Meet the Air Force vet and ex-NFL cheerleader whose Shark Tank brand is also Pentagon-approved

Abu Mubarik April 05, 2024
Haley McClain Hill on the set of “Shark Tank.” Photo credit: Christopher Willard/ABC

Former U.S. Air Force lieutenant Haley McClain Hill is the founder of Torch Warrior Wear, a military apparel brand. The veteran left the Air Force in 2021 after serving for nine years.

While in active service, she wanted to create better-fitting undergarments for women that also met U.S. military standards, according to the Olean Times Herald. She would go on to create one-piece bodysuits to replace the “baggy” and “uncomfortable” T-shirts that personnel wear as part of a battle dress, the outlet added.

She received approval from the Pentagon to start her Torch Warrior Wear line and create the undergarments. She started manufacturing in Los Angeles and completed orders from her home. Also, she hosted pop-up sales events, attended military conferences, and had several meetings at various military installations showcasing Torch Wear.

Recently, she said she was exploring ways to advertise her bodysuit undergarments to women who work as police officers, firefighters, and EMTs.

Hill said her grandmother, Sheila Kehoe, an Air Force veteran herself, was inspirational to her when she was growing up. According to her, it was her grandmother who influenced her to pursue an ROTC scholarship at Penn State. While a commissioned Air Force officer in Atlanta, she made the Atlanta Falcons cheerleading squad.

In February, Hill appeared on Shark Tank, seeking $150,000 in capital for a 10% stake in her company. While most of the Sharks raised some concerns about how she could meet orders as a small business, Lori Greiner was all in.

However, Greiner wanted 25% of the company. While Hill negotiated for 20%, the two were able to reach a deal of $150,000 for 22.5%. 

“It was an incredible experience representing the women in the military and honouring their service,” McClain Hill said to the Times Herald. “I am extremely thankful for the support I received from my family and friends in Olean and will be forever grateful for the experience of being on ‘Shark Tank.’”

Certainly, the empowerment of “women warriors” is important to the company.

“Our products are more than just apparel; they are a blend of technical advancement and style, crafted for comfort and durability,” the company’s website writes. “Designed by a warrior for warriors, our range redefines the essence of a modern-day warrior, echoing our belief in the strength and capability of women in the military.” 

It continues, “TORCH’s philosophy is that what you wear significantly impacts how you feel and perform. Our designs are not just about aesthetics; they address the real challenges faced by women warriors every day. By wearing TORCH, we aim to elevate performance in even the smallest ways, making a profound difference in the lives of our customers.”

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: April 5, 2024


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