For the ladies who attended BIA/Kesley’s Women Leading In Local session at our December 2013 conference in San Francisco, you may remember that one of our speakers was Jayla Siciliano, CEO of Bon Affair. Jayla is the young, ambitious entrepreneur who dropped everything to run with her idea to create Bon Affair, the wine spritzer company created by women, for women.
Jayla is a woman who is looking to make her idea a success and that is what lead to her decision to try to get on the show. “I figured I should go for every opportunity out there,” said Jayla. “Once I started doing research on the show and realizing what a great platform it is for exposure and potentially partnering with an amazing investor I was really hoping I would get on.”
Once her decision to try to be on the show was made, the actual process of getting on was her next challenge. “I applied by sending an email in February 2013. Four months later I got a call saying I made it to the next round (I had actually forgotten that I applied at that point) and now I’m getting to air almost a year and a half after initially applying. It’s definitely a lot of jumping through hoops but over all I had a really positive experience.”
To prepare for her actual presentation on the show, Jayla tackled it like it was a college final. “I studied everything there was to study about the show. I was waking up at 4am watching episodes and taking notes on the questions asked, the pitches, the valuations and researching each of the sharks. I practiced my pitch until I was saying it in my sleep and I did a lot of yoga and visualization the week before to stay calm and confident before going in there.”
Jayla is an inspiration for all entrepreneurs out there and to all those who are thinking of taking their idea to Shark Tank. Jayla says: “Go for it! Life is short and business can be a grind. It’s a great platform for exposure and all of the research I did on the ‘sharks’ made me realize they are all really great people who are there to help entrepreneurs. Just know it’s a long process and can be torture at times but if you get to go in and pitch to the sharks try to have fun with it.”
Big things are expected for Bon Affair in the future and it will be exciting to see where this little wine spritzer company goes. To read more on Bon Affair and Jayla, check out my blog post about our Women Leading in Local session in San Francisco where we heard about Jayla’s inspiration for her company.