Here's What Went Down With Naja After Shark Tank

Founder and CEO Catalina Girald pitched her lingerie line, Naja, on ABC's "Shark Tank." The entrepreneur, who hails from Colombia, created her line of underwear with women in mind so that they felt empowered and beautiful while wearing her products. Before arriving on "Shark Tank," Girald had been a corporate attorney and had earned an MBA from Stanford University.

Girald's business model was about implementing social change. Naja empowers women through employment, as the brand chiefly employs women, particularly those who are the primary earners for their families. Since production is located in Colombia, Girald is all about hiring and supporting women in that area. With a focus on empowering women, Naja is also all about giving back, with a portion of the proceeds going toward female education, thus giving women a chance to thrive.

Naja certainly isn't the first underwear-themed brand that we've seen on "Shark Tank." The monthly underwear mail subscription BootayBag pitched their business on the entrepreneurial show to great success. However, Naja's products were slightly different, since founder Girald had such a strong vision to create empowerment through her brand, particularly through her Underwear for Hope program. Despite these worthy aspirations, Naja didn't succeed in landing a shark deal. However, the brand has managed to thrive without that added support.

What happened to Naja on Shark Tank?

Catalina Girald pitched Naja to the sharks, asking for $500,000 in exchange for 5% equity in the lingerie line. For any fan of "Shark Tank," this is a big red flag and the primary reason why Girald failed to secure an investor. The sharks tend to steer clear of any pitches where the founder inflates the value of their company. Girald explained to the sharks that the lingerie industry was worth $14 billion, and that because her brand was focused on women for women, she was offering something unique. There's no doubt that Naja is successful. Girald told the sharks that in five months, the brand did $145,000 in sales, so there was a clear market for her product. She also explained that she was able to fundraise $850,000 to get the brand where it is.

Despite these impressive numbers, the sharks didn't bite. Mark Cuban and Robert Herjavec pulled out early on in the pitch. Kevin O'Leary offered her $500,000 in exchange for 50% of Naja; Girald promptly rejected that offer. Lori Greiner felt that Girald was spending too much energy on fundraising and not enough on selling. For those reasons, Greiner pulled out. Daymond John also took umbrage with Girald's valuation of Naja, as it was far too high for where the business actually was. John pulled out too, leaving Girald with no deal.

Naja after Shark Tank

Catalina Girald went on to make Naja thrive, despite the lack of investors from "Shark Tank." However, people were full of comments online after watching her pitch on the ABC show. On Reddit, a group called r/Entrepreneur wanted to talk about Girald's pitch, and two issues came up for viewers. The first was that her valuation of Naja was far too grand, which is what the sharks felt too. Secondly, people theorized that Girald went on "Shark Tank" simply for free advertising rather than for an investor. After claiming that Girald may not have actually received an $850,000 investment in Naja, one person wrote, "Her attitude during her pitch was horrible as well. A part of me doesn't even think she came on the show to get any money, just for advertising."

After her "Shark Tank" pitch, Girald had an interview with The Valley Girl Show that aired on YouTube, and people had a lot to say there too. "Just saw her, she pissed off the shark tank," one person began. "[W]e know she was there to get free [ad] space!" It seems that Girald's big mistake was inflating the value of Naja, and for some fans of "Shark Tank," as well as the sharks themselves, this made the business plan seem less credible.

Naja is still in business

Despite online skepticism and walking away from "Shark Tank" with no deal, CEO Catalina Girald has kept Naja in business. She had another company before embarking on Naja, and this first failed attempt at entrepreneurship was a boon for her because Girald learned a lot from it. While speaking on The Valley Girl Show, Girald talked about what went differently for Naja. "The most important thing was basically hire slowly," Girald said, "and learn every aspect of the business that you can. Because if you can actually execute in every part of the business, you're much better as a CEO. I didn't do that with my first company." That's a valuable lesson to learn.

One major plus for Naja is how eco-conscious the brand is. While speaking with Amazon Pay in 2022, Girald spoke about Naja's commitment to reducing harm to the planet. "We were one of the first companies to use recycled PET and recycled nylon," Girald explained. Naja is different because they make their products using innovative, climate-friendly procedures. "Billions of gallons of water are used each year to dye fabric for the garment industry," Girald went on. "With digital printing, our water waste is next to none." That sounds like a compelling way to run a business.

What's next for Naja and its founder?

Catalina Girald continues to take Naja to the next level. The brand has an active and busy Instagram page with over 40,000 followers. where it continues to post new bras and underwear and promotes frequent sales. Much of the content is also eco-conscious, and that tenet of their business is a big one when it comes to their social media platform. During the pandemic, Naja made masks called Masks 4 Good, with 70% of the proceeds going to the Soi Dog Foundation.

On LinkedIn, Girald shares her many interests and passions. Her bio reads: "2x Founder, Angel Investor, AgriFoodTech Aficionado, and Start-Up Advisor," so she continues to do a lot. She also has several other ventures besides Naja; She's currently an advisor to the CEO of Heist, in addition to currently working as an advisor to Halogen Ventures. She also currently works as a Responsible Leader at BMW Foundation. So it's clear that she's got a wide range of talent that she's putting to good use, and Naja is obviously one of those successful ventures.