Our founder Lulu O'Connor recently appeared on BBC Two's Dragons Den to showcase our range of services and eco products. Keep reading to learn all about her experience on the show and what we've been up to since then.
"Our goal is to change mindsets and time horizons, and help drive the movement towards fashion pollution and waste. We're so happy that you visited our website and want to know more about the way we are contributing to a more sustainable lifestyle. We really hope you make the most of your wardrobe, so please enjoy my special gift of 10% off our Clothing Care Products (use code DRAGONSDEN at checkout).
Lulu, founder of Clothes Doctor
Dragons' Den contacted me in January 2019 to invite me to present on the show. With a promise of reaching an audience far larger than we could afford to speak to with our existing marketing, it seemed too good an opportunity to miss. We had no plans to raise money at that stage, having just completed a successful crowdfunding campaign, but that's not the aim for most entrepreneurs who go on the show.
Not being a Dragons' Den watcher myself, I spoke to a few people who had been on the show, who all said the same thing: no one knew anyone who had received investment from the Dragons - they very rarely invest themselves, apparently less than 3% of the time, but everyone I spoke to had found it helpful exposure for their business. In fact, the most successful businesses subsequently, were the ones who went on the show but didn't receive investment. I thought this was a good sign.
The day's filming in Manchester was fascinating and tiring. We started the day around 4am, and we sat in a room with no windows and without much in the way of food either! I eventually went on at 7pm, by which time I was completely exhausted.
The filming was very different to what I had expected. The Dragons stuck to a script and had clearly been prepped with our (now out of date) application form. We had had some exciting new developments, including new contracts won, but they didn't want to hear about these, and kept going back to some very old information from 3 years earlier. Despite the clear preparation, Peter Jones also made some errors with his accounting calculations, which raised a laugh at the time, but sadly didn't make the final cut.
It was a really fantastic and eye-opening experience - I think now that I have got through that I can probably handle pretty much anything! The evening the show aired was the day after my wedding, so I was just setting off on honeymoon and didn't watch it. But we had 30,000 visitors to our site and were inundated with enquiries from all directions, which was an amazing result and has definitely helped our business.
That said, entrepreneurship is a wonderful but incredibly challenging vocation, and I believe that entrepreneurs all over the UK deserve our support and encouragement, especially through this latest crisis. The US entertainment show Shark Tank takes a more compassionate approach towards supporting and celebrating the challenges that entrepreneurs face, whilst still being fantastic, multi award-winning entertainment. I think Dragons' Den could learn something from this, and contribute to a more supportive ecosystem for our country's startups."
Lulu, Founder of Clothes Doctor
If you have any questions about our appearance on Dragons Den, or would like to find out more about opportunities to work with us, you can contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org