A teacher turned a ‘tiny’ brand into a £2 million company, but she turned down an ‘exciting’ Dragons’ Den offer.
DRAGONS’ DEN was a huge success for Rachel Kettlewell, who was offered and accepted a £40,000 offer from health guru Tej Lalvani for a third of her business.
The entrepreneur learned a lot about “the process” of business on the show, in addition to the investment opportunity.
Fearne and Rosie, the founders of the healthy jam brand, said in an exclusive interview with This website, “It taught me to be quite thorough in all aspects of the business.”
Her time on the show was nerve-wracking, with hours of filming in the den required.
“It was quite terrifying.”
So, if you can do that, I believe you can do anything.”
Despite their encouragement, four of the Dragons didn’t think her offer of £40,000 in exchange for a 20% stake in the company was quite right for them.
Tej Lalvani, the CEO of Vitabiotics, was eager to invest in the low-sugar jam company, which Rachel described as “extremely exciting.”
“I held it together until Tej said he wanted to make an offer, and then I burst into tears because it was such an emotional experience,” she said.
“It’s a business that I’ve put so much effort into, and to have someone with Tej’s expertise say that he thought this was a good idea meant the world.”
“He was the person in that room that I wanted to work with, so I was really excited that that happened,” Rachel, 37, said.
I think he’s a genius.
I think he’s very nice, and he has the same industry knowledge that I require for my company.
“I consider it a huge blessing that he offered us a job.”
The Yorkshire-based entrepreneur accepted a £40,000 offer in exchange for 35% of the money, or 30% if the money was returned in 18 months.
“It’s incredible because we were such a small business at the time,” she said, adding that the response was “phenomenal.”
Rachel made the terrifying decision to walk away from the offer soon after her time in the den, which was filmed in September 2020, instead opting for hands-on mentorship and partnership with food and drink industry icon Giles Brook.
Rachel can still contact Tej’s team if she has any questions because the decision was made amicably.
“We just didn’t do it because it wasn’t the right deal,” she explained.
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