It’s not often that contestants on ABC’s Shark Tank elicit a shocking reaction from the investors, but a single mom managed to leave them in tears with her incredible story.

On a recent episode of Shark Tank, mom and entrepreneur Whitney Lundeen from Palo Alto, California pitched the investors on a stake in her clothing company, Sonnet James. As Whitney explained, the idea for her company came about when she got tired of mom-look staples like yoga pants and wanted to come up with something fashionable, but easy to clean.

“I was going through a difficult time in my life, and so I had this idea of making a dress that my mom could have worn that could have reminded her to play with me when I was little,” Lundeen says. “And I said, ‘Alright, this year, I’m going to take the idea, and I’m going to teach myself how to sew, and I’m going to pattern draft.’ And every night, I would pretty much sit on the kitchen floor crying, trying to teach myself how to do two things I didn’t know how to do.”

The Sharks asked Lundeen to explain what she meant by the idea of the dress reminding her mom to play with her. Holding back tears, Lundeen says that she had a challenging childhood that included some abuse. “My parents did the best they could with what they had,” she explained. “I found when I became a mom, I couldn’t engage with my kids as much as I wanted to. And I wanted something that could help me be the mother that I had always wanted to be, and something that could remind me every day when I put it on what my priorities were.”

Her words sent several of the Sharks into tears. “How fantastic that you took adversity, and you said, ‘That’s not going to pull me down, it’s only going to rise me up,’” investor Lori Greiner responded. Needless to say, Lundeen walked away with a happy ending and the investment she was hoping for.

Check out all the super chic collections of Lundeen’s dresses at the Sonnet James website.

—Shahrzad Warkentin



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