Business is pretty sweet these days for Pittsburgh-based Simple Sugars, the all-natural face and body scrub line that Fox Chapel native Lani Lazzari created when she was just 11 years old. It soared onto the national, and even international, stage when Ms. Lazzari, 21, pitched the brand on ABC's TV show "Shark Tank" back in March 2013, when she earned an investment from Mt. Lebanon native Mark Cuban.
Simple Sugars was back in the spotlight Thursday night when it was featured on the "Shark Tank" spin-off series "Beyond the Tank," which shows what life's like for businesses after being on the reality show.
In the episode, Mr. Cuban visited Simple Sugars' 10,000 square-foot facility at RIDC Park, where it moved last year from its previous home in a 1,700 square-foot storefront in Sharpsburg.
It's "fancy schmancy," he says about the headquarters, decked out in the brand's signature pink.
He's pleased with Ms. Lazzari's success and hustle; Simple Sugars has done more than $4 million in sales since it made its "Shark Tank" debut.
"I saw a mini me in Lani," Mr. Cuban says about why he invested in her business. "She's driven."
But is the brand growing fast enough? During his visit, Mr. Cuban advised Ms. Lazzari to find someone who knows things about business that she and her mom Gina, who's the company's vice president, don't know and bring them into the Simple Sugars family to help accelerate its growth. He also liked Ms. Lazzari's idea to invest in rebranding and better promoting Simple Sugars' men's line Smooth for Men, in hopes of boosting its sales and tapping into the fast-growing men's personal care market.
They also talked social media strategies. With Mr. Cuban's guidance, Simple Sugars is launching a Facebook video series that offers tips on business and entrepreneurship, among other topics.
"Her goal is not 10, not 20, but at least $30 million in sales," Mr. Cuban says. "She's got what it takes."
Photos: At top, Mark Cuban and Lani Lazzari at the Simple Sugars headquarters on ABC's "Beyond the Tank." Above right, the Simple Sugars production facility. Photos by Scott Evans/ABC