Posted by Daily Mail on 18/02/2014
Three entrepreneurs who appeared on Dragons’ Den have scooped a deal worth tens of thousands of pounds with Argos after the show’s experts backed their business.
Simeone Salik, Janice Dalton and Dominic Lawrence reluctantly appeared on the BBC2 programme to attract investment in their design for temporary paper window blinds.
Their pitch proved so successful that two of the show’s business tycoons, James Caan and Duncan Bannatyne, bought half the company, Blindsinabox, by investing £40,000.
Caan said: ‘The market focuses on value for money and Blindsinabox is a simple, straightforward solution that is cost effective.’
Mrs Salik, 67, a former PR executive from Mill Hill, came up with the idea when she and Mrs Dalton, her designer at the time, were decorating and needed to cover the windows while they waited for her curtains to arrive.
They created the temporary blinds and spent a year developing the design, which involves peeling off adhesive strips to hang the blinds, according to London’s Evening Standard.
Mrs Dalton, 52, also from Mill Hill, said: ‘Our unique selling point was the fact that it’s a simple product. All you have to do is peel off the strips from each side and stick it on to your window sills, securing it with pegs that we provide.’
Good move: The trio were reluctant to appear on the show but decided it would be good for advertising their product
The duo needed a manufacturer so a mutual friend introduced them to Mr Lawrence, 38, an importer from Finchley, and he joined the company.
The BBC approached them to appear on Dragons’ Den, which sees entrepreneurs pitching for financial backing. Mr Lawrence admitted they were not that interested in going on the show but thought it would be good advertisement for the product.
He said: ‘It was extremely nerve-racking because the panel was very clever to pick on weak points but we held on and ended up leaving with two investors.
‘We appeared for the money but also to see what expertise potential investors can give us. So when we got investments from James and Duncan – they advised us to approach household retailers and when we did things really started to accelerate for us.’
Snapped up: Dragons James Caan, left, and Duncan Bannatyne, second left, bought half of the business for £40,000
Their appearance in the Den triggered a strong rise in orders and the trio have sealed a deal with Argos, which will stock tens of thousands of blinds in more than 800 of their stores.
The team said they were the first independent curtains and blinds business Argos has taken on. The blinds cost £45 for a box of six, including postage.