The "Shark Tank effect" is well known--but nothing prepared the three Young siblings for what they'd encounter after appearing on the show last fall. 

In October of last year, the Youngs--Kaley, Christian, and Kiera, who were then 24, 20, and 14, respectively--pitched the celebrity investors of Shark Tank the Cup Board Pro, a cutting board with a side attachment that collects trimmings. They got a rare joint deal with all five Sharks present: Mark Cuban, Lori Greiner, Daymond John, Kevin O'Leary, and guest Shark Matt Higgins, the co-founder of investment firm RSE Ventures. The Sharks split an investment of $100,000 for 20 percent of the business. Within minutes of the show's airing, the Youngs sold all of the 2,000 Cup Board Pros they had in inventory. And their success continued.

In the siblings' second appearance on the show, which aired as an update on this past Sunday, the Youngs announced a licensing agreement with Williams Sonoma. The San Francisco-based cookware company also re-engineered the product, making it thinner than the original. It plans to distribute the Cup Board Pro, which costs $59.99, through its retail locations and website.

"We've never had a deal like this on Shark Tank before," O'Leary said in the episode update. "The power behind this is the fact that everybody wants to give back."

While the Cup Board Pro is a handy product, it was the Youngs' story that moved the Sharks and viewers. Their father, Keith Young, who worked as a firefighter on Long Island, invented the product years earlier after working as a cook in his local firehouse and winning three Food Network competitions. Personal tragedies interrupted his plans before the business could really get off the ground.

He first paused operations when his wife Elizabeth was diagnosed with breast cancer. She ran a pilates studio in Wantagh, New York, which Kaley took over while her mother underwent treatment. Elizabeth died in 2012. Then, Keith was diagnosed with synovial sarcoma, a rare form of cancer he developed after being a first responder during September 11. He was able to order a batch of units before he died in March 2018. Kaley, Christian, and Kiera took over the business and fulfilled their father's dream of appearing on Shark Tank.

"It's so hard just to imagine what it's like to lose both parents and then basically be left to take care of yourselves," Higgins said in the Shark Tank update. "The way it's working out, they will never have to work for anybody else again and that was what their dad's dream was."

After their episode aired, thousands of people emailed the Youngs hoping to buy their product and donate to an organization that helps firefighters, like their father. The Youngs set up a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for the FDNY Foundation's Fired Up for a Cure, a charity dedicated to helping firefighters with cancer, originally aiming to raise $25,000. They raised more than $41,000 and presented it to the FDNY in January, with the Sharks by their side.

"The three of us have come together and we're stronger than ever because of this experience," Kaley said during the update. "We're super grateful to be able to continue our dad's dream and just share our story with more people all over the world."

Published on: May 7, 2019