Since Nita Gassen and Judy Schott appeared on ABC's Shark Tank in February, the two have seen sales of their invention, the Better Bedder, skyrocket. The two, who live in Louisiana and started their business three years ago, have not been able to keep up with the demand for their unique invention. The Better Bedder is a band that goes around a mattress to make bed-making easier.
Gassen, 51, and Schott, 61, pitched their product to the sharks on Feb. 26 and impressed them all. They accepted an officer from Lori Greiner since they believe the "Queen of QVC" can help them reach the kind of consumers they are targeting, women and older customers. Greiner offered $150,000 for an 18% stake and promised to help them take the Better Bedder nationwide.
Since the episode aired, the two women have been recognized on the street and at restaurants. When Gassen's daughter married earlier this month, the priest jokingly told her he was officiating a celebrity wedding. They even get calls to speak to young entrepreneurs and calls from Shark Tank hopefuls for advice, they told NOLA.com.
The two have fully embraced the "Shark Tank Effect," which happens when a business sees a boom after pitching on the show. When they got home from their watch party the night their episode aired, they were instantly inundated with "thousands and thousands" of orders, Gassen said. In the month of March, they sold more Better Bedders than they had the entire previous year. They have sold 40,000 to date.
Gassen even left her job in sales to focus on the Better Bedder. They also employ Gassen's daughter. Schott is the chief operating officer at a health and benefits management company. "When you start a new business like this, you can't expect to have time," Gassen told NOLA.com. Unfortunately, the downside of selling so much right now is that they can't build up enough inventory to finally be featured on QVC. Once they finally make enough of the product, they hope to be featured on the network. Their target is being able to sell around the world in two to five years.
As for how they came up with the Better Bedder, they told WGNO the idea came to them after Schott's son complained he didn't want to make his bed one night. "The Better Bedder is like a giant headband that wraps around your mattress," Gassen explained. "Once you put it on once it becomes part of the mattress. You fit the sheet into the Better Bedder and once the sheets are on, they won’t come out of the Better Bedder, you can kick and pull and they are going to stay on tight." Shark Tank airs on ABC Friday at 8 p.m. ET. Past episodes can be streamed on Hulu.