Eighteen-year-old Lani Lazzari created a line of all-natural skin care products. Will she earn a deal on
Shark Tank Simple Sugars Update
- Entrepreneur: Lani Lazzari
- Business: All-natural sugar scrub
- Ask: $100,000 for 10% equity
- Result: $100,000 for 33% equity
- Shark: Mark Cuban
The sharks were very impressed by Lani when she shared the story behind her product and company, Simple Sugars. Lani began working on Simple Sugars when she was eleven years old. Dissatisfied with the skin care products on the market, which were often expensive and provided her no relief for her eczema, Lani began researching skin care and developing a product that would help her.
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Lani invited Lori Greiner to try Simple Sugars during the pitch, and Lori confirmed that the scrub worked well. The sugar helped exfoliate her skin while the essential oils moisturized her hands. Lani shared that her product not only helped her own eczema, but also helped improve her aunt’s psoriasis.
Daymond John asked where Lani was selling her product, and Lani said that approximately 60% of her sales were through the company website. The rest were sold through wholesalers, and Simple Sugars was featured in the “largest local high-end grocery store” in Pittsburgh where Lani lived.
Robert Herjavec asked about sales, and Lani said they had grossed $55,000 that year so far. Kevin O’Leary asked how much she projected to make by the year’s end, to which Lani answered $100,000, 75% to 80% of which would be profit thanks to her robust margins. Kevin asked if Lani collected a salary, and she said she would award herself $400 a month here and there as needed.
With these figures in mind, Kevin felt it prudent to point out that she was not worth $1 million, as her valuation suggested, and he demanded she defend the valuation. Lani said that she was willing to negotiate the valuation, but she felt it was fair because of her history.
In 2010, Lani was a sophomore in high school and sold $13,000 worth of product. She decided to take a year off of school to grow her business and succeeded in grossing $38,000 sales, a 192% increase, during that time. Since she accomplished this alone with no investment, she felt it suggested there was more potential than she had been able to harness thus far.
That was not all. Lani continued, sharing that she grew Simple Sugars’ presence from six stores to twenty in only three months after her recent high school graduation. In addition, she was in the midst of a negotiation with a “high-end online skin care retailer” worth an alleged $150,000 to $400,000.
The sharks were impressed with Lani’s achievements and confidence as she recounted her history. Lori asked Lani to address her claim regarding eczema and psoriasis, warning against making false claims. Lani did not miss a beat and clarified that, although the product worked for her personal situation, it is not a guarantee and the packaging makes no claim to indicate that it is acceptable as treatment. She did, however, say that it is accurate and acceptable to highlight the benefits of the ingredients she uses, so Simple Sugars does just that.
Mark Cuban asked about Lani’s dermatologist and how she felt about Simple Sugars. Lani confirmed that her dermatologist loved the product. Mark was happy to hear, sharing that he had three children and one was incessantly itchy.
Robert Herjavec told Lani that being an entrepreneur was one of the hardest things to do. He asked her why she chose this life, when it was clear she could do anything she set her mind to. Lani said that she wanted to be an entrepreneur because of the freedom and ability to choose your own destiny. Her mother had taken a different route, and was passed over for a promotion because she was out on maternity leave when the position became available. As a woman, she felt discouraged to join the corporate world due to this and decided to be her own boss instead.
Daymond John asked Lani what she planned to do with the investment. Lani said she would immediately hire two full-time salespeople to manage the current accounts, as she needed to free up her own time to seek larger accounts and grow the business.
Daymond asked if she was making Simple Sugars at home, but Lani said they had a facility and offices in Pittsburgh where three full-time employees worked. With this knowledge, Daymond wondered why Lani even needed the sharks in the first place. Because he felt he could offer no value, Daymond decided to go out.
Lori spoke next, telling Lani that she did love her energy and abilities. However, the skin care industry was especially competitive and she wasn’t sure if Simple Sugars would be able to stand toe-to-toe with the big brands. For this reason, she was out.
Kevin O’Leary, on the other hand, was never one to mince words. He agreed with Lori that the industry was the most competitive industries out there, and there was “nothing proprietary” about Simple Sugars. He also took issue with her valuation, so he was out.
Robert went next, stating that Lani would be very successful if the measure of success was drive and passion. In regard to investing, however, Robert felt it would be “unequitable” for either party to make an agreement, because he would need considerably more than what Lani was offering. For this reason, Robert was out.
This left only Mark. Whether he believed in Lani or was simply trying to get more information to help find relief for his itchy son, Mark began interrogating Lani. He asked her to explain how Simple Sugars could help his son. Lani talked about exfoliation, moisturization, and the ingredients in her product.
Mark asked who her biggest competitor was, and Lani replied “Fresh.” Lani said she often converted Fresh customers to Simple Sugars customers because they offered the same great quality, but at a fraction of the price.
Lori, although out, said she didn’t believe they had discussed cost and retail at all. Lani said her large size cost $15.95 compared to Fresh’s $74 for a product of the same size. She also said the jar cost $3.61 to make and could be half that cost if she were able to double her order size.
Robert leaned forward and asked if Lani had done enough to convince Mark. It seemed she had, as Mark offered $100,000 but for 33% equity. He explained that he knew it would take time and, as all
Lani tried to counter– $100,000 for 25% equity– but Mark rejected the counter. She asked if 33% was the lowest he intended to go, and Mark said it was. After only a moment, Lani accepted the deal and the pitch was over. What happened next for Lani? Keep reading our Simple Sugars update to find out!
We have impressive news to share in our Simple Sugars update! After the episode aired, Lani received 23,000 orders, and sold over $1 million in just that first week. In 2016, she launched a line for men, and received the Thiel Fellowship in 2017 for her accomplishments in business. As of 2023, Simple Sugars remains massively successful, grossing over $5 million annually, and exceeding $35 million in lifetime sales. Products are available on the Simple Sugars website, and on Amazon.
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Andrew Smith is the founder and owner of Shark Tank Recap. He is a longtime Shark Tank fan that has been watching it for years and has seen every episode multiple times. His friends know him as the Shark Tank expert, because he can answer any question about the show! His favorite Shark Tank products are Bertello's pizza oven and Bug Bite Thing!