Fitness doesn’t always have to be old-fashioned dumbbells and barbells. Natalie Holloway and Max Kislevitz realized this, so they created stylish wrist and ankle weights. They named their business Bala Bangles and pitched it to Shark Tank. After receiving a deal from two Sharks, Bala Bangles is worth $10 million as of 2023.
Meet the Founders
Natalie Holloway and Maximilian Kislevitz are a married couple from Los Angeles, California. Both of them used to work for the marketing agency 72andSunny and spent over ten years in the advertising industry.
The couple have worked with major brands like Starbucks and Google. This was a substantial income source for them, but it also caused a lot of burnout.
Because of this, they decided to leave 72andSunny to take a gap year. They went on a long trip all across Southeast Asia. During this time, the two spent a lot of time achieving fitness goals with daily yoga lessons.
Founding Bala Bangles
As they enjoyed the perks of a regular workout routine on their vacation, Natalie and Max remembered how hard it was to insert a fitness plan into their busy job schedules back home. So, they talked about ways to make exercising easier for busy people.
The discussion eventually led to the famous wrist and ankle weights in the 1980s. It sparked the idea to reinvent these tools with a more contemporary look. In 2017, they came up with the weight-adjustable Bala Bangles.
To launch the company, they used $10,000 of their own money and raised $40,000 from a Kickstarter campaign. By 2019, the company had already made $2 million in sales, but they didn’t want to stop there.
Appearing on Shark Tank
In 2020, Natalie Holloway and Max Kislevitz went to Shark Tank, asking for $400,000 in exchange for 10% of their company. Their pitch impressed all of the show’s cast members.
Maria Sharapova, a retired professional tennis player, was a guest investor in that episode. Being a fitness enthusiast herself, the light and trendy workout equipment immediately piqued Maria’s interest.
The other Sharks were caught off guard by the startup’s remarkable profit margins and lifetime sales. Ultimately, Mark Cuban and Sharapova combined forces to invest $900,000 for 30% equity.
Update After Shark Tank
Their Shark Tank appearance helped them reach sales of $3 million from various pickup stores and fashion websites. They were initially sought out for the unique design, but the numbers got bigger when the pandemic hit.
A month after their episode aired, fitness studios and gyms across the United States were closed for safety protocols. This created the home gym craze, which Bala Bangles greatly benefited from. When 2020 ended, the company was worth ten times its initial value.
Its revenue went up to $20 million as the Bangles were made available in over 500 retail stores in the US. Now, they are planning to introduce ten new products on the market. With this, the $10 million company value is only expected to grow in the coming years.