Here's What Went Down With Glow Recipe After Shark Tank

Cast your mind back to 2015 and you may remember a then little-known brand, Glow Recipe, being brought to your attention on ABC's "Shark Tank." Founded by Sarah Lee and Christine Chang, the beauty brand, which at the time curated and tested beauty products, promised to bring something different to the overly saturated beauty market.

Both Lee and Chang connected over their Korean roots and recognized that Korean beauty products were going to be the next big thing. "Global companies were starting to look to Korea for the latest skincare trends and innovations," Chang told Columbia Magazine. They began Glow Recipe in 2014 by selling Korean beauty products on their website. 

If you have any interest in skincare, you've probably heard about Glow Recipe more than once since then. But what happened during Lee and Chang's time in the tank with the Sharks and what's going on with Glow Recipe today? We have all the answers.

Glow Recipe got interest from three sharks on Shark Tank

Like many business ventures that make their way to "Shark Tank," Glow Recipe didn't actually get an investment from the show's entrepreneurs. Sarah Lee and Christine Chang appeared on Season 7, Episode 10 of the show, which aired in December 2015, and were hoping to bag themselves $425,000 in exchange for 10% of the company.

Just like when they first saw Tania Speaks Organic Skincare, the Sharks were pretty impressed by the beauty company, so Lee and Chang got an impressive amount of offers. Barbara Corcoran offered all of the money for 40% of the company, Kevin O'Leary came in with the same amount of cash for 50%, and Robert Herjavec offered the businesswoman the money for 30% equity. But while that probably sounds like a dream situation for many new entrepreneurs, Lee and Chang knew their worth. The two countered Herjavec and asked him to drop down to 18%, but he told them he didn't want to go lower than 25%. The two then tried to drop his equity again to 22.5%, but Herjavec wasn't willing to budge. That meant the trio ended up shaking hands on 25% for Herjavec. But things didn't exactly go as planned from there, as that deal never actually came to fruition.

The deal fell through after Shark Tank

After Glow Recipe's "Shark Tank" episode aired, it was revealed that the 25% deal Sarah Lee and Christine Chang agreed to with Robert Herjavec never actually came to fruition. The duo told CNBC that they had further conversations with the former "Dancing with the Stars" contestant after the cameras stopped rolling, but decided not to accept the offer after all. 

But don't think there's bad blood between these entrepreneurs and the show or its stars. Lee and Chang admitted they still give the show a lot of credit, mainly because of the publicity it brought to their brand. "Beyond just the sales numbers, it opened eyes to new customers who were not interested in skincare but wanted to know how to get the best glowing skin," Lee told CNBC. "Most of their questions were based on wanting to understand what K-beauty was and what type of skincare routines they should learn about, so it was a lot of curiosity and interest in learning about the approach to skincare we were talking about on air."

The brand did get the money it was looking for eventually, though. Forbes reported the company got its very first external investment in 2021, which it accepted from an unnamed private equity firm.

Glow Recipe is still going strong without a Shark's investment

Despite not actually getting the cash injection Glow Recipe's founders wanted from "Shark Tank," there's no doubting the business has only gone from strength to strength. Two years after appearing on the show, the brand started selling its own unique skincare items in addition to curating products and signed a deal with none other than Sephora to stock its products. 

"When we launched, the response was so rewarding; we had a [multi-thousand-person] waitlist and sold out multiple times," Christine Chang told Worklife, explaining the business did both until around 2019 when they made the decision to focus more on their own skincare products. "Increasingly, we were seeing that our community was passionate about Glow Recipe Skincare. They wanted more products and more innovation. We're a very small team, so we had to focus on our own brand," she shared. That was clearly a smart idea, as, the year prior, Glow Recipe was estimated to have sold $30 million worth of products in Sephora.

But that was just the beginning. In 2021, Forbes reported Glow Recipe had raked in a seriously impressive $100 million in sales and was looking to TikTok to get the word out there. "As a beauty brand, once you go viral on TikTok, it immediately converts to sales like never before," Sarah Lee told the outlet, revealing that one viral post resulted in a 600% increase in sales.

Glow Recipe is inspiring the next generation

It seems like Sarah Lee and Christine Chang are always moving forward when it comes to Glow Recipe, as the brand has new, innovative products hitting the shelves all the time. But the two have admitted they hope to keep using their thriving business to help others, particularly women of color. "As two female co-founders of Asian heritage, we're especially passionate about providing mentorship to not only female entrepreneurs, but specifically Black and POC female founders," Lee told Ipsy. The two actually began a mentorship program in 2021, passing on their skills and advice to others hoping to replicate their success.

Beyond that, it seems like Glow Recipe is determined to continue evolving via its young, finger-on-the-pulse team. "When we hire people, we ask about their storytelling and photography skills. It's a very modern approach to hiring," Lee told Worklife, sharing they ask every employee to share their thoughts on things like marketing no matter what their job title. "Many of our team members are relatively young and very plugged into TikTok. They have their ears and eyes on Gen Z's social media landscape. Because of that, we're able to not only react quickly, but also proactively share what we have going on transparently with our community."