BURNET, Texas — A Central Texan is living her entrepreneur life after pitching her invention on “Shark Tank.”
Like many great ideas, her creation of the Lion Latch came out of necessity back in 2015. Since then, she’s been able to grow her business so much that it’s now her full-time job.
“I caught a softball, and it not only flattened my engagement ring into my finger, but it also knocked out a diamond and I couldn’t find it,” said Lerin Lockwood, owner and inventor of the Lion Latch.
Seven years ago, Lockwood was a high school art teacher and softball coach in Marble Falls, when she ran into a problem.
“I just couldn’t find [it] anywhere. I could keep my rings, that it wasn’t last minute, putting in my pocket,” said Lockwood.
That’s why she came up with the Lion Latch, a portable jewelry storage container.
“Lion Latch. It latches closed, and lions are my favorite animal,” said Lockwood.
She began a Kickstarter campaign and surpassed her $14,000 goal.
“It was just for fun, because my friends, my teaching and coaching friends, wanted a Lion Latch. And so did my student athletes,” said Lockwood.
Then last year, Lockwood landed on “Shark Tank.”
“I lucked out. I was on the first episode of Season 13,” she said.
After multiple auditions, she got a callback and went into the tank seeking $150,000 for 15 percent of her business.
“I got to fly out to LA that July and I filmed, took a day. I pitched for an hour, and that hour gets put into seven minutes. And then you don’t know if you will air or not – even if you went out there and filmed,” said Lockwood.
She knew she had to stand out from the rest.
“I put in Mr. Wonderful’s Lion Latch hearing aids, and he was so funny about it. Like everyone was laughing the whole time, and I told him, ‘You are not listening to me,'” said Lockwood.
Although she didn’t get a deal with any of the Sharks, she says she’s received tremendous support.
“I’m so fortunate that I’ve had such a positive response, and people are supporting me,” said Lockwood.
On top of being a business owner, Lockwood is also selling a new book she created, French Bulldog ABC’s with Batty, to fund a new art school she hopes to open up at the Bulldog Art Space in Burnet.