Locals get a Dragons' deal
Local entrepreneur Darren Bates and his partner and product inventor Franzi Tschurtschenthaler had a successful appearance before Canada's dragons this week.
The duo went on the show to market their music festival party clothing line called FurGlory.
The product invented by Tschurtschenthaler is based on a proprietary fabric they developed which infuses phosphorescent dye into faux fur fabric making it the perfect party goers outfit.
Back in March 2012, Tschurtschenthaler went down to Penticton to audition for the Dragon's Den, they were successful and flew to Toronto to pitch to the Dragons themselves.
“My partner went down to Penticton to audition and was probably so ridiculous that they decided to accept us and invited us to come out Toronto to the CBC studios,” jokes Bates.
“We had a few weeks to prepare but realistically most of preparation came the night before, so it was a long night.”
He says the duo were first up to see the Dragons at 7 a.m. and after a brief moment in makeup they were on the stage.
“The first minute or two I was definitely nervous, there were times I was searching for words. Kevin (O'Leary) is a very, very intimidating man, but he was actually really pleasant to us. Arlene (Dickinson) came and drew a, (winks), on Kevin's back but that didn't really make it to air, but it was really fun,” laughs Bates.
The product is based on the music festival and party scene and Bates says their goal was to provide a product that creates a new experience for somebody when they are out at night trying to meet new people and just have a laugh.
“We noticed that a large part of these festivals is engaging with people. If you are at a festival with five or 10 thousand people and say you are the single man trying to engage a girl across the room, what is going to make her stop and talk to you,” explains Bates.
“We went to Thailand for the Full Moon Party and we took the loin cloth version, people were literally trying to buy them off our backs, and at that point we knew we had some sort of hit.”
Bates is in charge of marketing the product and his partner Tschurtschenthaler came up with the concept and invented the product.
“He is a engineer and he came up with this idea to inject phosphorescent dye into the faux fur. He was actually on a tour of some Chinese facilities for solar power, solar engineering is his field of speciality, and while he was there he got into contact with some Chinese factories and we figured out how to make the whole process work,” said Bates.
With the spring and summer musical festival season around the corner and Kelowna's infamous weekend festival Center of Gravity coming back to town, Bates feels they are going to make an impact in the market.
“This year we are going to be coming up with a nice t-shirt and maybe a tank top model, something that is going to work for the summertime. A few things that will breathe easy and something you can wear on a hot night,” says Bates about a COG friendly model.
The two got the deal from Dragon Jim Treliving for $30,000 for a 30 per cent share of their company.
“We got the deal, now they are just working on their due-diligence right now, so we are not sure if the deal will follow through. We are making every effort to work with the dragons and put our best foot forward and hopefully we get through that process and get our financing,” explains Bates.
You can watch their appearance on Dragons' Den here.
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