A ‘Shark Tank’ entrepreneur who panicked and forgot her own name during rehearsals stayed up all night practicing her pitch for 12 hours, and ultimately landed a $250,000 offer

The producers took pity on her. Nicki Radzely pictured.

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The producers took pity on her. Nicki Radzely pictured.
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Courtesy of Doddle & Co

  • The day before she appeared on “Shark Tank,” Doddle & Co cofounder Nicki Radzely froze up and forgot her name during the final rehearsal.
  • Radzely, who was pitching the Pop Pacifier, had to appear on the show alone because her cofounder, Janna Badger, had just given birth.
  • Despite all the commotion, Radzely earned multiple offers, ultimately accepting $250,000 from Kevin O’Leary.

Nicki Radzely and Janna Badger, the founders of Doddle & Co, were supposed to appear on “Shark Tank” together.

But a few days before the episode was scheduled to film, Badger, who was living in Seoul, South Korea, gave birth to her third child. Radzely would have to dive into the tank alone.

Doddle & Co makes baby products. including pacifiers and teethers; on the “Shark Tank” episode, Radzely was pitching the Pop Pacifier, which is designed to stay clean because the nipple pops back in every time it falls. At the time, the company was just four months old.

The day before the episode was filmed, there was a final rehearsal with the show’s producers. “I went out on the rehearsal stage feeling really confident, that I’d done this before to some degree and that I was going to hit the ball out of the park,” Radzely told Business Insider.

But when the producers drew back the curtain, Radzely said, there was no audience, no stage. All she could see was “a sea of desks and laptops and everyone completely silent, staring back at me.”

Undeterred, Radzely looked at the producers and said, “Hi. My name is…”

“I completely froze and forgot my name,” Radzely recalled. The producers gave her a second chance, reassuring her that she’d be fine. “I was like, ‘OK, you got this. You know what you’re doing.'”

Once again, she walked through the curtain and said, “Hi. My name is…” This time, the producers took pity on her, telling her simply to practice before the next day.

Radzely went back to her hotel room in a state of panic and spent the next 12 hours rehearsing.

Standing on the “Shark Tank” stage, Radzely was perfectly poised and delivered her pitch seamlessly. She received multiple offers, including a joint offer from Sara Blakely, founder of Spanx, and Lori Greiner. Ultimately, Radzely opted to accept Kevin O’Leary’s offer: $250,000 for 10% of the company.

Today, Doddle & Co has reached nearly $1 million in sales.

“The show was tremendous for the brand,” Radzely said, largely because it put their name out into the world.

In that sense, she said, “we got a good deal.”