Grandmother won over two fierce investors

Posted by St Albans and Harpenden review on 18/02/2014

An unflappable grandmother won over two fierce investors and took home £40,000 on the TV programme Dragon’s Den last night.

Simeone Salik, 67, who grew up in Oakwood Drive, St Albans, appeared on the seventh series of the programme with her idea of ‘Blindsinabox’.

James Caan and Duncan Bannatyne were both blown away by the simple idea oftemporary blinds for new homes.

The pair handed over £20,000 each for a share of 25 per cent of the business, but both will give back five per cent if the business is successful – and Simeone has no doubt it will be.

She said: “I was more nervous about seeing it on TV than actually going on the programme.

“But I was nervous in front of them, you’d be daft not to be but we knew we had a good product.

“It’s not a piece of luck. They are tough. You think you have covered every question they could ask but they come up with something else.

“It was marvellous to get the money. That’s what you go in for so you feel you’ve succeeded.

“Mainly though we wanted to get help and expertise, you can’t have enough of that in a new business.”

The mother of two and grandmother of eight, who used to run her husband’s optometry business, started playing with the idea of a new venture nearly three years ago when she moved house, after spotting something similar a decade before.

Not ready to retire, Simeone decided to go for it and set up the business at the beginning of the year with partners Dominic Lawrence, 38, and Janice Dalton, 51 in Mill Hill, north London.

Both James and Duncan have offered the three ‘great guidance’ and been ‘really helpful’, on hand to answer any questions.

Simeone added: “It shows that anyone can run a business at any age – as long as you have a good product.

“Even as a grandparent you can still be a force.”

Simeone says she will continue running the business as long as she is enjoying it.