Dragons’ Den is finally back. After an eight-month hiatus, the most fearsome business show on telly has returned to our screens for its 20th series.
Since 2005, hundreds of startups have walked through the doors of the den. Several of them have become household names, including Levi Roots, Pasta Evangelists and Trunki. So high is the bar, craft beer giant BrewDog even failed to get on the show when the company applied in 2009.
While the dragons often rotate out of the show, series to series, last year’s cast of investors are back for 2023, including social media mogul Steven Bartlett, who, in 2022, became the youngest dragon to ever appear on the long-running programme.
In tonight’s episode, we saw everything from a pill case startup, a skincare brand for men of colour and a rollerblading suitcase to a wellness healing brand and, who could forget, a new drag queen exercise class. Here’s where you can buy each of the company’s products.
First in the den, and the first entrepreneur to pitch this series, was Lucy Rout, the founder of Tabuu, a company that makes premium pill cases for a younger demographic. Rout impressed the dragons so much, she received three (very different) offers, resulting in not only investment from Sara Davies, Touker Suleyman and Peter Jones, but a job offer as well.
Launched at the end of 2021, following a health scare, Tabuu makes stylish pill cases that take the stigma out of medicating on the go, thanks to its fashionable design. Each pill case comes in four different colourways – cosmic grey, flamingo pink, jet black and lavender. You can buy Tabuu’s pill cases for £18 from the company’s own website or get them for a penny less when you buy them from Amazon.
When co-founders Raphael Babalola and Adam Hutchinson of skincare brand Tmpl (pronounced ‘temple’) entered the den, it was clear the pair were starting strong: “The personal care and grooming industry doesn’t care about men of colour,” they said.
The dragons loved the branding, Jones even called it “peng”, to much hilarity, and after a little negotiating, Babalola and Hutchinson managed to convince Steven Bartlett to part with his cash. Launched in 2021, Tmpl is a skincare range that provides safe and natural products with men of colour in mind, aiming to address skin concerns that haven’t been taken into account by the major skincare brands.
It sells a purifying face toner (£19, Tmpl.care), hydrating face moisturiser (£20, Tmpl.care), gentle face cleanser (£21, Tmpl.care) and a starter pack of all three (£53, Tmpl.care). If you subscribe, you’ll save 15 per cent. The brand also currently has a Dragons’ Den discount offer.
Steven Bartlett wakes up sometimes and his girlfriend’s saging him, trying to get rid of his bad energy. It works, apparently, because it seems like all the mists, the sprays and the juju from Psychic Sisters got the wellness brand investment. Four dragons wanted them, but it was Sara Davies and Deborah Meaden who the clairvoyant Jayne Wallace was mystically attracted to.
The wellness brand produces candles, incense, crystal sets, sage, scents, aura mists and more. To celebrate the company’s win on Dragons’ Den, Psychic Sisters has put together a number of bundles with all its best bits in a range. You can also buy the company’s wares from Asos (from £6.99, Asos.com) and Holland & Barrett (from £6.95, Hollandandbarrett.com).
One of the most entertaining segments we’ve seen on Dragons’ Den was the bickering between Paola Farino and Peter Jones as the dragon tried to argue it wasn’t an original product. While a number of the dragons were fans of the bag, they couldn’t get past the high price point. That price seems to have come down in the months since the episode was filmed, however.
Farino makes carrier bags for two different purposes – local shopping and carry-on luggage. They use rollerblade wheels and load from the top. The “local shopper” carrier is the cheapest, costing £149 in a range of different colours, while the “getaway carry-on” costs £189. You can buy it from Farino directly or from Wolf & Badger. The brand currently has a Dragons’ Den discount.
Husband-and-husband combo Jordan and Nicholas McInerny gave us the highlight of the episode, forcing the dragons to strut down the den like fabulous drag queens. It was an enjoyable segment, but it wasn’t to be for the couple, whose Drag Diva Fit body workout business may have just been too small for the dragons.
Drag Diva Fit provides an intense one-hour body workout. During each workout, you’re joined by a drag queen, prancing, insulting, motivating and mocking you while you squat, curl, jump, dance and perform exercises led by the founder himself. The company says to expect Cher, Madonna, Whitney, Beyoncé, Kylie, Spice Girls and more while you work up a sweat. Classes take place across London and cost between £12 and £15. You can book classes via OutSavvy.
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