We interviewed Randy Rothfus and Jennifer Sullivan, the brother and sister-in-law team behind the novel invention. When they began, he was in the dental profession and she was a stay-at-home mom. “We basically had to get our education overnight regarding import, product manufacturing, export, logistics, e commerce and sales,” they said.
Since launching in February of 2016, they’ve enjoyed close to $2,000,000 in sales with mentions on shows like Ellen and Live with Kelly.
Their patented design, made of borosilicate glass and silicone, can be found in retailers such as Brookstone, Francesca’s and Hammacher Schlemmer, as well as boutiques, gift shops, wineries and flower stores.
Here’s what else they told us about…
How the Idea Came About
Randy: We both loved wine and wine-related products. One day while Jennifer was watching an old sitcom, she saw a glass that attached to a bottle. She called me and they both searched the internet wanting the glass. We couldn’t find it or anything like it anywhere, so decided to do the next best thing and make our own.
How Sales Exploded Because of the Debate
Jennifer: We first put our Guzzle Buddy wine glass on Amazon in February of 2016. Sales were slow and we got excited if we sold 10 in one day. Then one day in October of 2016, sales went through the roof. Randy had been tweeting, and had said, “You better get a Guzzle Buddy so you can make it through the next debate.” Someone somewhere must had picked up on it, took pieces and parts of our YouTube videos and pictures online and made their own video for social media and sales exploded. Independent, Viral Thread, Unilad and many other made videos and we became viral overnight.
Advice to Future ‘Tank’ Contestants
Know your numbers and know your business! We spent countless hours going over notecards with each other, trying to prepare for any possible questions the Sharks would ask. We also watched old episodes and took notes. We prepared our pitch and rehearsed it over and over again so we had it down. Prepare, Prepare Prepare! It’s scary enough going into the Tank, but if you don’t know your business, it’s like going into the water with an open wound.
Other Tank products: