Last night’s edition of BBC1’s Dragons’ Den saw a pair of Croydon businesswomen land a £50,000 investment after their company’s inspired use of colour in decorations, cards and luxury gifts wowed Peter Jones and Deborah Meaden.
March Muses produce broader representative gifts, wrapping paper and Christmas decorations, which saw their products stocked by Selfridges last December.
Black mums Natalie Duvall and Alison Burton set up their company after they struggled to find gifts that resembled their children.
The brand is known for Christmas decorations including black angels and Santa baubles that are handmade, paying close attention to skin tone, hair design, body shape and size.
Now, March Muses will soon be offering Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, wedding, Christening and birthday products, too, after landing a £50,000 investment from the two longest-established “Dragons”, Deborah Meaden and Peter Jones.
“As parents, we are raising the next generation of changemakers,” Duvall, 39, said.
“Let’s make them anti-racist global citizens.”
And her business partner, Burton, 50, said, “Shops need to not only represent Britain today, but also, they need to be authentic rather than performative in their approach to diversity. This can be achieved by using black creators like us, making black products.”
The entrepreneurs said, “We are thankful that Peter and Deborah see our vision and are willing to invest in a company that champions diversity and inclusion.
“We can’t wait to tap into their vast expertise.”
Peter Jones said: “Natalie and Alison blew us away with their business acumen in the Den.
“We were impressed with the growth of their business over such a short space of time and their projections were spot on. They had identified a gaping hole in the market with clear consumer demand for their offering. The business has huge growth potential in the UK and internationally and the products are simply stunning.”
An essential part of the deals agreed in Dragons’ Den is that the panel members often play a hands-on role in the invested business, bringing with them their experience, insight and contacts. Among the programme’s most famous success stories is Levi Roots, who won a £50,000 investment from Jones and another Dragon in 2007 for his Reggae Reggae Sauce.
So the role played by Meaden and Jones in the growth of March Muses could prove to be invaluable.
Deborah Meaden said: “The Black Lives Matter movement really did highlight the importance of representation, particularly with children. Dolls and action figures, decorations, cards and wrapping paper should be available in a variety of hues and be diverse.
“I truly admire Natalie and Alison for the important work they are doing, and I look forward to helping them to take March Muses to the next level.”
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