December 01, 2016
In October of 2015, we got an e-mail out of the blue.
It was from the producers of a new show, Project Runway: Fashion Startup - sort of like Shark Tank, but just for fashion companies. Because it was totally new, they were searching for companies to audition for it. They had found us on Kickstarter and thought we would be a good fit.
Intellectually and rationally, we knew this was an amazing opportunity. The benefit of just being on Shark Tank, regardless of whether or not the company gets an investment, is worth about the same as $4 million in advertising. Shark Tank gets 36,000 applications each year. Here was a similar opportunity - just for our industry - and all we had to do was say yes, we’d audition.
So we embarked on what became a seven-month-long application and audition process. There were questionnaires and essays, Skype interviews and video submissions, phone calls and a whole lot of waiting. We maintained a “This probably won’t happen, but we’ll keep going as long as we can” attitude and hung on through the process.
At this point, Princess Awesome was only in its first six months of selling factory-produced clothing. We had just launched a new website, just started advertising, just begun the work of running a business. We were learning everything about running a clothing company on the fly - it was like trying to get a drink of water from a firehose. On top of all of that, we were now also getting ready to pitch to investors for the first time, and on national television.
In May of 2016, we found ourselves on a train up to New York, a suitcase full of Princess Awesome samples tucked carefully at our feet. On our way to shoot a reality TV segment - something neither one of us ever thought we’d do, and certainly not less than a year after Kickstarter-ing Princess Awesome into existence.
Our segment will air on the season finale on December 15 on Lifetime. Will you watch with us? What do you think will happen? We’re not telling, but we will say we’re really proud of our company and thrilled to have had the opportunity to share it with Project Runway: Fashion Startup.