Cheryl Rigdon may not have walked away from the Shark Tank with a deal, but she did make a big splash. The original article, The Spatty by Cheryl Rigdon, on Shark Tank Blog generated the most comments of any post on this site to date. Her gentle manner, all around likeability, coupled with an extremely useful product made her a hit with Shark Tank fans. Whether you want to scrape out the last bit of make-up or mustard out of a bottle or jar, Cheryl's Spatty resonated with viewers and Shark Tank Blog readers. I caught up with Cheryl after hurricane Sandy delayed our phone conversation for a few days. She filled me in on the Spatty's progress, working with Daymond John, manufacturing, and starting a business as a young working woman without an overabundance of encouragement and support.
Who is Cheryl Rigdon
Cheryl Rigdon is no business woman, at least not in the traditional sense. Cheryl works full-time as a speech therapist at a pre-school. She has a Master's Degree in special education and has been working in that field for five years. As an educator myself, I could sense Cheryl's warmth and caring nature through the phone line; her students are lucky to have her. “There's so much I don't know,” she said, referring to her business acumen in her charming southern drawl, “I'm learning as I go.”
She had to do much of the development of the Spatty by herself. “My husband and my dad were nice about it all, but weren't overly supportive.” Cheryl's husband works as a project manager in a factory, so he was able to offer some insight, but the Spatty is Cheryl Rigdon's creation.
Cheryl Rigdon in the Shark Tank
Cheryl's pitch for the Spatty was fairly straightforward; there weren't a lot of overly controversial moments and she was pleased with the final cut. “What you saw on TV was pretty much how it happened. One thing that made it hard was everyone was laughing as they were asking questions during the pitch. I felt a little awkward because I was standing and everyone else was sitting, it didn't feel personable. Kevin O'Leary was very nice; he helped me during my pitch and answered questions. I think it's funny they wanted to call him ‘Spatty Daddy,' it can only help the brand!”
Cheryl Rigdon the teacher almost came out during the pitch: “It was hard because they were all laughing. Robert and Lori kept bringing the rest of [the Sharks] back to the pitch because they were all joking around. At one point everyone was talking at the same time, and they kept interrupting me as I was answering questions. I felt like I was dealing with my kids and I was thinking to myself, ‘y'all take turns!'”
There was no production version of the Spatty for Cheryl's pitch to the Sharks. “There was some confusion about pricing because I was giving prices for handmade Spattys on the show. We had almost 1,000 orders and close to 100,000 visitors to the website over the weekend. I sent emails to everyone that pre-ordered explaining it.”
Life After Shark Tank for Cheryl Rigdon
Cheryl Rigdon was actually having the mold for the mass-produced Spatty made the day we spoke and the prototype run was scheduled for the following day. “If all goes well with the prototype run, we'll go into mass production and start filling orders. All the pre-orders we did when the show aired really helped me out. I wouldn't have been able to go ahead with the mold if it weren't for the show. Being on Shark Tank helped me get a good deal. I guess my ‘AHA moment' was when I spent my money on my dream. I didn't want to ask family and friends to invest, I'm not a prideful person, but I just didn't want to ask.
Daymond John has kept the promise he made to Cheryl Rigdon on air. “Daymond is still helping me with advice. He has people on his team showing the product to make-up companies. He's also giving me advice. I got so many emails from people offering all kinds of things, there's a lot of interest in the Spatty. I don't know who these people are, so I have to be skeptical. Daymond said he'd review offers and give me his advice. He's being so generous out of his own heart, but I don't want to overdo it.”
Cheryl wants to get the Spatty into stores. “I'm still working on the packaging. I'm not sure if I want to do a blister pack or some kind of caddy to carry them around in.” If she opts for the latter packaging option, she'd have a Spatty Daddy Caddy! Cheryl Rigdon is also exploring promotional opportunities, with the help of another Shark Tank alumni, Mona Weiss from EcoNuts. “Mona and I talked and she gave me some advice about gifting at the Oscars and the Miss America Pageant.”
The Spatty going forward
“Right now, I'm just focused on getting the first production run out. I'm fielding calls from all kinds of distributors looking to buy the Spatty wholesale too. The As Seen on TV people called too. I don't know if I'll make any money, I have to see what's left after production costs and shipping, but everything will go right back into the company.”
Incidentally, Cheryl's company is called Rigdon Creative Solutions, LLC. “I wanted to give the business a name that had potential for growth.” Who knows, maybe Cheryl Rigdon will have other products in the future!
“As far as the Shark Tank goes, I think I identify with Tiffany from AVA the Elephant. She teaches special needs too, so I guess I identified with her.”
Cheryl Rigdon had these parting words for entrepreneurs everywhere: “If you have an idea and you believe in it, go for it. If you don't, you'll never know if it will work out.”
I think The Spatty is going to work out just fine.
Cheryl answered one more question. Get her answer on The Hot Dog Truck.