Product inventor Lori Greiner joined the powerful business panel of sharks on ABC’s Shark Tank as a series regular and savvy investor for Season 4.
Regarded as the most prolific inventor of retail products of her time, Lori Greiner started with one idea, the Earring Organizer, and turned it into a $500 million dollar brand. Since then, Lori has created over 350 products and holds 108 U.S. and international patents.
A familiar face on QVC-TV, Greiner, the “Queen of QVC”, was singled out as a rising star in 2001, has hosted her own decade-long show called Clever & Unique Creations by Lori Greiner, and is now a regular on ABC’s Shark Tank.
Sitting alongside billionaire Mark Cuban, real estate mogul Barbara Corcoran, technology innovator Robert Herjavec, branding expert Daymond John and venture capitalist Kevin O’Leary, Lori Greiner now fields Shark Tank product pitches and business ideas from some of America’s brightest entrepreneurs.
So, how hard was it this season on Shark Tank for Lori to separate the great products from the entrepreneurs who weren’t ready for high stakes business?
“I always say that I can tell right away if it’s a hero or a zero,” Greiner told The Deadbolt this week ahead of Shark Tank. “I think that’s my strength. It doesn’t matter if they’re ready or not, I can typically tell within a couple of minutes if it’s a great item or not.”
Heading into week four, the sharks have already heard pitches for a variety of products. In week one of Shark Tank, the sharks bit on a belt buckle beverage holder and an early warning bed bug indicator. In week two of the show, surf inspired exercise equipment and a smartphone app had the sharks circling with investment money. In week three, rock bracelets and a posture correcting device won over the sharks.
Nowadays, with such a huge consumer base in the U.S., does Lori Greiner feel that it’s easier for a person to sell a great product, or is it that much harder than years ago?
“I think that in some ways it’s easier,” Greiner added, “and in some ways it’s harder. A lot of retailers like to only deal with people that they know. It’s understandable because they know that the person knows how to function and knows how to fulfill the store’s needs. But on the flip side, with something unique, different and great, everybody’s always looking for something different. It gets boring. You don’t always want to have just the same old. I think it takes more work to get them to pay attention to you, but I think you can if you have something wonderful.”
Known for her hard work and perseverance when it comes to not only selling products but also building a highly lucrative brand, Lori broke out as a businesswoman after selling over 2,000 Earring Organizers within five minutes on the air of a television shopping network. Since then, based on her huge success with products, she’s been dubbed the “Queen of QVC”.
Now that so many people are becoming their own brand in the marketplace, how does Lori feel about budding entrepreneurs standing out with their products when everyone’s a brand?
“I think that people can stand out easily,” Greiner continued to The Deadbolt. “I think that if you have a great product, it stands out. And then if you have a great personality that goes with it, somebody that shows that they’re dedicated, that they’re willing to do whatever it takes, and that they’re great to work with – which is very important – I think that all of it stands out. You’re a shining star when you have those traits and you have something that’s better than anything else out there.”
Shark Tank airs Friday nights at 8/7c on ABC.