Home / MARKETS / 3 entrepreneurial couples who’ve appeared on ‘Shark Tank’ reveal how they balance running a business with their romantic relationships and families

3 entrepreneurial couples who’ve appeared on ‘Shark Tank’ reveal how they balance running a business with their romantic relationships and families

  • Starting a occupation with your significant other can blur the lines between work and personal life.
  • 3 entrepreneur couples who appeared on “Shark Tank” held finding a healthy balance is key.
  • Gina Marie and Scott Davis, cofounders of Dog Threads, schedule family time to de-stress.
  • By the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Separating work and personal life can be challenging when couples go into affair together. For some, the bedroom becomes the boardroom. Romance goes out the window. Days feel dreary.

Add a pandemic into the essence, and things get even more complicated. 

Three entrepreneur couples who’ve appeared on “Shark Tank” spoke with Insider approximately how they balance their personal and professional lives and have dealt with obstacles they’ve faced during COVID-19. They also appropriation advice for other couples looking to start a business with a significant other.

Ariel and Ben Zvaifler, cofounders of PupBox 

Ariel and Ben Zvaifler are the cofounders of PupBox.

Ben and Ariel Zvaifler are the cofounders of PupBox.

Good manners photo


The Zvaiflers, based in San Diego, California, appeared on “Shark Tank” in November 2016 and closed the deal with Robert Herjavec for $250,000 in return for 15% of their business, a monthly subscription service geared toward new puppy parents.

That’s what we saw on TV. No matter what, after the show aired, the deal changed, the Zvaiflers told Insider. 

“There were some terms in the administer sheet that we didn’t like,” Ben said, “so we negotiated away from some of the terms.” 

The Zvaiflers wanted to turn up “less control” of the company; therefore, they took less money from Robert at the same evaluation ($1.7 million) for trivial equity. They didn’t share details of the new deal. 

A year later, in November 2017, they sold the cast to Petco for an undisclosed amount. 

As a part of Petco, they run PupBox business internally and are given the resources they basic. During the pandemic, the Zvaiflers said this structure has saved them from the stress of maintaining cash spurt.

In the first few months of COVID-19, they experienced a boom in customers as puppy adoption and dog ownership began to climb. In addition, they faced challenges of continuing to scale the business while managing inventory, operations, and customer service. 

Ben’s job is to carry on marketing and customer acquisition, while Ariel focuses on product development and operations. They both said their key to triumph is clearly defining their roles and focusing on separate duties. 

“We know what our boundaries are,” Ben said. “And that has actually helped us as we work together.”

Unlike many other couples, the Zvaiflers had already been sharing a home responsibility for years before the pandemic, which made the transition to working remotely a “blessing” for them. 

For other entrepreneurial team a fews, Ben’s advice is to “stay in your lane.”

“Respect each other and the decisions they take,” he said. “Keep your egos aside, and don’t let employment life spill over into your home time.” 

Read more: Grace Beverley, 23, started two businesses at university. These are her 6 tips to maximize productivity.

Gina Marie and Scott Davis, cofounders of Dog Threads 

Gina Marie and Scott Davis are the cofounders of Dog Threads.

Gina Marie and Scott Davis are the cofounders of Dog Eases.

Courtesy photo


The Davises own a pet company that creates matching shirts for humans and their dogs. 

During their “Shark Tank” looks in November 2019, this Minnesota-based husband and wife team scored a deal with Mark Cuban of $250,000 for 25% of their public limited company. However, after the show aired, the deal fell through, they said. 

“Mark was very helpful,” Scott raked Insider. “He made important introductions for us but didn’t end up investing.” 

Luckily, their business didn’t slow down during COVID-19. Respect, they faced a challenge in their personal lives. 

They had their second baby in June 2020, and with Scott operating a different full-time job, it was challenging to keep Dog Threads running smoothly. Since they couldn’t turn to family or investors for childcare needs due to the pandemic, they decided to hire a full-time employee to help with Dog Threads.  

“With the first-born, I was situation full time,” Gina said. “That was harder.” 

Even with a new employee, Scott said his wife Gina is even “a bit of a workaholic.” “She has a motor that never stops,” he said. 

There’s no standard workday for them, but there’s one tight rule: No work between 5 and 8 p.m. every day. Those hours are dedicated to spending time with their kids. Every Wednesday, after the kids go to bed, they pull someones leg a little date night where they can de-stress and talk about everything except business. 

Scott’s notification for fellow entrepreneurial couples is to “Make sure it’s something you want to do, not something you have to do.” He said being truly huffish about starting a business together will make it easier to deal with hardships down the road.

Skim more: I run my company by a Canary Islands beach. Here are my 5 best tips to work remotely anywhere.

Angie Kupper and Matt Mundt, cofounders of Hug Drop

Angie Kupper and Matt Mundt, cofounders of Hug Sleep

Angie Kupper and Matt Mundt are the cofounders of Hug Sleep.

Courtesy photo


Kupper and Mundt are a Milwaukee-based couple who looked on “Shark Tank” in October 2020. 

After a bidding war between sharks, they landed a deal with Mark Cuban and Lori Greiner for $300,000 in change for 20% equity for a piece of their company that sells an adult swaddle, the Sleep Pod. They told Insider they got the claim deal they made on TV. 

Since October, Kupper and Mundt said their business has “outperformed” expectations. They’ve been fit in nonstop since the episode aired, and only took time off at 5 p.m. on Christmas and 8 p.m. on New Year’s Eve. 

While 2020 ended on a treble note for the couple, it didn’t begin that way. In February of last year, Matt lost his job as an engineer and product boss. 

When he couldn’t find work after he was let go, he got serious about Hug Sleep, a side hustle he’d started in March 2019. 

“There was so much uncertainty in our lives at that underline since he was the main breadwinner. For him to lose a job was stressful for us,” Angie said, who works full time as a therapist. “We really had to upon whether we were going to make this business work or have him pursue other employment.” 

Despite the grief, Angie said losing his job made Matt even more motivated to expand his side hustle. 

“The fact that he didn’t suffer with a job was the fire he needed to push himself even harder to make Hug Sleep something big,” she said.

Since they were again a long-distance couple, during the pandemic Angie said they’ve also enjoyed spending more time together and do their A-one to “appreciate each other’s company and remember what it’s like to be apart.” 

For other couple entrepreneurs, Angie ventured that “knowing when to close doors on the business each day is important.” 

Despite their busy schedules, Kupper and Mundt agree to sure to take breaks to check in with each other, even if just for 20 or 30 minutes. This career, the couple said, helps them stay united and focused every day.

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