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Business labelled ‘pathetic’ on Dragons’ Den went on to make £10 million a year

Business labelled ‘pathetic’ on Dragons’ Den went on to make £10 million a year

One of the Dragons may have absolutely slated it, but now its hugely successful

Sure, there might only be a handful of people who sit on those chairs in a big empty room... but admit it, when you’re watching people give their pitches, you become a Dragon too.

It’s not British telly, if we’re not all sat at home giving our own judgement on people’s creations and ideas – and Dragons’ Den is no different.

But it turns out an actual Dragon was pretty wrong about a business that appeared on the show back in 2008.

Having been labelled ‘pathetic’, it went on make a mega £10million a year.

Rachel Watkyn, 52, pitched her sustainable packaging business, the Tiny Box Company, on the legendary show.

And Duncan Bannatyne absolutely slated it: “I think it’s ridiculous that you’ve come along with what you call a business, that you describe as ethical and recyclable materials and you produce a box which my eight-year-old daughter Emily could make better at school, the ends don’t match up, the lines aren’t straight.

“It’s pathetic, it really is.”

Her business was called 'pathetic'.

But just because he wasn’t onboard doesn’t mean the other Dragons weren’t, as Watkyn and her business partner walked away with £60,000 worth of investments by Peter Jones and Theo Paphitis.

And she’s absolutely had the last laugh of it.

Fifteen years on from her Dragons’ Den experience, she told ITV Meridian: “They were brutal, they were absolutely brutal.

"On the show, I didn’t have any confidence. Off camera, I just knew that 'Etsy' was becoming more and more popular and 'Not on the High Street.'

"There was a movement of a lot of start up companies and I knew that they would all need packing like I did."

She was totally right; her company now makes over 1,500 products for nearly 200,000 customers.

Her business is now a huge success.

Making £10 million a year, Watkyn finds it ‘hilarious’ that not everyone understands her business.

"It’s really funny when people come into the warehouse and don’t know why they’re here, or are coming for something else, they’ll say 'what do you sell then?' And we’ll say ‘boxes’.”

People ‘just don’t get it’ when she explains they sell ‘empty boxes’. Watkyn added: "One of the dragons said that eco-friendly packaging would never be mainstream.

“But everything people buy comes in a bag or a box or some kind of packaging, and if we can help business switch from plastic or less environmentally friendly solutions to more environmentally friendly, then the job’s done.”

Despite the confusion and the slamming of the business being ‘pathetic’, Watkyn was actually awarded an OBE this year for her work in sustainability, ethical business growth and exports. Fair play.

Featured Image Credit: BBC

Topics: Dragons Den, Business, TV and Film, BBC