At the suggestion of a friend, Aki Summers auditioned for the television show “Shark Tank.”
Now the waiting begins to find out if she made the cut.
Summers, who lives in Byron, invented the Anamazees 5-in-1 detachable pacifier. She sells the pacifier on Amazon.com. She took her invention to Knoxville, Tennessee, where the auditions were being held. She and her 10-year-old son Christian presented their 60-second spiel on the product. She was the first one to go in the lineup.
“I felt really good,” Summers said in a phone interview while vacationing in Orlando, Florida, last week.
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She didn’t second-guess herself and wish she could have said more. Now she is just waiting on a callback, which she said could come at anytime.
The product is sold under the name Anamazees and comes in five different animal types. She left “Carrie the caterpillar” with the Shark Tank interviewers.
The pacifier also comes in Morry the Monkey, Elsie the Elephant, Lovie the Lamb and Paddy the Puppy.
It is a pacifier, a baby rattle, a pacifier holder and a squeak toy, and it also plays the ABC song.
So far, since December, she has sold 100 pacifiers. Lately, she said, it has been 10 a week.
The pacifiers range in price from $12.99 to $17.99.
Summers has been working with the Consumer Protection Agency to make sure her product meets all of the requirements for children.
“There are only two companies that are close to [being] my competitors,” Summers said.
The night before her audition for “Shark Tank,” Summers was working on her application for the show and went to the hotel computer.
The computer crashed three times. After learning she was vying for a spot on the TV show, the hotel desk clerks let her use their computer.
“I got no sleep whatsoever. I was just thinking ‘let me not forget my name,’” Summers said.
Summers is no stranger to a good fight. She has been a cancer survivor for four years. She also spent 21 years in the Air Force, retiring as a master sergeant for the Air Force Reserve Command at Robins Air Force Base, where she worked in records management.
She also recently got her real estate license in Georgia and started working with Golden Key Realty.
Meanwhile, she continues to wait for her shot at making it big.
Even if Summers makes it onto the show, she won’t be able to share the news immediately. The Shark Tank contract dictates that, at least for now, she tell no one.
To view the pacifiers, visit www.amazon.com and search for Anamazees.