Philadelphia, Pa - The Beard Sisters, owners of Joyce's Soulful Cuisine and creators of Lulu Bang Sauce and Marinade, were recently on ABC's Shark Tank competing for the sought after financial investment and invaluable endorsement from the celebrity panel of respected entrepreneurs. I sat down with Kelly and Jorrae to talk about their family, their business and their Shark Tank experience at their Watch Party held at the Enterprise Center.
YouTube Video of the Beard Sisters Interview
LeShelle: First, I want to hear more about mother Joyce and brother Michael. How did they inspire Joyce's soul food cuisine and Lulu Bang sauce?
Jorrae: Joyce is actually our mother and she inspired us. It was her cooking; instilling values in us where family is concerned.
Kelly: We just wanted to honor her in a way that she should have felt that she really deserved to be honored.
LeShelle: I heard you say, and this stuck with me and it’s going to stick with me, that your mother’s legacy is alive, here in the earth. Michael “Lulu Bang”, how did you decide, "Oh, we’re going to name the sauce after him?"
Kelly: We didn’t have a name for it originally and everybody referred to it as “that sauce”. And, you know, so one day we were all around the table at the restaurant that we had a few years ago, trying to come up with a name. Michael loved chicken wings and he loved the sauce and we came up with the “Lulu Bang Wang”; we just called the sauce “Lulu Bang”!
LeShelle: I feel the love from your family. I see they're coming in from out of town to celebrate with you. So, tell me, what's it like when you have a family business deciding who does what role?
Kelly: Well, we decide based on what each of us are good at, or our expertise. Everyone can’t do everything. From the inception, being the one that created the sauces, I knew my sister Kelly has the expertise, the know-how to manage it. She’s going to take us to the next level and beyond. She’s is able to steer us as a family and as a unit. You know, so it is very important to identify who can do what.
LeShelle: Getting on Shark Tank is a game changer for your business but it's also a life changer. What advice would you give to an entrepreneur who might not make that cut because you were one out 45,000 who made it to the stage, made it to the actual tank. What advice do you want to give? What are the lessons that you pull from this entire experience that you could give to other entrepreneurs?
Kelly: It’s simple. Don’t give up. Don’t feel like a no is final. God has the final say. There were people there who had auditioned five, six, seven times. We were fortunate that we audition