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Surviving the 'Shark Tank' in style

Red Cafe Jacket by GoGo Gear
Source: GoGo Gear
Red Cafe Jacket by GoGo Gear

Arlene Battishill and Desiree Estrada appeared on "Shark Tank" in 2012 with their innovative fashion line GoGo Gear. During their pitch, Battishill explained to the sharks that the idea for their business, a line providing women both protective and stylish motorcycle gear, came after they both lost their corporate jobs.

Inside the tank, the duo experienced a little pushback from the sharks. Mark Cuban called them "cockroaches" when they offered 38 percent equity for their business, while Robert Herjavec said that they were "scatterbrained." Yet, Daymond John saw hope in the business and made a deal with the pair giving them $300,000 for 65 percent.

What happened during their episode that didn't make it to television? And where is the company now? CNBC caught up with Battishill to find out.

How do you think you performed during your pitch?

It's hard to say because you're under so much pressure during the taping and they're firing things at you throughout, even things that have nothing to do with you, your product or doing any kind of deal, because they're trying to see how well you do under pressure. If the audience had seen the entire taping, they probably would have had a very different reaction.

What was it like to be called "cockroaches" by Mark Cuban?

No one got the benefit of our reaction because they cut it out. We both looked right at him and said, "Whoa!" We looked at each other and then just stared at Mark and didn't say anything for a brief period after that because it was so out of line and unprofessional, and finally one of the other sharks chimed in and changed the subject.

How did people react when they saw your episode of "Shark Tank"?

It was a real mixture...social media was buzzing with people cheering us on, other people saying we were stupid, others saying Daymond was out of his mind for doing the deal, it ran the gamut. And of course, like everyone who appears on "Shark Tank," we got hundreds of phone calls and emails from just about every possible person that might call, offers, crank calls, people wanting to sell us stuff, people wanting us to tell them how to get on "Shark Tank," it was four days of nonstop phone calls after the first airing of our episode. It got so bad, we just stopped answering the phone because we couldn't get any work done!

What has been the financial impact on your company since appearing on "Shark Tank"?

The loss of 50 percent of the retailers in 2010-11 had a huge negative impact on our company and even after doing the deal with Daymond, we mutually decided to sit and ride out the "storm" in our industry, hold off producing more product and just sell through all of our remaining inventory, that way we'd be cash rich at the point the economy shifted, which it now has so we are in production again with new products.

How has your brand changed since you first launched?

We originally started just offering products for women, having no idea that the men had a tremendous appetite for what we made so since we first launched, we introduced products for men. We introduced a product called an Armored Kevlar Hoodie and we have a great new protective jacket coming out for men in the next couple of months and we're introducing a product called Kevlar Leggings for women and a Kevlar base layer for men. The market has FINALLY improved where we're feeling very bullish about the future.

More bite is coming to Tuesday nights on CNBC. Get ready for Shark Tank Tuesdays, 8 & 9 p.m. ET.

Meet the Sharks

  • Mark is the highly successful entrepreneur and investor who founded HDNet, Broadcast.com and MicroSolutions.

  • Barbara Corcoran parlayed a $1,000 loan into a five-billion-dollar real estate business.

  • Lori Greiner started with one idea and turned it into a multi-million dollar international brand.