Gayla Bentley was a fashion designer of high-end clothing for women sizes 12 through 28. Gayla calls them the “modern women,” because 60% of women in the US fit into that category. Gayla said they are all tired of being ignored by fashion designers or needing to shop in the far reaches of department stores. She had four beautifully clothed models with her to demonstrate her brand.
She had been selling her fashions wholesale on the Neiman Marcus website and grossed $500,000 a year for the previous six years. She wanted an investment so she could open her own flagship store, expand her market internationally, and campaign to have larger sizes in the same area of a store as the smaller ones. She had a home shopping network pursuing her at that time, but wanted to wait for a shark’s guidance.
Barbara and Daymond invested $250,000 for half of Gayla’s business. It is one of the worst deals Daymond ever made. He and Barbara never saw Gayla again after making the deal. Does that mean Gayla took the money and ran? We’re not sure. A few years Shark Tank, Gayla and her husband appeared on MSNBC’s Your Business and didn’t mention Shark Tank. That says something. We are unlikely to ever know exactly what happened.
Today, Gayla has a website promoting herself as a “style guru, fashion designer, television personality, motivational speaker and visionary.” On the site is a list of adversities she has encountered; at the top of the list is being bitten by a shark on ABC’s Shark Tank.