Dragons' Den and Tree Hugger Cloth Pads: Our experience pitching reusable cloth pads and liners to the "Dragons"
We are continually asked about our experience on the hit CBC prime time television show "Dragons' Den". Men and women, young and old, and just about everyone has seen and even loves Dragons' Den. People love to hear our stories as one of the few companies from Winnipeg (or even Manitoba) to appear on the show. During our trade show displays, we often discuss the TV show with husbands while their wives look over our cloth pad selection. Honestly, as long time fans of the show ourselves, we would totally ask all of the same questions if we had just met someone who appeared on the show. We completely understand!
(Note for our USA customers: "Dragons' Den" is just like ABC's "Shark Tank" TV show where entrepreneurs appear in front of wealthy investors to "pitch" their business.)
Here are copies of a few social media posts and updates for your enjoyment. These were originally posted on our Facebook page and are compiled here for your convenience.
If you haven't seen our segment on Dragons' Den, please WATCH THE SHOW on the following link. (note: unfortunately CBC doesn't allow people outside of Canada to view)
- CBC's official Dragons Den web site - click here to view
Before the Show Aired - Nervous and Excited - (written January 28, 2015)
Watch us on Dragon's Den TONIGHT on CBC (if you are in Canada)! My stomach is in knots today from both excitement and nervousness(1.2 million people will be watching!). I am a super shy person so this was the scariest thing I have done in my entire life. Also keep in mind that I was diagnosed with Strep Throat 2 hours before we filmed this (it was filmed last March), was battling a fever and I hadn't eaten in over 24 hours. We aren't sure how long we were actually "in the den" for but they edit it down to around 6 minutes so I can't wait to see what they show you. Enjoy the show!
Behind the Scenes of our Adventure on Dragons' Den! (written January 29, 2015)
We can finally talk about what happened in "The Den"! It has been a very long time that we have had to keep all of this a secret but now that you have hopefully all seen it we can fill you in on even more!
We first auditioned on February 1st, 2014 in Winnipeg and soon after found out that we were accepted to film in Toronto. Filming took place on March 24th, 2014 (a very long time ago) so all numbers we gave them were from 2013 and were in US dollars as that is what we were charging in at the time. It has been an incredible *almost year* since then and we have grown in amazing ways.
CBC did a fantastic job of editing our pitch down to 6 minutes (we were likely in there for around half an hour or so) but there was a lot that you didn't see.
Arlene was "out" from almost the very beginning but Jim, David and Vikram all seriously considered making us a deal. We often have men be more into the idea at first than women but really didn't know what to expect with this group. They showed Jim being out before sending it over to David but in actuality Jim wanted David's opinion before deciding what he should do and that is when they agreed that we don't need them. Michael was a lot of fun and had the pads all stuck in his back pockets while he danced around a little. He was not making fun of the pads though just loving all the great animal prints. All of the Dragon's were very respectful to us and our products.
One of the biggest surprises to us was that Vikram's daughter uses cloth pads!!!! We were thrilled! He knew all about them and loves the idea of them.
Another thing that didn't make the cut to be shown on TV was one of the best parts. We had given each Dragon a set of pads and at the end Vikram asked if he can keep his for his daughter (of course they were a gift!) but Jim and the other Dragons insisted that they pay for Vikram's set because that is a "sale" and we deserve the money. Jim and Michael dug into their pockets and came up with a $50 bill that Jim brought to us and we got a handshake! -side note, WOW is Jim tall! Jim also handed us back his set and told us to sell them because he wants us to make money. Watch for that set later today! So, while we didn't get a deal we did get money and a handshake and many encouraging words from the Dragons.
Did the Dragons really think we should go overseas and get our pads made in China? NO! They did show that point being brought up but they did not show when all 5 Dragons agreed that our customer base would be very much against that (as are we) and they want us to keep hiring local women who can work from their homes. They love our business model and had nothing negative to say. If you're a fan of the show you know that almost never happens.
Is it OK that we didn't get a deal? A big YES! The feedback and support they gave us were absolutely wonderful! They liked our products, our company, and us! The confidence they gave us really helped us to do better this year. The TV show will bring many new customers to us in the upcoming years (reruns, on-line, and one day Netflix). We will be shown to millions of people! This was an opportunity of a lifetime and we are so thankful to CBC and the Dragons as well as all of our friends, family and customers who have been saying for years that we need to try out for Dragons' Den.
Post Dragons' Den Quick Update (written September 19, 2016)
Welcome to everyone who has liked our page and visited our web site since our re-run this past week. I know many of you were just seeing it for the first time so you are probably wondering how things went. In all honesty it couldn't have gone better!
We have had steady growth since filming and the exposure it has brought us has been wonderful. It was a great opportunity to educate millions of women that reusable alternatives are out there!
Sales continue to grow year after year and we currently have 9 seamstresses working for us who all sew in their own homes and work around their families schedules.
Work/life balance is important to Scott and I and we make it a priority for those who work for us. We our living our dream and are thankful for each and every one of you!