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The Chicago Shark

"Lori Greiner is an American inventor and entrepreneur from Chicago, Illinois," according to Wikipedia.

Lori Greiner! The Queen of QVC! Whom many of us only know through Shark Tank!

But wait, there's more.

"Greiner grew up in the Near North Side community area of Chicago and her parents divorced when she was 8-years-old. She earned a degree in Communications and worked in the Chicago Tribune newsroom."


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What did Greiner do for the Trib? Reports don't say.

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"She has a communications degree [in Television & Film] from Loyola University Chicago and planned to be a writer before detouring into the home-products business," Crain's reported in 2009.

"Greiner's husband, Dan, was an assistant controller at the former Bell & Howell Co. (now Bowe Bell & Howell of Wheeling) before joining For Your Ease Only 10 years ago. As the business began to take off, he crunched a few numbers and decided to join her full-time: "'I thought, This is going to be big,'" Greiner says.

"The two, who met at the Lincoln Park bar Kincaid's, now work at a partner desk in a large, sunny home office. They also own a home in suburban Philadelphia, near QVC headquarters, and spend about six months a year there."

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Please note: She was able to get her business off the ground with the help of a $300,000 bank loan. You kind of already have to be rich to get that kind of scratch.

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"Greiner estimates she's invested more than $3 million in Shark Tank projects," the Sun-Times reported in December. "Some have paid off handsomely, like the magnetic eyeglass holders she bought into last season - a simple contraption she says logged more than $4 million in sales in less than a year.

"They're not all success stories. An entrepreneur pitching his Plate Topper food-storage invention this season caused a feeding frenzy among the sharks, with Greiner at one point offering him 10 times the $90,000 he'd asked for. His slippery negotiating style soon turned off a lot of the sharks, who uttered the dream-crushing words, 'I'm out!'"

"'I loved the product so I forged ahead anyway,' said Greiner, who settled on giving the Plate Topper guy $90,000 for 8 percent equity. 'Afterwards he was as difficult, if not more difficult, than he was during the episode. It's a no-go.'"

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Here's how that went:

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Another one that didn't work out was the Wine Balloon.

"I thought it was a great product, but he just wasn't interested in moving forward," she told the New York Times.

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Her big Shark Tank success story is the Reader Rest.

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Back to Wikipedia:

"Greiner lives with her husband in Chicago's Gold Coast Historic District. She has donated thousands of her products to the charities: Habitat for Humanity, Howard Brown Health Center and the Salvation Army."

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Comments welcome.

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1. From Don Hall Jr.:

I, Don Hall Jr., will pay Mrs. Greiner $1,000 for five minutes of her time just to hear my idea, I'm that sure of it.



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Posted on January 6, 2013


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