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Q&A with mom who revolutionized the towel

Tuesday, 18 Feb 2014 | 11:11 AM ET
Shelly Ehler, creator of ShowNo featured on Shark Tank.
Source: Shelly Ehler
Shelly Ehler, creator of ShowNo featured on Shark Tank.

Shelly Ehler, mother of two, felt it was always a hassle when it came to having her children change out of wet bathing suits into dry clothes, so she came up with the Showno. It's a towel that's designed like a poncho and makes it easy for children to change after they get out of the pool or water.

Ehler went on "Shark Tank" in 2012 and presented the ShowNo towel. On the episode, she accepted an offer with Lori Greiner for $50,000 in exchange for a 25 percent stake.

At the time of her "Shark Tank" appearance, Ehler was making each towel by hand and she had $15,000 in sales. Her appearance on "Shark Tank" led to a huge interest. In an email to CNBC, she explained that she sold 200 towels the night the episode aired, and within 1½ years, the ShowNo towel appeared on a "Good Morning America's Steals and Deals" segment, where she sold 4,000 towels. Recently, Ehler signed a licensing deal with the largest towel manufacture.

What else has Ehler been up to and what advice does she have for others who are going on "Shark Tank?" Check out the Q&A below.

ShowNo product featured on "Shark Tank."
Source: ShowNo
ShowNo product featured on "Shark Tank."

What was the overall impact on your business from being on "Shark Tank?"

The exposure was incredible!! My inbox was FLOODED with emails and my Facebook page and Twitter blew up! It was overwhelming. No one can really prepare you for how it's going to feel after being on a television show viewed by millions of people. It's exciting and terrifying at the same time.

I had prepared 400 towels to sell that night (I made every single one). I sold 200 towels the night we aired and a week later was asked to send 200 to "The View" for an audience giveaway. In two weeks they were all gone. A year and a half later, my product was on "Good Morning America" Steals and Deals segment. I had 4,000 towels ready to go and I sold every single one.

What was your favorite part about being on "Shark Tank?"

The connections I have made with other entrepreneurs. I have made true friendships with people around the country and we all join together to support one another on our journey's. It is not just my mission to succeed, but to help all my other pals along the way as well.

I also discovered a new direction in my life after being on the show. I have a passion for sharing my story as an inspirational speaker. I have started speaking around the country spreading inspiration and am currently working on a book.

What are your projected earnings for 2014?

2014 is a super exciting year for ShowNo! We signed a licensing deal with the largest towel manufacturer in the country. We are over the moon excited! As for projected numbers, I really have no clue, but I always think and dream BIG.

How would you advise a fellow entrepreneur who is about to jump into the tank?

My advice is simple … "Buckle in." You are about to go on the rollercoaster of your life. It will take you up and down. There will be twists and turns and you might not arrive where you thought you would, but where it takes you is where you were supposed to go. Don't judge it. Say Thank YOU.

By Jill Weinberger and Liza Hughes

Tuesdays have more bite with back-to-back episodes of "Shark Tank" on CNBC every Tuesday night at 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. ET.


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