Here's What Went Down With Bala Bangles After Shark Tank

Back in 2017, husband and wife team Max Kislevitz and Natalie Holloway came up with Bala Bangles, a collection of weighted wrist and ankle bracelets that looked like fashion accessories, but were workout tools designed to help people get fitter. "My husband and I came up with the idea while on a sabbatical in Asia. We thought there was an opportunity to challenge ourselves during a yoga class and thought added weight was just the thing," Holloway explained to Art of Being Female. "It then dawned on us that the old-school wrist and ankle weights had not been redesigned since the '80s. We sketched out the idea right then and there."

That sketch then turned into a fully-fledged business. The couple put $10,000 of their savings into the company, as well as raising a further $40,000 from a Kickstarter campaign to get the idea off the ground. But having that cash behind them still didn't exactly make things easy. Holloway admitted neither she nor Kislevitz knew how to create a business and had to turn to a family friend to find themselves a manufacturer for their idea. "We had to just keep moving and be very resourceful along the way trying to figure out the next steps in launching our own business," she recalled. One big part of being resourceful for this couple? Taking a chance on "Shark Tank."

The Sharks were falling over themselves to invest in Bala Bangles

Max Kislevitz and Natalie Holloway took Bala Bangles in front of Mark Cuban, Kevin O'Leary, Lori Greiner, Daymond John, and guest Shark Maria Sharapova on "Shark Tank," with their season 11 episode airing in 2020. The two told the entrepreneurs that they were looking for $400,000 in exchange for 10% of the company — and they impressed the panel when they revealed they'd already brought in around $2.5 million in lifetime sales.

With numbers like that, it's no surprise the Sharks were jumping on board. O'Leary made an offer of the full amount for 7.5% of the company plus 5% in equity. Sharapova explained she too wanted to be a part of the company, but only if another Shark went in with her. She offered the duo half of what they were asking for, but she wanted 30% in return. Greiner and John then got in on putting her money where their mouths were, both speaking over one another to tell the couple they would go in with the tennis superstar. But they weren't the only ones who wanted a piece of Bala. Cuban and Sharapova had a quiet conversation, with the two deciding to go in together. With that, Greiner made her own offer: $500,000 in exchange for 18% of the company. That's when Cuban explained he and Sharapova would like to offer Keslevitz and Holloway $900,000 for 30% of the company — which the couple accepted.

Bala's appearance on Shark Tank came just at the right time

When it comes to Bala, timing really was everything. Mere weeks after Max Kislevitz and Natalie Holloway got their "Shark Tank" investment, gyms across the world shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic — and sales of their wear anywhere equipment boomed even more than they would have just from "Shark Tank" exposure. Kislevitz told Forbes that Bala could barely keep weighted bracelets in stock that summer, and the end of 2020 saw the company rack up a whopping $20 million in revenue. That meant the company grew to 10 times the size it was before the "Shark Tank" episode aired. That figure only grew further, as the couple aimed to bring in $40 million the following year. "Everyone's sheltering in place, and the first things they wanted to buy were toilet paper and workout equipment. All of a sudden we had this insane demand," Holloway told Shop, revealing the Bala Bangles team worked extra hard to fulfill all their orders.

Sharapova, Cuban, Holloway, and Kislevitz all spoke about Bala Bangles' success in a "Shark Tank" update segment in 2022. Holloway revealed that, in the seven and a half months since the episode aired, they'd done $7.5 million in sales, and Sharapova and Cuban were seriously involved in their investment. The athlete influenced packaging, while Cuban helped to create new products. All that help got the company into the likes of Saks Fifth Avenue, Dick's Sporting Goods, and Target.

Bala is still in business and seeking crazy success and expansion

It's probably no surprise to hear after some crazy success that Bala has had that, as of November 2023, it's still in business. The company dropped Bangles from its name following its foray into "Shark Tank," with the move representing how many new and different products the company had started to sell, and its product line has only continued to grow. In addition to the ankle and wrist weights Max Kislevitz and Natalie Holloway took into the Tank with them, the company now offers the likes of The Power Ring, the Bala Beam, and Bala Bars, all workout equipment designed to get people fitter.

The company has also grown beyond selling only workout equipment. Bala has expanded into Balacize, a platform that offers free online exercise classes. Many of the company's classes are posted to its social media pages, including its Instagram accounts. But that's not all. There's also been expansion from the brand into various types of workout clothing. In 2020, the company designed a line of workout garments, including bodysuits. As if all that wasn't enough, the company also launched a store in New York City. 

Bala looks poised to keep bringing new workout equipment to the market

It seems like the world really is Bala's oyster. And we can't see the company slowing down anytime soon. With so many new, innovative products hitting the market since the brand's appearance on "Shark Tank" in 2020, it seems only inevitable that Bala will keep on bringing new workout equipment to the market for years to come. Bala has grown so big that Kislevitz gave up his position as Head of Brand at Tool of North America in 2020 to work on the brand full-time, according to his LinkedIn page. While Holloway also seemingly still works full-time at the company, her LinkedIn page confirmed that she began using her skills as a businesswoman to become an advisor at League of Originals in July 2023. Maria Sharapova has also continued to work hard for her investment, appearing in various promo materials for the company.

But it sounds like continued growth with Bala is what Holloway had planned all along. "We have a lot of fun ideas for the future. We've barely scratched the surface!" she admitted to Shop in 2020 when asked what the world can expect to see from Bala next. And it's not just Holloway who sees the future being bright for Bala. Speaking during the company's "Shark Tank" update segment, Maria Sharapova told Holloway and Kislevitz, "The future has a lot of great potential for you guys." And it certainly looks like she's right.