Entrepreneur beats depression to take on the Dragons

A young entrepreneur from Croydon overcame a battle with depression to pitch her latest business idea to the Dragons in Dragons’ Den, in an episode which goes out tomorrow night at 8pm on BBC1.

Sophie James, right, during her pitch on Dragon’s Den, in an episode which airs on May 27

Sophie James, 30, saw a life-long dream come true when she took her personalised clothing range Top to Tail Clothing on the show alongside her sister and business partner Emma Hunter-French.

The pair appeared on the show alongside Milo, a 9-year-old Bichon Frisé, who received a trim and helped the team demonstrate how their clothing range is resistant to dog hair.

After leaving Archbishop Tenison’s school at 18, James has since established seven successful businesses – including Top to Tail Clothing which makes specialised hair-resistant and personalised clothing.

Dragon Peter Jones models the personalised clothing

But James, who lives in Old Coulsdon, almost lost it all when she was diagnosed with depression last year during the pandemic.

“Being diagnosed with depression was incredibly hard,” James said.

“I completely lost myself and didn’t want to be here anymore.

“I have always been a loyal Dragons’ Den watcher and dreamed of strutting through those lift doors – so when I was given the opportunity to appear on the programme, I knew I couldn’t pass it by.

Dragons’ Den gave me the focus and drive I needed to start to overcome depression, and I’m so proud to have been able to tick that off my bucket list.”

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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email inside.croydon@btinternet.com
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