Saavy Naturals: What Happened To The Brand After Shark Tank?

The consumer demand for safe and natural personal care products steadily rises and, thankfully, there is no shortage of companies dedicated to the use of organic, responsibly sourced ingredients. California-based company Saavy Naturals takes it to the next level with its line of food-grade soaps and lotions. The company's founders, Hugo and Debra Saavedra, shared a passion for using pure, plant-based ingredients and collaborated to create Saavy Naturals in 2014. The pair's efforts toward clean bath and body products paid off after selling their soaps at local farmers' markets where they were rewarded with an overwhelmingly positive response. They then decided to sell their products online through their website, Amazon, and at select Whole Foods locations.


The couple introduced Saavy Naturals to top investors a year later in November of 2015 during Season 7 of "Shark Tank." They managed to nab the Sharks' attention and walked away satisfied. However, it has been a rocky road since the initial deal.

Success for the Saavedras on Shark Tank

The founders' entrepreneurial journey began earlier than the development of Saavy Naturals when Hugo and Debra Saavedra worked in the food business as personal chefs and restaurateurs. They had previously founded a soap company valued at $10 million. However, they no longer controlled their original company as they gave away too much equity. Despite the negative outcome of their previous business, the founders were adamant about learning from their mistakes. So, when they walked into the Sharks' den in 2015, they asked for $200,000 for just 10% equity. They managed to intrigue the Sharks by coaxing them to actually take a bite of their soap, which contains edible flowers and herbs, and, at the time, all ingredients were individually hand-picked by the pair themselves. All Saavy Naturals products are free from gluten, soy, and palm ingredients and, according to Shark Barbara Corcoran, taste of perfume and sugar (via The Gazette Review).


The Saavedras had invested $350,000 into their company and reported $750,000 in sales the previous year. They valued their company at a whopping $2 million, to Kevin O'Leary's complete disbelief. O'Leary insisted their valuation reached no further than $400,000, so he passed on the deal. Mark Cuban backed out as he owned Simple Sugars, a competing company. Robert Herjavec initially offered $200,000 for 45% equity, but he lost out to Corcoran, who offered $100,000 for 40% equity and another $100,000 for future purchase orders.

Plans for expansion after Shark Tank

Saavy Naturals did not manage to close a deal with Barbara Corcoran, but the company turned a profit after the episode aired on television, which created positive media exposure that brought attention to the brand. After "Shark Tank," Hugo and Debra Saavedra opened a new retail store in Pacific City, California (via Shark Tank Recap). In 2017, the couple also transitioned into positions of leadership at Trimax Corporation, another California-based company, with Hugo acting as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Debra as Chief Operating Officer (COO), per Yahoo! Finance. This wrought further change for Saavy Naturals, which became a subsidiary of Trimarx Corp.


In the same year, Savvy Naturals also benefited from a massive uptick in online sales and the release of a new Bay Rum & Hemp product line. The founders decided to capitalize on the rapidly growing hemp and CBD oil industry by expanding their product offerings to include bath products using organic hemp oil as the star ingredient. The success didn't stop there as only a year later the company released a line of natural baby products called Baby Naturals, according to Perfumer & Florist.

The Tilray controversy

All was well for the founders of Saavy Naturals until the couple decided to sell their business to Canadian cannabis company Tilray Inc., a subsidiary of Privateer Holdings, per Business Insider. The deal went awry, and in 2019 Trimax filed an official lawsuit against Tilray for a total of $300 million over an alleged attempt to bankrupt Saavy Naturals. Hugo Saavedra's decision went against the advice of creditors and shareholders, namely Joseph Vasquez III, who sued Privateer Holdings on behalf of the shareholders, per The Cannabis Investor. According to Trimax, Privateer Holdings planned to take over the rights for Saavy Naturals via a loan agreement that would help them avoid compensating the shareholders and acquire the company at a lower cost. Hugo took out a loan with Privateer, subsequently signing away all rights to the company. Thankfully, the court stopped the company's transfer due to the lawsuit, so Trimax still owned Saavy Naturals.


The original retail store in Pacific City closed back in 2016 but you can still purchase all Saavy Naturals products via the website, Amazon, and Walmart. Since Hugo and Debra Saavedra regained control over their business, they have adjusted the advertising strategy by increasing their social media presence to repair their reputation. The company announced a rebranding in 2021 and shared a new packaging design, which features a bold, modern look and is certainly a step up from the original packaging.

What's next for Saavy Naturals?

Following the trial, the court ruled in favor of Tilray and Privateer Holdings in 2021, while Hugo and Debra Saavedra were ordered to pay a total of $93,392 in costs to plaintiffs Trimax and Joseph Velasquez III, per CourtListener


In the same year, agricultural biotechnology company Arcadia Biosciences acquired Saavy Naturals, only to divest in the soap company not long after (via Food Business News). 

The future looks uncertain for Saavy Naturals and their original founders, Hugo and Debra Saavedra. According to Biz News, there are conflicting reports about the true revenue of the company, but one source estimates its net worth to be approximately $1.2 million (as of 2022), with a steady stream of profit originating from both the website and retail. The Saavedras continue to post videos on the Saavy Naturals Instagram, but there is no saying what will happen to Saavy Naturals going forward.