Outside the Tank: A little snark goes a long, long way
Julie Goldman is founder and CEO of the Original Runner Co., which creates non-slip fabric aisle runners for weddings and other special events. She appeared on a 2011 "Shark Tank" episode that she characterized as "very cantankerous," and she walked out without a deal.
But Goldman said that her appearance was nothing but a net positive for her company, in part because it put a unique product in front of a wide audience.
"We've all been to weddings a million times and seen those paper aisle runners bunch up and rip and ruin the wedding pictures," she said. "For me, the idea of the non-slip fabric aisle runner is something that I think most people could relate to."
The inspiration came directly from Goldman's own experience as a bride-to-be. While shopping for aisle runners, she couldn't find one that wasn't made of paper, and while that might be OK for a tablecloth at an 8-year-old's birthday party, it didn't suit the black-tie wedding in which she was planning to take her vows. So she made her own.
"I created my own runner in my tiny New York City apartment by painting 5 feet at a time with acorns and leaves and pine cones," she said. "And after it was used in my wedding, my photographer, my florist and even the venue asked where they could purchase a runner like this. ... So I launched a website with some ideas to see what would work, and within a month we were doing a wedding for Lifetime television."
Like others who have appeared on the show, Goldman said that she saw a major spike in interest in her business, thanks to what she and others have affectionately dubbed the "Shark Tank" effect.
"For my company, the "Shark Tank" effect was really getting the business out there to people that didn't know we existed," she said. "We've seen about a 42 percent increase in sales since our time on the show. ... It was a fantastic experience and I tell everyone all the time that being on 'Shark Tank' is the gift that keeps on giving."
(Read more: An entrepreneur who once had to live in his car)
She had one final piece of advice for other aspiring entrepreneurs who dare venture into the tank—know what to expect before you go in.
"Take a look at old episodes," Goldman said. "Know the kinds of questions that sharks ask. And be prepared. Being prepared made me look a little snarky on TV, but it made sure my company and I came off well, and that's all that mattered to me."
—By CNBC's Daniel Bukszpan.
Tuesdays have more bite with back-to-back episodes of "Shark Tank" on CNBC every Tuesday night.