FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — A Siouxland native hopes to prove he can indeed swim with the sharks.
Justin Rietema, who was born and raised in Sioux Center, Iowa, but relocated to South Florida after college, is slated to appear on Sunday’s episode of “Shark Tank.”
Aired on ABC, "Shark Tank" is an Emmy Award-winning hit reality show revolving around entrepreneurialism.
The 35-year-old former Iowan and his business partner, Doug Schultz, plan on pitching products from their Human Bobber line of flotation devices to the “Sharks,” the nickname given to the show's business professional who offers advice and/or financial assistance to contestants.
The products they plan on pitching are the Bottoms Up, a dual-purpose life vest that can be inverted and worn like a pair of shorts, and the Scuttlebutt, a saddle configuration floatation aid that also can be used as in-water lounge chair or kayak seat.
Rietema and his partner have been fine-tuning these items since 2012 and continue to add more products to the line. So no matter what the results from the show are, he’s confident the company won't sink.
“We’ve already got a lot of interest from a whole of wholesale buyers,” Rietema said. “It’s all starting to snowball right now.”