A pair of Croydon mums have their dreams come true when they land a £50,000 investment deal on The dragon’s lair for their unique business of selling luxury gifts that speak to and represent people of color.
Entrepreneurs Alison Burton and Natalie Duvall pitched their business to hard-to-impress dragons on Thursday’s (April 7) show. Wealthy investors had their interest piqued when the couple discussed their joint company called March Muses, which produces luxury gifts, wrapping paper and cards featuring people of color. The moms started their business after struggling to find gifts that relate and resonate with their children.
The brand offers a number of items suitable for different events such as Valentine’s Day and birthdays, as well as the launch of unique Christmas decorations, including black angels and handmade black Christmas balls, according special attention to skin tone, hair design, body shape and height.
READ MORE: Londoner, 29, who turned down Dragons’ Den offer now has a business he started at university worth £6m
After making the decision to invest, Deborah Meaden and Peter Jones applied for a minority stake in the business – which was later accepted by the entrepreneurs. Deborah congratulated the couple on their accomplishments and the important work they are doing.
Natalie and Alison currently have homes in Croydon, with Natalie living in East Croydon and Alison in Norwood. The two are still working while performing March Muses. Natalie is Head of Culture at Red Bull, while Alison is Senior Recruitment Consultant at ICON Global Strategic Solutions. The Dragons were moved when the mothers shared their stories and backgrounds on the program.
Sharing her touching inspiration for her business, Natalie said it was all down to a question her daughter asked her. She said: “Raising girls in this TikTok/oversexed era is not an easy task…and raising girls who are black is even harder! But nothing prepared me for what my daughter was about to do. to ask me.”
“Christmas 2018 and my seven year old daughter and I were decorating our tree when she asked me something that changed my world forever. ‘Mom, can fairies be black?’ I was caught off guard what do you mean can fairies be black as i looked at my christmas trees filled with white santa, white fairies and of course our white elf on the bookshelf.
She added: “I was ashamed. How could I miss this? My daughters didn’t see each other. They didn’t think angels or fairies could be black. In their home, their safe place, they don’t were still unrepresented.
At first, the couples only had a Christmas business open from the beginning of September to the end of December, but were able to make a sizeable profit. In year one they brought in £12,000, but in year two that had risen to £76,000.
Deborah Meadan said after the show: “The Black Lives Matter movement has really highlighted the importance of representation, especially with children. Dolls and action figures, decorations, cards and wrapping paper should come in a variety of hues and be diverse.”
She added, “I really admire Natalie and Alison for the important work they do, and I look forward to helping them take March Muses to the next level.”
Peter said: “Natalie and Alison blew us away with their business acumen in the den. We were impressed with how their business grew in such a short time and their projections were accurate.”
“They had identified a gaping hole in the market with clear consumer demand for their offering. The business has huge potential for growth both in the UK and internationally and the products are simply stunning.”
Want more MyLondon? Sign up to our daily newsletters for all the latest and greatest from London here.
Do you have a story you think we should cover? Email [email protected]