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I mean this statement in more ways than one, but the one that I want to share today is the most important. I realized after our show aired on TV that we all tune in every week to see both the business side and the personal side - the people. This is obvious, right? It is a show about people AND their businesses after all. But is it really? After watching I quickly realized that in reality, it is just another reality TV show. There is A LOT that you don't see. The key, and where the reality comes in, is actually much more important than I ever realized. The part that is realer than real is the support and enthusiasm from people EVERYWHERE. We were truly blown away by the tweets, emails, facebook posts and good old fashion phone calls! We were flooded with kind words from current customers, new customers, strangers, stores, moms, grandmas, dads, fellow entrepreneurs, family members, friends, even old college roommates. It was truly a once in a lifetime kind of moment.
It's 9:10ish on the east coast. The episode is airing, I'm really not even watching (oddly enough I still have not gone back to watch it), as I'm trying to manage the flood of tweets and customers on the website. Analytics just keeps going up, and up, and up...then down. Yep, the worse-case scenario, the website crashed. My worst fear...and I'm pretty sure my phone call to our web team was their worst fear. In moments like this, you have a decision to make. I was determined to do everything in my control to manage the situation, do everything in my power to fix it, and understand that when you can't fix something, you do the very best to make the most of it. I was stressed to the max, to say the least, but amid the stress, my phone continued to pop up message after message of support and congratulations.
I knew there would be some out there with something negative to say...this is "reality" TV after all, but I was amazed by the love that completely overshadowed the few out there ready to criticize. I will be forever grateful that Mark and I were given the opportunity to share our business (and our babies) on national TV in front of 6.5 Million people Friday night! I am literally (and a bit embarrassingly) in tears typing this last paragraph. There are truly not words to describe our gratitude. I am just an average girl who grew up in KY. I had a dream and worked really hard to make it come true, like so many others. I'm still in shock that I had the opportunity to share that dream with so many of you.
What happens now? So, this is the question posed by many. My answer - the same thing that was happening the day before we were on national TV. We have been super fortunate to work with some AWESOME stores before Shark Tank and we will continue to add to the list after. We have been blessed with THE most awesome, supportive, enthusiastic customers (moms, grandmas, aunts, and dads too) from the day I launched this business in 2007. We are still the same people, running the same business, with the same principles, and same customer service. We just have more people to share it all with - what more could I ask for?!
Below is just a small sampling of the super sweet comments that we received. The very first tee that I ever designed for RuffleButts says 'So Blessed' on the front. It is still our best selling shirt today, and I must say that this experience just reconfirms it!
Aurora Maria Garza You guys did great !!!!!! Awesome product ; ))
Amy Price Smith I'm excited for you! My daughter has had her rear covered in RB's for her entire life!!!! Here's to proving quality ruffles only come from one place! RUFFLE BUTTS OR DIE!
CaSandra Packard I'm a retailer for the both lines and was a customer buying online before I started a store last year. It is one of my favorite brands and one of the first I got in the store, love the products, love the quality, the price, and you have the best customer service of any brand we carry by far! Congratulations and best wishes for continued success! Dolce Vita Children's Boutique
Kelly Simmons Sherman So excited for you guys. You did wonderful. I am so proud to be a long time Rufflebutts customer. Congrats
Cara Jean Eckerman Yay RuffleButts!!! Been buying and giving your products away since the very beginning .. Love your story and admire your entrepreneurial spirit!! Good for y'all
Heather Bowman Just saw you on shark tank! Congratulations. You were well spoken, smart, and beautiful. So happy for you guys!