EXCLUSIVE | 'Shark Tank, not Dolphin Tank': Clark family shares Tandem Boogie experience after $100k deal
The Clark family managed to accomplish what many entrepreneurs can only dream of — getting a deal from not one but two Sharks. John and Manya Clark appeared on the award-winning show 'Shark Tank' alongside their three daughters to pitch for their innovative yet unqiue product — Tandem Boogie, a bodyboard that two people can use together, which also promises to make watersports accessible to everyone.
Based out of the famous surf town of San Clemente, California, the Clark’s family passion runs deep for all things ocean and water related. With Tandem Bodyboarding, they realized they could create a safe and easy way for anyone to enjoy the surf. From this came the design and development of the Tandem Boogie, the perfect product to get people of all skills into the waves and enjoying a fun and safe experience.
Utilizing their individual professional experiences, while John is doing wonders for Tandem Boogie by being in charge of marketing and product development, Manya leads the manufacturing and operations. As for their daughters, even though they are currently completing their education, they have a role in the company as well. Juliette and Alleanna, attending the University of California, Berkeley, are CEO and community manager, respectively.
But the youngest, Lyla, who is looking forward to studying business and law in college, runs apparel and merchandise. In an exclusive interview with MEAWW, the Clark family discussed how they came up with the idea of Tandem Boogie, their experience of stepping into the tank, and also their future plans for their company.
Coming up with a good business idea and working on making it a reality is nothing short of a Herculean task. The Clark Family's Tandem Boogie definitely sounds like an exceptional product. So, we were curious to know how they came up with the idea for such an interesting product. "We have always loved doing fun activities on the water together as a family. We’ve made amazing memories and connections in the stand-up paddle community and surfing together."
"Tandem Boogie is a product of our family fun — since we always have the best time when we are in the water together — and there’s nothing like catching a wave with a loved one. It started as another family activity, but as videos of our tandem wave catching caught wind on social media, the demand for our product began, and we knew we had an amazing opportunity to bring the fun to everyone," they explained.
The entrepreneurial journey definitely hasn't been easy for the family, yet the Clarks are filled with a deep sense of gratitude and love for the entire process. "We are so grateful to be able to work together as a family because no matter the challenges, we always have each other by our sides, and with a product as fun as ours, we work hard because we believe in what we want to do, and we believe in each other."
"Between the opportunity of shark tank and the challenge of the pandemic, our launch year circumstances were far from typical, but the unwavering support for our business from friends, customers, and our own family has us excited for the future that is to come," they shared when asked about how their journey had been so far.
For the Clarks family, coming on 'Shark Tank' had always been on their radar, and it was just a matter of time before they turned their dream into reality. They said, "Having entrepreneurial parents, our family has been watching 'Shark Tank' since the first episode aired, so it was only a matter of time before we found ourselves auditioning."
"We had a cool idea, but most importantly we had the enthusiasm, so when Dad said there’s an open casting call for 'Shark Tank', we wanted to go for it because we knew the magic of shark tank that we had seen on our TV all these years, and we wanted to be part of it."
"Thanks to Shark Tank we were able to share our vision of making riding waves accessible to everyone with the experienced investors. We did a lot to prepare, and it paid off when they asked the tough questions. It’s definitely the Shark Tank and not the Dolphin Tank," they added.
Pitching to the Sharks can send shivers down the spine of even the most seasoned entrepreneur. So, we were curious to know how the Clarks felt when they stepped into the tank. "Pitching to the Sharks is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and we didn’t want to mess it up, so we practiced our pitch countless times."
"Above all, we were excited to have the chance to share our business and story, and it was super cool to be able to meet the Sharks, that even if they hated us and our product, we were really just thrilled to be there and felt confident. The walk down the tank facing the Sharks’ was intense, but being together made it easier because at least it was 5 entrepreneurs versus 6 Sharks."
"We were scared, though, that we’d ask Robert to come try the board and he wouldn’t want to, but looking back, who wouldn’t want to?" the recalled.
The Clarks are beyond happy with their outcome of securing the deal with both Robert Herjavec and Daniel Lubetzky. "We always believe that two sharks are better than one - It Takes Two is our motto in the water and in business too."
"The surprise guest Shark was Daniel Lubetzky who makes the perfect Tandem partner with the Shark legend, Robert Herjavec. We have to say that we caught the perfect deal with Daniel being a Shark disguised as a dolphin who loved our family unity and Robert who rode the Tandem Boogie wave on the Shark tank stage in front of millions of viewers," they explained.
Appearing on 'Shark Tank' was just the first step for this family, they have big plans for Tandem Boogie post 'Shark Tank'. "At Tandem Boogie, we like to be inviting and inclusive to beachgoers from all walks of life. Whether you’re a seasoned wave rider or have never set foot in the ocean, the Tandem Boogie was designed for every lifestyle."
"In an effort to be even more inclusive, we will be changing our name from Tandem Boogie to TANDM Surf, as we are about more than just bodyboarding. In correlation, we are excited to introduce you to our newest product: the Tandm Surf Surfboard!" they revealed.
'Shark Tank' Season 12 airs every Friday at 8/7c on ABC.