It took three years of watching CBC’s hit TV show, The Dragon’s Den, before I finally got up the nerve to audition my own ‘Boutstix, Boutonniere Magnet’ idea for the show.
During the three years of watching the show, when the Dragon’s would ask other entrepreneurs questions, I would ask myself how I would answer those same questions. Each show taught me a little more about the type of business I was in, and what I needed to consider. Then one evening, they announced that they were auditioning for the next season. I jumped up to check their website and they said they were holding auditions in my area that upcoming Saturday.
I had two days to prepare my audition presentation. I knew I wasn’t completely ready, but I was as ready as I would ever be. When I arrived at the audition, there were over 100 people waiting to pitch as well. They called me in and I made my pitch. The producers didn’t appear interested until I said I had 4% of the market share and that my product was also being used on the TV show, ‘The Bachelorette’. But even then, knowing over 4000 people would be auditioning for 200 spots, I walked out unsure as to whether or not they would choose me. A few weeks later I got the call that I would be pitching to the Dragon’s in Toronto.
It was an opportunity of a lifetime to be on CBC’s second most watched show that would be viewed by two million viewers. I was nervous, but excited and enjoyed every minute of the experience. From meeting the staff, to getting hooked up with my microphone, to the pre-tour of the den, to walking across the plank, down the stairs and meeting the Dragon’s in person. The Dragon’s were a perfect balance of professionalism and good humor. Although Kevin O’Leary gets a bad rap at times, he is still my favorite Dragon. He drilled me for a good 45 minutes and to a point where I realized he was not asking me these questions to hear an answer. He was challenging me with these questions to prepare me for what the business world I was about to embark on and I appreciated the debate. I have to agree in that the business world poses much bigger challenges than any conversation you will have with Mr. Kevin O’Leary.
I was very fortunate and honored to have Mr. Treliving of Boston Pizza, offer me a deal of $50,000 for 25% of my business. After 8 months of due diligence, he was honest in saying that there wasn’t anything he could contribute that I wasn’t already doing and we did not partner.
Thanks to the Dragon’s Den, over 2 million more people are now aware that a magnet option is available with boutonnieres and corsages. It is a very rewarding to go to a wedding or a prom and see that my little magnet sticks at being used.
You can watch the episode with Boutstix here on the CBC website.
Written by Nancy Yowney: Nancy Yowney is from Edmonton, Alberta and is a NAIT graduate. After graduating from NAIT, Nancy founded and operated a fitness club for 20 years. In the past 6 years, she invented the Boutstix magnet stick and has been learning the ropes of worldwide distribution. Nancy’s expertise lies in start-ups, operations and strategic planning. When Nancy isn’t working, she enjoys visiting family and friends, cycling, golfing, snowboarding, spending time outdoors, reading and travelling.
Photo Source: Here