There are very few times in your life that you truly feel…this could be a life changing experience. Dragons Den for me was exactly that. Not ALL to do with the amazing response that we got from the Dragons but more so the emotion connected to actually getting on the show, from the decision to go for it to the interviews and the big day you are told you got on! It is a rollercoaster emotionally as a person & professionally! It makes you feel a new level of love for your business and the difference it makes in peoples live more than anything else in the world. We can all get lost in the day to day reality of running a business but to get the opportuinity to look at the bigger picture is amazing. They say lots of things in life catch your eye but few really capture your heart and so I will say that style fish owns mine.
I set up my business for one reason. To provide a brand and service that puts a massive smile on womens faces & makes a difference to how they feel about their style. To show that beyond the magazines and the catwalks of the world, ‘style’ is about so much more than fashion and how what we wear and how we feel about our style has a massive knock on effect to every other area of our life. Your style is your story and our story included convincing Norah Casey & Gavin Duffy in exactly that. The difference style fish makes.
Walking up the steps, although it seems like it is the hardest bit, it isn’t actually. By that stage I had prepared, preened and poked at every element of the business and there was not one question I could be faced with that could not be answered. Bring it on. Taking my time (like at least 10 mind bogglingly long seconds) to start my pitch, all eyes on me – I started & I wasn’t leaving without what I came for. Belief in style fish, belief in my brand and belief in me.
What you see on tv is such a tiny part of the experience. We actually stood there being questioned & quized for over an hour! Mary (our gorgeous style fish member) who came on the show with me was amazing! Little did I know or could I prepare for the questions & comments that came her way and she dealt with and answered them with true style fish confidence & style! I was so proud! (Gavin, at this point I wanted to go over and tell you how much I hated your tie and how it didn’t really do anything for your colouring) hehe. But, they were just doing their job!
Onto the next challenge. Niall’s dismantling of our folders. What they don’t show on the tv (wouldn’t you know) was me defending the name and how style is about being unpredictable, different and memorable. All the things the name ‘Style Fish’ represents! However, all criticism is constuctive and since being filmed we have had all of our handouts professional designed & printed and they look fab! So, thank you Niall!
As is pretty obvious there was one lady we went in really looking for. Norah is the obvious fit for Style Fish but what we were not quite so prepared for was the amazingly great response (and subsequent) offers from the male Dragons. What they didn’t show was Gavin’s lovely endorsement of the job I am doing saying I was articulate, confident & he had no hesitation in backing style fish. (all the things a true style fish should be). You could have literally picked my jaw up off the ground (only I am way to much of the lady to stand with my mouth open…most of the time!!)I even somehow managed get a smile out of Niall by the end. When I had all the offers on the table and it was Niall’s turn to inevitably ‘bow out’ and so I saved him the trouble by saying ‘Niall, I think we all know where you stand.’ Smiles all around! Score.
And so one hour, 10 minutes & 5 hugs and kisses later we walked out of the den, shaking, crying, smiling and seriously weak at the knees. All I really remember was standing at the top of the stairs and a lovely girl at the bottom having to come all the way up, take me by the hand and lead me down to the bottom where I was greeted by more cameras from Bank of Ireland wanting to capture the teary eyed moment. Mascara everywhere!
To say it felt amazing is an understatement. Not because of the money, not because of the tv but because it proves that in life, we all face fear. Fear of sickness, fear of getting old, fear of losing loved ones. But undoubtedly I have learnt that the greatest fear in life is the fear of risking nothing.
To Norah, Gavin & all the Dragons – thank you. Style Fish is absolutely ready to make a big splash!
Style Fish x