Entertainment Dragon's Den viewers left emotional by single mother who got an offer
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Dragon's Den viewers were left 'blubbing' last night after an inspirational 'mumpreneur' who launched a range of afro-textured hair products while working a part-time job and raising two children won backing from Sara Davies.
Kameese Davis, from Birmingham, was seeking a £50,000 investment in exchange for a 20 per cent share in her brand Nylah.
After an emotional pitch, her low sales figures and the threat of a successful competitor in the market saw her lose Deborah Meaden, Peter Jones, Tej Lalvani and Touker Suleyman.
But Sara saw potential and offered tearful Kameese all the money for a for 40 per cent of her business.
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Viewers at home were thrilled, with many impressed by the entrepreneur's passion and drive. One tweeted: 'Pair of us blubbing at the telly. If we had the money we'd have invested in @Nylah_UK and Kam.'
Another commented: 'The wife and I were rooting for her. I think she will go far, she is clearly a clever, driven and talented woman. Glad she got an investment,' while one wrote: 'So happy too! Totally welled up too when she got her offer.'
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Having already won several industry awards for her haircare products, Kameese said investment from a dragon would be a 'game-changer' for her business.
During her pitch she revealed her range was inspired by her daughter, explaining: 'I wanted her to know from her earliest memory that her hair was magnificent, so it didn't need to be straightened to fit into a linear beauty ideal.
'However my daughter had eczema, so caring for her hair presented me with several challenges. What I was seeking was a high performance product driven by innovation and backed by evidence.'
Spotting a gap in the market, Kameese launched Nylah in March 2018 and has since sold more 3,000 units and is in high level talks with Superdrug, having turned down a listing with Holland and Barrett.
'I have done all of this without working capital whilst working part time and having to raise two small children,' she added.
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The dragons grilled her over her sales numbers, with Kameese revealing she turned over £12,000 in her first year with a gross profit of £8,000, which increased to £9,000 the following year after adding another £2,000 to her turnover.
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'It is a business with a huge amount of potential but I haven't been able to maximise the opportunity because of constraints with finances,' she said.
She added that another packaging concept is imminent, after Deborah Meaden pointed out it wasn't immediately obvious her products cater to afro and textured hair.
Kameese admitted there is another company producing a similar range which recently received investment, but insisted the market is 'big enough for us to be quite lucrative'.
'All of our sales have been organic so our growth to date is pretty much me championing the brand. The first time I approached a buyer cold, Holland and Barrett, they wanted the product, they saw the potential in it,' she explained.
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'I turned them down - it was a very difficult decision but I felt that they didn't understand the market but also they really wanted to reduce my RRP [recommended retail price], which I thought was risk heavy for myself and it was such an early stage in my business that I wasn't willing to take that risk.
'And several months later I entered into the Superdrug open house competition and they offered me to list with them.'
But her determined pitch wasn't enough to convince all but one of the dragons, with Deborah telling Kameese she didn't feel she was 'there yet' with her brand.
But her hope was restored when Sara said her business could be worth the quarter of a million pounds she envisaged with her on board.
'I think you've got some real drive and determination and it's not an area of the market I'm familiar with - but I believe in you,' she told an emotional Kameese.
'In my eyes you've done the really difficult bit, and so I'm willing to make you an offer because I would really like to back another "mumpreneur" really going places.'
Sara offered to reduce her 40 per cent stake in the business to 30 if she got her money back within the first 18 months, adding: 'That feels like a way I could make that work, potentially for you and for me.'
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Thrilled Kameese accepted her 'brilliant' offer and promised to make Sara proud.
Upon leaving the den, she said: 'It's tough raising children and raising a brand, it's a delicate balance, but we can do it, we're mums, we can do it.'
Viewers welled up at home, with one tweeting: 'Oh FFS now I'm balling at @BBCDragonsDen because @SaraDaviesCC has just made Cam's dreams come true. I'm done for tonight.'
Another wrote: 'Absolutely well done Kam @Nylah_UK a very emotional #dragonsden great product. Good luck.'
And one tweeted: 'Brought bloomin' tears to my eyes there, but I'm glad you saw the potential and I'm sure with your help Kam will dominate the market #dragonsden.'
Dragon's Den airs Thursdays at 8pm on BBC One.
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