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Gayla Bentley Net Worth | Biography

Gayla Bentley Net Worth – $1 million

What is Gayla Bentley’s net worth?


Gayla Bentley is a plus-size fashion designer who started her business in 2001.

She saw that the modern fashion industry was underserving plus-sized women, and she sought to change that.

Gayla devotes her life to creating accessible, size-inclusive clothes for women who are sizes 12 to 28. 

The Origin Story

Gayla Bentley is the founder of the Gayla Bentley Fashion Design Group.

In her Sizzle reel, she states that she is “trying to help people not be so judgmental” when it comes to plus-sized fashion.

She is “helping women rediscover their beauty within themselves. It’s not about age, it’s about style.”

Bentley capitalized on the discrimination she and many other plus-sized women have experienced when looking for stylish clothing.

Before Bentley started her business, she was the director of the 5th Avenue Club in New York City.

Gayla Bentley Net Worth  Biography

Designer Gayla Bentley poses with samples of her new line of designs Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2005, in her Houston studio – @Getty

When making a delivery one day, she suffered a bad accident that resulted in a broken neck.

She used her injury downtime to draft up a plan for what she wanted to do with her life and claims that her injury “ended up being the best thing that ever happened to [her].”

When Bentley started her business around the turn of the century, plus-sized clothing was located in hard-to-reach areas of department stores.

It was easier for thinner women to find fashionable clothing, and she was tired of designers omitting womens’ body types from their designs.

By 2009, the Gayla Bentley Fashion Design Group had been making over $500,000 per year. 

Rise to Popularity

gayla bentley clothing net worth

Gayla Bentley poses in her studio Friday, Sept. 24, 2004, in Houston – @Getty

Bentley took her business, The Gayla Bentley Fashion Design group, to Shark Tank.

She appeared on October 13, 2009, in Season 1, Episode 9 to pitch her clothing line to sharks Kevin Harrington, Daymond John, Kevin O’Leary, Barbara Corcoran, and Rober Herjavec, seeking an investment of $250,000 for a 20% stake in her company.

She intended to use that investment to open a Gayla Bentley flagship store in Houston, Texas.

Throughout her pitch, she constantly elicited laughter from the sharks because of her wit and quick thinking. 

The Sharks were impressed yet skeptical – O’Leary made many remarks which indicated that he was blissfully unaware of the state of plus-sized fashion, believing that plus-sized women didn’t care as much about fashion as thinner women.

Bentley expressed that she believes “that there always has to be one pioneer” and that “you couldn’t get a more loyal, hardworking group of people than we are.” 

Prior to pitching the Sharks, Bentley was selling her clothes to Neiman Marcus’s online store and needed the investment to expand.

In the end, Daymond John decided to buy into the Gayla Bentley Fashion Design Group with help from Barbara Corcoran at full ask due to his experience in fashion.

gayla bentley disappeared


Bentley’s brand is considered a Shark Tank failure.

Despite a promising outlook, John has expressed that Gayla ghosted him, and he had no idea what became of his $250,000.

According to Bentley’s Facebook page, she and John allegedly reunited in 2016, but the outcome of the meeting is unknown. 

Between 2009 and 2016, Bentley’s website was listed as “under construction,” and her social channels were silent.

At that time, her clothes could still be found online at Neiman Marcus, but her own online shop did not go live again until 2016.

In 2017, Bentley’s Houston home was flooded after Hurricane Harvey.

She lost most of her possessions and no longer sells clothes.

According to her personal website, she is “working with corporations and fortune 500 companies to educate their personnel on personal and professional style,” “developing television series,” and “working with Hurricane Harvey victims to style their renovated homes.”

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Short Bio

Gayla Bentley was born in June 1957.

She attended the University of Rhode Island and graduated with a degree in Theatre and Speech Communications in 1980.

From 1983 – 1993 she was the director of the Fifth Avenue Club at Saks Fifth Avenue.

From 1994 – 2004, she worked at her first company, Gayla Affairs Co-Tours.

She founded The Gayla Bentley Fashion Design Group in 2001. 

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Gayla Bentley married petroleum engineer Russell Bentley in 1988.

The couple met in Houston, and have a dog named Skipper.

They have no known children. 

Gayla Bentley – Net Worth

So, how much is Gayla Bentley worth?  Before Gayla Bentley appeared on Shark Tank, her business was bringing in over $500,000 per year. As a Style Consultant, Bentley likely earns a salary of $70,000. Therefore, Gayla Bentley has an estimated net worth of $1 million. 

Bentley’s husband earns up to $200,000 as a petroleum engineer.

The average price of a home in Houston, Texas is around $350,000, but assuming Bentley and her husband have a more expensive taste, their home is worth $600,000 to $700,000.

Gayla Bentley has also had many paid appearances on television talk shows and interviews.

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