of the production puzzle that took a lot of time and energy to perfect. Fast-forward to wardrobe decisions & countless dry runs later, we were finally ready to head to LA!

In true mompreneur mode, homemade pancakes were first on the agenda the morning before jetting off to LA. We’re not sure how, but we managed to spend the entire 4 hour flight preparing even more. Our top priority after we landed was to take more covid tests – a precaution that was taken seriously throughout the preparation process. After a long flight and settling into our hotel, we enjoyed an amazing early dinner that night, did one last final review of our 30 page prep sheet, and went to sleep ready to pitch the next morning on Sunday. Next thing we know, we’re getting a call at 2 AM telling us that our filming had been canceled due to Covid on the set! To say our sails lost a bit of wind would be an understatement. If there is one thing we’ve learned by being entrepreneurs, it’s the importance of being adaptable – so that’s what we did – we adapted. Fast forward 3-days, and a few more prep sessions later, we finally walked down the infamous hall! Now let’s jump to the good stuff…

We were first up early in the morning and the day was a complete whirlwind! Here’s a quick snapshot:

Robert Changing a Diaper - Shark Tank
Robert Herjavec practicing a diaper change on Pluie!
  • We nailed our 90 second pitch, the only portion of the experience that is scripted and without interruption. We had memorized and practiced so many times! 
  • There are no “do overs” in terms of answering questions – it’s called Shark Tank for a reason! The questions come fast and furiously with interrupting, yelling and confusion!
  • Did you know that businesses are in the tank for up to an hour?
  • The sharks sit VERY far away and are brightly lit, looking almost like statues!
  • You walk in and out the hallway without the infamous music, so there is an odd energy of excitement but silence.
  • Upon leaving the tank in the end you are immediately interviewed and asked dozens of questions about your experience, but you are still processing what just happened and in many ways shocked by the overall experience!

Lucky for us, we were able to capture a few special moments from our airing to share with you what happened in the tank:

Mr. Wonderful highlighting Pluie in aviation days before announcing our partnership with IND Airport.
Lori expressing admiration for Addie & Brittany as women and entrepreneurs.
The Sharks love Pluie!

After an extended, but whirlwind trip to L.A., we returned home to our loving families, supportive team, and the hustle and bustle of continuing to build our business. As a commercial business, we expected the outcome we received, and our intention in entering the tank was to gain instant exposure – which we did! We left without making a deal and celebrated the fact that the Sharks would be cheering for our future success. The entire Pluie team and network of supporters are incredibly proud of this accomplishment and so grateful for having gotten the opportunity, every single day. 💙

You can watch our full episode (Season 14, Episode 16) on ABC.com, Hulu, or Amazon Prime Video.