Dragons' Den: Contestants pitch 'Christmas Decorations of Colour'
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‘Mumpreuners’ Natalie Duvall and Alison Burton entered the Den at the beginning of April seeking £50,000 for 15 percent of their business March Muses. Their unique business, which sells diverse Christmas decorations, is now the leading brand for decorations of colour in the UK.
The brand is known for their Christmas decorations including black angels and Santa baubles that are handmade, paying close attention to skin tone, hair design, body shape and size.
During Christmas in 2018, Natalie explained to the Dragons’ that her seven-year-old daughter asked her if Christmas fairies can be black.
“That was a question I wasn’t expecting and it actually made me quite sad,” Natalie said.
After that, she went on the hunt with Alison for black Christmas decorations, but couldn’t find any in the UK so they decided to make their own brand.
A year later, the best friends had tuned over an impressive £73,000.
Alison added: “This was such a huge achievement for us, because we are both single mums, and we have full time jobs”.
The pair received an offer Deborah Meaden who was prepared to offer them all the money for a third of their business.
However the huge equity chunk was the under-cut by Peter Jones, who offered all of the money for 30 percent.
But he explained he’d loved for Deborah to match his offer, so they could share the investment at 15 percent each.
Deborah was happy to go into business with Peter, and the March Muses founders were happy to accept.
Speaking to SWLondoner, Natalie said: “We see Deborah as our auntie, auntie Debs! If Touker or Steven or Sara asked something challenging, then Deborah would back us up the whole way so we knew from the start she was someone we wanted.
“We got the best two dragons, we got the OG’s!”
Alison added: “Peter has had to travel a lot as he films in America, but he keeps in touch with us via his financial advisor who we speak to on a daily basis, so even though we don’t see him as much, he is always in the loop.”
The two angel investors have both invested £25,000 each for a minority stake in the business to support its scale-up plans.
This will soon enable March Muses also offering Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, wedding, christening and birthday products.
The founders of March Muses, who have been holding down full time jobs while developing their business venture, said: “We are thankful that Peter and Deborah see our vision and are willing to invest in a company that champions diversity and inclusion.
“We can’t wait to tap into their vast expertise.”
Mr Jones said: “Natalie and Alison blew us away with their business acumen in the den.
“We were impressed with the growth of their business over such a short space of time and their projections were spot on.
“They had identified a gaping hole in the market with clear consumer demand for their offering. The business has huge growth potential in the UK and internationally and the products are simply stunning.”
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