Mom of 2 invents a sheer slip that allows a bride to pee, without sullying her dress.
Heather Stenlake is a divorced, single mom living in the Poconos of Pennsylvania with her two daughters. She put $40,000 of her retirement savings towards inventing and producing a sheer slip that holds up a bride’s wedding gown. The slip allows a bride to pee without sullying her dress, or needing help to use the toilet.
It took Stenlake 15 years and a personal reinvention to go from having the idea to developing her product into a company. But Stenlake eventually found the confidence to launch her business: Once she did, her inspirational attitude won over the investors on hit reality show “Shark Tank.” By the end of her pitch, which aired Friday night, Stenlake had multiple sharks clamoring to invest in her business, the Bridal Buddy.
Stenlake started working in the bridal industry in 1998 and customers constantly asked her what to do when they have to use the restroom. In 2002, she came up with the idea for a solution and the blueprint for what would eventually become the Bridal Buddy. She also was having children at the time, so Stenlake put her idea away, and focused on being a stay-at-home mom.
In 2015, Stenlake rediscovered her notes for the Bridal Buddy, and moved to turn the latent idea into a business.
“I am divorced now but I never stopped thinking about my product idea. And all though I didn’t have as much encouragement as I would have liked back then, I have a lot of it now,” she says. “I put $40,000 of my retirement money in this product. That wasn’t easy, but I am glad that I did it.”
Stenlake appeared on “Shark Tank” seeking $75,000 for 10 percent equity in her company. At the time the show was filmed, Stenlake had made $195,000 in sales. The Bridal Buddy’s retail cost is $29.95, and $14 for Stenlake to make.
The sharks wanted to know why she put her idea way for more than a decade. She strategically and gracefully avoided talking about her personal