Local Entrepreneur Appearing On ‘Shark Tank’ Television Show This Friday

Local Entrepreneur Appearing On ‘Shark Tank’ Television Show This Friday
Pinch Me Therapy Dough founder Nancy Rothner is pictured during taping of the Shark Tank show last fall. Photo courtesy of Pinch Me Dough's Facebook page

BERLIN – A local entrepreneur will make an appearance on this week’s episode of the reality show “Shark Tank.”

On Friday, March 5, Lewes-based company Pinch Me Therapy Dough will be featured on ABC’s “Shark Tank,” a reality show in which entrepreneurs pitch their products or services to self-made tycoons for a chance to secure lucrative business deals.

Nancy Rothner, owner and founder of Pinch Me Therapy Dough, said the episode will air at 8 p.m. EST.

“We are very much looking forward to it,” she said.

Rothner began testing products for Pinch Me in 2012. As a clinical hypnotherapist specializing in stress reduction, she said she recognized the need for stress-relieving tools and techniques that can be used anytime, anywhere.

“The problem was I would come home at night and I would see in the news that stress statistics were on the rise everywhere, really for all groups …,” she said. “I kept thinking how can I find a way to reach more people, to show what I found is effective in the office, techniques and strategies and ways to quickly destress. How can I share that? I had one of those epiphany, lightbulb moments.”

After spending two years in development, and testing thousands of batches, Rothner launched Pinch Me Therapy Dough, a squishable, scented putty in a portable tin.

“I find from my experience and belief it has the components necessary to make it fun, feel-good and effective in helping people quickly destress,” she said.

In the years since, Rothner has grown Pinch Me to include a range of scented putties, as well as a line of aromatic mists. Products are sold online and throughout the country.

“It’s been a gradual process,” she said. “I didn’t know where or how. I just started out by getting the website up. Then I thought perhaps I want to see if this would sell in a store. I approached some stores – first locally, and then I expanded from there – to see if Pinch Me was something that would sell, and it sold very well. That continued over the years.”

Rothner also attended trade shows in an effort to expand her client base. She noted, however, that everything changed last March at the start of the pandemic.

“Everything that I had been doing to generate sales and continue to grow Pinch Me was completely shut down,” she said. “Whether it was wholesale or direct to consumer, everything was at a standstill. I just knew I needed help and guidance to maneuver and get through this abrupt change.”

A year ago, Rothner applied to “Shark Tank,” beginning a months-long vetting process. Late last summer, she was invited to make her pitch in front of the “sharks.” And in September, she flew out to Las Vegas for a taping of the show.

“They gave me the news and the next thing I know we were booking the airfare tickets,” she said.

Rothner noted this is not her first time on national television. She once made an appearance on QVC, though she explained it was only for a few minutes and did not require much talking.

“I felt like I really needed to muster up a lot of courage to get through this,” she said of the reality show.

Rothner said she couldn’t disclose details about her appearance on “Shark Tank” until the episode airs on Friday. She noted, however, that the process of applying to be on the show was far more challenging than she had anticipated.

“It was very long and very demanding,” she added.

Nevertheless, Rothner said she would do it all over again.

“I did it to bring greater awareness and opportunities for growth,” she said.

For more information on Pinch Me Therapy Dough, visit pinchmedough.com. The company’s appearance on “Shark Tank” will air Friday, March 5, at 8 p.m. on ABC.

About The Author: Bethany Hooper

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Bethany Hooper has been with The Dispatch since 2016. She currently covers various general stories. Hooper graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 2012 and the University of Maryland in 2016, where she completed double majors in journalism and economics.