During a routine home workout in May, Lion Latch inventor and owner Lerin Lockwood of Marble Falls received the notification she’s worked for years.
“I was tagged with a ‘Shark Tank’ app,” she said. “I filled out the application form and as soon as I finished training ‘Shark Tank’ called me. It was the start of two months jumping through hoops.
“Shark Tank” is an ABC show that gives “budding entrepreneurs the chance to make business deals that could make them millionaires.”
The segment featuring Lockwood and his invention, a small, secure plastic cylinder for jewelry that clips onto key chains, was filmed in mid-July. The result will be revealed during the show’s season premiere at 7 p.m. on Friday, October 8. A night before begins at 6 p.m. at the Bear King Brewery, 204 Avenue G in Marble Falls.
“I finally did it,” she said. “Persistence was the key on this one.”
And a little luck. Lockwood took the place of another contractor who had to give up.
“It was a ton of pressure trying to get everything done on time until I had to get to Los Angeles (where the show is being filmed),” she said. “I was two weeks old, while the other inventors had five months.”
Over 120,000 people submit audition videos, but only 120 make it to Los Angeles to shoot segments. About 60 to 80 of them are broadcast. Lockwood said she has auditioned three times in person.
“There are multiple readings if they like your auditions,” she said. “If they call you, they ask you to do more paperwork and submissions. You do more homework on your product. You send it with your video. If they think you’re a good fit, they call you for more video interviews and more paperwork.
Lockwood started Lion Latch in October 2015. At the time, she was an assistant softball coach at Marble Falls High School. During a practice, she lined a ball with her glove, knocking the diamond off her engagement ring. The idea of a device to secure jewelry and other small valuables was born.
She started a kickstarter to raise money and start Lion Latch. Then, she traveled to various shows across the country to market her product, including markets in Dallas, America’s Market in Atlanta, and shows in Las Vegas.
She made her first video promoting Lion Latch for the online marketplace The Grommet, and it was featured in January 2016 as one of the company’s products for New Year’s Resolutions. appearances on “The View” and “Good Morning America,” but “Shark Tank” was the big deal.
“When I go to shows to show off my product, a lot of people would say to me, ‘You should go to’ Shark Tank ‘,” she said. “I have this buzz in my head. During concerts, the people who were on “Shark Tank” were creating a buzz. It is another type of badge for your product.
While she can’t reveal what’s going on in her segment, Lockwood said she’s grateful to everyone who helped her and Lion Latch get there.
“Marble Falls helped me bring this idea to life,” she said. “I am very grateful for the support I have received from Marble Falls during this time.”