Lower Merion natives pitch product on 'Shark Tank'

CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa. (WPVI) -- Two local businesswomen traveled to Los Angeles to pitch their product, PiperWai, on ABC's hit show, "Shark Tank."

The women began their business careers as kids, and on Friday night they jumped into the waters with the sharks.

Action News caught up with Lower Merion, Pennsylvania, natives 27-year-old Jess Edelstein and 26-year-old Sarah Ribner Thursday at the manufacturing plant for their product, PiperWai.

"The jars get filled over on that end and then they get packed, and over here a machine puts a shrink band on the jars," said Edelstein.

A one-day production run can make 10,000 jars.

"It's a big upgrade from when we used to handcraft it in a community kitchen with a pastry piping bag 300 jars at a time," said Edelstein.

PiperWai began with Edelstein's desire to use a natural deodorant.

"I couldn't find one that lasted all day or didn't irritate my sensitive skin so I thought, 'I can do better,' " said Edelstein. "And I decided to create my own in my kitchen, and I gave some to Sarah to try when she went on a service trip to South America."

"And it worked so I called her and I said, 'There's a lot of demand for a product like this, you should sell it,' and she said, 'I'll sell it if you are my business partner,' " said Ribner.

The duo launched PiperWai in March of last year, raising enough money through a crowd-sourcing campaign to start production runs at Power Line Packaging, Inc. in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania.

Now they're looking to "Shark Tank" to help take their business to the next level.

"We researched, we practiced, practiced our pitch nonstop," said Ribner.

"We practiced all the answers to any potential questions they could ask us," said Edelstein.

All the while being reminded the show offers no guarantees.

"Even when we had our plane tickets to Los Angeles, there was no guarantee we would actually get in front of the sharks, and even when we were in front of the sharks there was no guarantee we'd actually get an air date so, you know, it was a big leap of faith, but we were really optimistic it would work out," said Edelstein.

Click the image to see if any of the sharks took the bait.

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