What Lori Greiner Was Doing Before Shark Tank

Lori Greiner has built an impressive empire and established herself as a force to be reckoned with in the business world. The success of the Queen of QVC can be attributed to her exceptional entrepreneurial vision and innovative thinking. With the creation of about 350 products under her belt, Greiner has indeed revolutionized several industries. She currently belongs to the judges' panel of "Shark Tank" — an Emmy award-winning show where contestants pitch their products to investors called "Sharks," hoping to get investment money to launch their respective inventions.

Prior to "Shark Tank," Greiner has always been an inventor herself — even scoring a sweet deal with JCPenney! The fact that Greiner was a communications student didn't stop her from dreaming big. She pitched her first invention to the mega retail company in 1996, which was a plastic jewelry organizer that could store up to 100 earrings. Greiner shelled out $10,000 to make the prototype of her invention. Since it was before the internet became a thing, she manually searched for a potential client using the Yellow Pages. 

She luckily got connected with JCPenney, but the challenge didn't stop there. The company believed in her product so much that they told her if her product sells in their Chicago branch during the holiday season, they'd distribute her product across the country. This seemed like a great deal but Greiner only had one problem: She didn't have enough product to supply the retail store's demand.

Lori hustled for four months to put her invention on store shelves

Lori Greiner's determination fueled her to meet the demands of her product. The meeting with JCPenney took place in August and she only had a few months left to design, manufacture, and package the earring organizer. Thankfully she was able to finish everything in four months and was ready by the time the holiday season came around. While everyone was having a great time enjoying the holidays, she was hustling and demonstrating her product at JCPenney. The response to her product was overwhelmingly positive — so positive that JCPenney started selling the product across the country the following year.

Besides her business sensibilities, her success is also made possible because of her supportive husband, Dan Greiner. Dan took out a loan worth $120,000 against their house to fund the production of Lori's invention.  There's no denying that she's become one of the most prolific names in the business world, gaining respect among inventors participating in the show. Lori joined the show in 2012. She has been dubbed "The Warm-Blooded Shark" and is known for her ability to sniff out great products from the get-go. 

The proof of her natural capabilities is obvious through two of the biggest products to ever come out of the show — Scrub Daddy and Squatty Potty — two of her investments.Although she's not the richest shark from "Shark Tank," she has indeed come a long way — having made and marketed more than 1,000 products.

Lori Greiner beyond the Tank

Lori Greiner has already spent more than $9.5 million in "Shark Tank." She funded 10 of the 20 most successful inventions in the show's history. While fellow shark Barbara Corcocan looks for ambition when investing, Greiner looks for the product's potential, which earned her millions. "Shark Tank" has indeed become a big part of Greiner's life. But outside of it, there's still so much to know about the Chicago native. She graduated with a degree in communication and has put her writing prowess to good use when she worked for the Chicago Tribune. She also released her own book titled "Invent It, Sell It, Bank It!: Make Your Million-Dollar Idea Into a Reality," a guide for future entrepreneurs.

Greiner is also a multi-award-winning individual. She was honored in 2017 as an "Important Woman in Television" by the Paley Center for Media, a non-profit organization that aims to highlight the importance of media history. Then in 2018, she was awarded the Sherry Lansing "Woman of the Year" award. But more than her accomplishments, Greiner is also big on humanitarian causes.

"I'm a big believer in humanitarian causes. Even the smallest acts of kindness and paying it forward can be so impactful on someone else's life," she said on her official website. "If you are lucky enough to be successful, you have a responsibility to give back."