Dragons Dens’ Deborah Meaden and Peter Jones have bought a 20% stake in Solar Buddies, a Cwmbran-based business set up by two women who met on the school run in 2011.
Kelli Aspland and Laura Waters tonight faced the five Dragons on BBC1 to share the story of the business that started following a chat outside St David’s RC School while waiting for their three-year-olds to come out.
The pair saw children had trouble putting on sunscreen in hot weather and teachers were not allowed to apply it on them. This led to the launch of Solar Buddies, a sunscreen applicator that makes it easy for children (and parents) to put it on without making a mess.
They did their pitch and told the Dragons that they wanted £80,000 for a 10% stake. Sara Davies told them it was off to a great start with the product having a patent in the UK and an international patent pending.
Peter said their business was “really good, really clever, very neat.” Laura said that TikTok and working with influencers in the UK and USA had led to an increase in sales.
Touker Suleyman thought it was a “great product” but had concerns about the business being 88% on Amazon and felt he could “spend his £80,000 better elsewhere.”
Debra disagreed and felt the business has only “scratched the surface of what it could be used for.” She then offered the full £80,000 but wanted a 20% stake.
Sara followed up and said “loved you two and loved the product” and wanted the same deal as Deborah.
Peter told them he was “really competitive” and said he loved the opportunity to “invest in certain people.” He added: “I’m sitting here and thinking thes (The Solar Buddies product) could be Disney characters.” He said he was happy “to be part of the journey with other Dragons”.
Laura and Kelli asked if more than one Dragon would consider sharing the deal. Sara pulled out at this stage but Peter and Deborah agreed and split the investment to both pay £40,000 for 10% each.
Laura said the “decision was easier than getting her kids ready for school in the morning”. But she said that before getting the nod from Kelli. A quick conversation led them to both agree.
Kelli is a former pupil at Fairwater Comprehensive School and Laura is a former pupil at Croesyceiliog Comprehensive School. This evening they invited friends and family to St Joseph’s Social Club in St Dials to watch the show live on BBC1 and find out what happened.
Around 100 people at St Joseph’s cheered and clapped when the pair agreed the deal. Ps look out for some exclusive Cwmbran Life videos tomorrow.
Did you miss Solar Buddies on Dragons Den?
You can watch Laura and Kelli on catch-up through the BBC iPlayer.
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