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Lerin Lockwood with Lion Latch on Shark Tank

Lerin Lockwood pitches Lion Latch, her invention, on the ABC show 'Shark Tank,' which will air Friday, Oct. 8. Courtesy photo

CORRECTION: The date of Lockwood’s product video on The Grommet was actually 2019, not 2016 as originally reported. The error has been corrected in the current story.

During a routine home workout in May, Lion Latch inventor and owner Lerin Lockwood of Marble Falls received the notification she has spent years working toward.

“I was tagged with a ‘Shark Tank’ application,” she said. “I filled out the application, and as soon as I finished working out, ‘Shark Tank’ called me. That was the beginning of two months of jumping through hoops.”

“Shark Tank” is an ABC show that gives “budding entrepreneurs the chance to secure business deals that could make them millionaires.” 

The segment featuring Lockwood and her invention, a small, secure, plastic cylinder for jewelry that clicks onto key rings, was filmed in mid-July. The outcome will be revealed during the show’s season premiere at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 8. A watch party starts at 6 p.m. at Bear King Brewery, 204 Avenue G in Marble Falls.  

“I finally did it,” she said. “Persistence was the key on this one.”

“It was a ton of pressure to try to get everything done on time until I had to go to Los Angeles (where the show is filmed),” she said.

More than 120,000 people submit audition videos for each season of the show, but only 120 fly to L.A. to shoot segments. About 60-80 of those are aired. Lockwood said she auditioned three times in person.

“There are multiple reads if they like your auditions,” she said. “If they call you, they ask you to do more paperwork and submissions. You do more homework on your product. You send that in with your video. If they think you’re a good fit, they call you for more video interviews and more paperwork.”

Lockwood began Lion Latch in October 2015. At the time, she was the Marble Falls High School assistant softball coach. During a practice, she fielded a ball with her glove, knocking the diamond out of her engagement ring. The idea for a device to secure jewelry and other small valuables was born.

She began a kickstarter to raise money and get Lion Latch going. Then, she went to different shows across the country to market her product, including the Dallas Markets, America’s Market in Atlanta, and shows in Las Vegas. 

She made her first video promoting Lion Latch for online marketplace The Grommet, and it was shown in January 2019 as one of the company’s products for New Year’s resolutions. That led to appearances on “The View” and “Good Morning America,” but “Shark Tank” was the big catch.

“When I go to shows to show off my product, so many people were like, ‘You should go to “Shark Tank,”‘” she said. “I got that buzz in my head. At the shows, people who were on ‘Shark Tank’ were all the buzz. It’s another kind of badge for your product.”

Though she can’t reveal what happens in her segment, Lockwood said she’s thankful to everyone who has helped her and Lion Latch get to this point.

“Marble Falls helped me bring this idea to life,” she said. “I’m super grateful for the support I received from Marble Falls this whole time.”

jfierro@thepicayune.com