Did you see us on the Dragons Den? Here is our story...
We were contacted by a BBC researcher for the Dragons den in March 2022, an email saying they loved our products and story of how GRIP + GLOW came to be and had we considered being on the Dragons Den?
My answer was NO, no way would I ever of thought of going on TV or into the den so I initially dismissed it, we then got a follow up email and I guess the seed had already been planted, so this time we scheduled a call and I we had a discussion about the interview process, so I said ok, I will do the interview it’s not likely that I will get through that stage so why not right?!
Well, I got through that stage...
Next, we had a zoom interview (passed) then a pre-recorded pitch interview showing the products and how they work (passed), then I sent a selection of products to the director for them to check (also passed) so next we had a recorded questions and answers zoom for all producers to see.... but I guess it was all ok as I passed that too.
So, by now we had had a few weeks of interviews and videos, and it was time to provide all our relevant documentation etc and this is in depth, and I MEAN I DEPTH! I was digging out every certification I had ever done or studied, my pole studio company info, my husband’s business even non pole related info digging back over 18+ years.
The list was extensive but we provided everything that was required to be checked and approved by production.
Now we had a date for filming it was the beginning of may and we would be filming in just 2 weeks!!
OMG I couldn't believe I had got to here!
Especially as a wasn't even sure I wanted a dragon or to be on the TV, I've worked for myself for 16 years, how would I really feel about that?
What would getting a Dragon mean for me and my family? After all this was and always will be a family business, I wasn't sure but at this point it was all what ifs.
I was also really worried that the speed everything was going and my brain not fully processing all the information or retaining it, having Dyslexia means I have to process things differently and re-looking at things from almost 20years ago adding to the processing phase was super confusing and making me fill in the gaps with the wrong stuff.
It’s really fun being dyslexic right!!!
I did discuss this with my researcher and she assured me that 'the Dragons are human' and they will understand if something is missed or forgotten. I guess that’s not actually true as proven on the day but it reassured me enough and I agreed to go ahead with the filming.
So, we travelled to Manchester the evening before with 300 products in tow.... "it’s always better to have to many and not need it" well slightly excessive but that was required.
We got to Manchester at about 9pm and we had to be at the studio at 7am the next day so an early start with Liam, Dan and Kheanna to the studio.
I was very surreal... being led through black curtaining everywhere with a walking track around the back stage area and then we saw it.... THE DEN, all the chairs lined up, already lit up and ready for filming, I of course had a sneaky sit in Deborah Meaden's chair and Liam checked out the stack of money (you know just in case).
We got there and they had started to build the xstages (thankfully provided by Xpole) and we had to set the products up etc so straight to work organising and building, checking and rechecking.
We literally spent hours checking everything over, thankfully giving Dan and Kheanna a chance to practice and then we spent what seemed like forever practising pushing the button for the lift over and over again waiting for the producer to say he was happy.
I was then whisked to hair and makeup, sadly I was given no time to look over my notes or business plan (that I had only been able to finalise 2 days before) and I got my first sip of a coffee that whole day... although it’s not really easy to drink when a MUA is touching up your lipstick.
Then whisked to pre interview filming, and then that was it.... were ready to film, I felt so unprepared and somewhat already drained by the standing around for almost 4 hours already under hot studio lighting and having to perform by pushing the button for the producer, awaiting for the dragons to be ready and producer to give the green light.
As I walked into the Den, I didn’t allow myself time to think, just do it, the nerves were bad but I did feel prepared to a degree, I had provided and answered everything that was required by production.... I guess it’s good TV for things to be a surprise on the day.
The Dragons were interesting.... purely my opinion here but I warmed to Sara Davis the most as she seemed the most normal to me and seemed generally interested (although sadly this was all cut out in the final edit).
Deborah Meaden was also nice, she loved our story and that really felt genuine.
Stephen Bartlett liked the attention to detail we had gone too and was positive about what we had achieved already.
Peter Jones is all about the figures, so I guess I felt like I got the toughest time from him but that’s his role right.
Touker Suleyman I don't think really got it it’s not his thing and that’s fine.
All of them gave so many positive comments and tips at the end that you didn't get to see which is a shame.
I was with the dragons for 1.5hrs in total and after exit interviews it was a 6-hour process, drained, tired and feeling like I had just gone 5 rounds in a ring I was ready to get out of there and back home!
Overall was it worth it?
I didn't get a dragon so but I’m not missing anything, you can’t miss what you never had, so rather than seeing that as a negative I think just being on the show was a positive, I think it was a kick to drive the business forward.
I have to remember that not everyone gets that’s far, not everyone is invited to be a part of the process, I got some great feedback from some of the worlds most recognised entrepreneurs and that’s great.
My only negative in regards to the show in my opinion, is that years ago The Dragons Den was a chance for people like me to present themselves, not just a fully functioning business that can instantly make The Dragons money, what happened to the part where if someone didn't have the answers but had built something from nothing were worth investing? I watched the Levi Roots pitch many years ago... he didn't have any figures or answers.... I wonder when that changed?
The TROLLS, so I don't look at twitter so I haven't subjected myself to look at how badly people feel I did, and I don't really care to be honest but i know its out there....
The only one that stuck with me that someone messaged my friend while it was airing and said that I didn't know my figures why was I not prepared and they would have done it differently... well you know what, I was prepared, all my other figures were cut, I did everything that was required of me, there is a list!
There is always a narrative somewhere and I guess that was mine, it wouldn't make good TV otherwise...
Those that sit at home and critique how someone has done has no idea the hoops that person has jumped through to get there, or what the editor has decided to air. If you think you can do better, why don’t you invent something in the first place? Not everyone can do that, so don't judge, be kind.
The POSITIVE PUBLIC, I was inundated with lovely emails from lots of different sports and industries with positive words an interest, thank you to those people.
I’m really looking forward to 2023 and seeing where this year takes us!
If your reading this I’m sure you watched it, if you didn't and are now intrigued here is a link...
WATCH HERE - https://youtu.be/oFUr1xLBQYE