How this Mom & Daughter Pair Went Swimming in the Shark Tank

All Moms as Mentors® programs emphasize confidence-building, bonding and good teamwork and communication between moms and girls. Our financial program Make It Count! also helps lay a foundation for familial conversations about money as well as nurture girls' entrepreneurial spirits.  

We are absolutely thrilled today to feature the mom and daughter behind one of the top 10 successful businesses in the history of ABC's Shark Tank (Shark Kevin "Mr. Wonderful" O'Leary's most profitable investment): Boston's own Wicked Good Cupcakes.

Tracey (Mom, Co-Founder & CEO)  and Dani (Daughter, Co-Founder) Noonan are an inspiring example of a mom and daughter pair who have worked and communicated well together, taken risks and certainly have an entrepreneurial spirit! 

Here's what Tracey shared with Moms as Mentors® about her relationship with her daughter, Shark Tank and Wicked Good Cupcakes:

Leslie: "As I looked back at your pitch on Shark Tank, I noticed that at one point you and Dani stepped outside to talk about the deal Kevin offered. I’m imagining this was perhaps the most important, high-stakes and pressure-packed conversation you and Dani would ever have about money (!) but the viewers don’t see that conversation.

Can you share with our readers a little bit about what happened during that conversation?  How well did the two of you communicate in that moment? What had prepared you for that conversation? Did the two of you have a history of good communication, including talking about money?"

Tracey: "That’s a great question! You are correct in assuming that there was a lot of pressure. We had a deal on the table that we didn’t want to lose and the time constraints of filming a reality show. So in a nutshell…We didn’t have much time.  A quick math calculation showed us that the royalty would work because we:

A) We were making money. Not losing or breaking even.

B) At some point the income coming in exceeds the ceiling that a royalty deal hits. Right now we pay Kevin the equivalent if he had taken 12% equity. If you remember correctly, we went in and offered 20% to start."

Leslie:  "Also, at the time you took the deal, all the other sharks were strongly discouraging you from taking a royalty offer from Kevin. What gave you and Dani the confidence to accept the deal? Was one of you more confident than the other?"

Tracey: "For me the deal was more about the partnership and the inroads that a Shark like Kevin has. Introductions, media, PR…It’s all worth its weight in gold. Knowing we could potentially score that type of help and exposure meant more to me than “a few dollars”.  Dani being relatively naïve about the business world and filming a reality show in general was shaken by Mark and Daymond’s antics. I knew it was for television more than anything. She was a bit shaken and it took some explaining, convincing and educating for her to see how beneficial the deal would be. Now she’s 100% on board because we’ve gotten to know Kevin really well and have seen his sincere interest in us and our business. At the end of the day he wants nothing more than to see us succeed." 

Leslie: "What, if anything, have you both learned about each other since you started Wicked Good Cupcakes?"

Tracey: "We’ve learned a lot about each other. We’ve shared so many awesome, fun experiences…And we’ve shared really hard times with one another. You really get to know a person’s character when you work and live with someone. Especially when a business takes off and grows 600% in a year! The biggest lesson we’ve learned is, at the end of the day we’re a family first. Any disagreements or harsh words are left behind when we go home. It’s been an amazing ride and I’m grateful every single day to Shark Tank, Kevin and my family." 

Thanks so much to Tracey for taking the time to share her and Dani's story with the Moms as Mentors® Community. 


Did you know that 100% of moms at Moms as Mentors® business program say it sparked a new enthusiasm for their daughters in entrepreneurship?  AND, 75% of moms who've participated in our programs with their daughters feel they improved their own leadership skills.

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Leslie Coles