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An entrepreneur who landed a $250,000 offer on 'Shark Tank' was thrilled when a Shark said her company 'sucks' and questioned its valuation

Shana Lebowitz
  • Nicki Radzely, the cofounder of Doddle & Co, appeared on "Shark Tank" pitching the Pop Pacifier.
  • During the episode, Daymond John told Radzely that her company "sucks" and questioned why she'd valued her business at $US5 million.
  • Radzely ultimately accepted a $US250,000 offer from Kevin O'Leary.
  • Looking back, she loves that John insulted her because it gave her more air time, and a chance to address other investors' and viewers' concerns.

Nicki Radzely didn't go on "Shark Tank" to make friends.

She knew she'd be pummelled with hard questions - and potentially insults - about the product she was pitching, the Pop Pacifier.

Radzely is the cofounder of Doddle & Co, a company that makes baby products, including pacifiers and teethers. The Pop Pacifier is designed to stay clean because the nipple pops back in every time it falls.

At the time, Doddle & Co was four months old, and Radzely was asking for $US250,000 in exchange for 5% of her company, meaning she'd valued the business at $US5 million.

Daymond John took the lead on questioning Radzely, about the cost, her sales, and why she thought the company was worth $US5 million.

When Spanx founder Sara Blakely and Mark Cuban proclaimed that the product was a "hit" with parents, John jumped in and announced that the product "sucks." It was a pun, since the product was a pacifier - but you would imagine that the comment would sting nonetheless.

That wasn't Radzely's reaction. "I thought it was fantastic," she told Business Insider. Radzely also got a kick out of John putting the pacifier in his mouth during the episode.

"I think he was giving me a wink through his comments and actions to get us on air and to give some rise to our brand," Radzely said.

"He asked hard questions, which helped me prove to the other investors that were sitting there that I could answer them, and that there were no major flaws or gaps in our story."

She added, "The questions that people were probably thinking, sitting at home watching, he asked. So it gave me a moment to clear that air."

Ultimately, Radzely 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: $US250,000 for 10% of the company.

Today, Doddle & Co has reached nearly $US1 million in sales.

"I loved everything that [John] said and did," Radzely said. "It only helped us."

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