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Now ye're talking - to someone who's been on Dragon's Den UK

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  • Registered Users Posts: 7,861 ✭✭✭The_B_Man


    The missus made me buy one of these at the Ideal Home Show there last month, after I argued with her about the price. But she won, of course, and I bought one.

    I actually haven't hung it up yet. I'll have the xmas decorations up before this!

    But fair play on getting a product to market.

    Whats your background? Did you go to college to do design, or marketing?


  • Registered Users Posts: 19,643 ✭✭✭✭Muahahaha


    Thanks for doing this AMA <snip>, have been following your story since the early days. Few questions

    -Regarding going for plastic over metal- Id read before that stainless steel is 'supposed' to never rust, is this the case or was there another reason for not using it
    - do you find that your market is mainly female? As a bloke I have 2 max 3 bottles in the shower whereas the fairer sex can easily double that and more
    - You mentioned the US and I know that Americans are big into shopping tv channels, is this a route you might go down over there
    -Lots of modern shower suites that you see on the continent or in good hotels now contain proper tiled shelves indented from the shower walls. Would you see this as potentially limiting your market in the future


  • Registered Users Posts: 29,089 ✭✭✭✭LizT


    I want to congratulate you on a great product. I bought it at Bloom this year, your stand was packed and seemed to be very popular. It's definitely worth the money, mine has been up since then and is still going strong!

    Did you see a huge spike in orders after being on Dragons Den?


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,412 ✭✭✭✭fritzelly


    Which dragon do you like the most and which do you think has been the most helpful in furthering the business?
    (maybe you don't wanna answer the question in case they are reading...)


  • Registered Users Posts: 96 ✭✭ShamrockAir



    The elephant in the room- the price! Are we expensive- yes. Is it worth it- definitely. I would love you to stand with me at a trade show like the Ideal Home Show and listen to the amount of people that bought in October 2018 that said they thought it was pricey at the time but gave it a chance as it's Irish and now they can see that it is more then justified. You can see this in our reviews however.

    Sales have massively surpassed expectations. This is year one of trading and we are already one of the best selling shower caddies in Ireland. Ireland is pretty small and everyone talks so whoever has a ShowerGem convinces other people that it is worth the price tag. Even in the UK we are pretty big at this stage.

    We have had a small number of returns mainly due to people saying it doesn't suit their style of bathroom but never have had anyone return it due to price despite us offering a full money back guarantee where we even pay for return postage (we are now stopping this however as we are selling internationally so have to charge for postage back to us).

    You can buy your metal baskets that use suction cups for between €25-40. You can buy your Decor Walther for over €100 and then you can buy your ShowerGem for about €50. We never ever came in to this business to be the cheapest but instead our aim was to be the best and I am very confident that we are up there at the top in terms of product functionality, user-friendliness and longevity despite charging much less than the high end shower organisers.

    Some people feel that because it's plastic it should be cheap to purchase but why? We can make the exact same product out of an expensive glass which undoubtedly people would pay more for however it's a much lesser product as glass will break and shatter. Likewise, we could make it out of high end metals but no matter what, they will always end up becoming rusty. Plastic surpasses all of the characteristics of other materials yet for some reason people feel it should cost much less. We said we are not going to base our product on the perceived value of plastic but instead on how brilliantly it works and the vast majority of our reviews support that it is worth every cent paid. On top of all of the above, the glue is a huge part of what you are paying for. It is so expensive to source, design and test a glue to meet all of our requirements and then get it into small bespoke tubes. Genuinely it is an astronomical price. Finally it is so expensive to run a business. Between wages, P30's, tooling, insurance, vat, marketing, corp tax and everything in between, even at our current price you have to sell an awful lot of shower organisers to break even let alone make enough money to make it all worthwhile. People also don't realise that there was a period of 3 years of design and testing where I was on the dole for 9 months and then a sh*^e wage for over 2 years until we finally started to sell product. I definitely could have brought a lesser product to market quicker but we never rushed things to make sure we created one of the best organisers on the market, hence the price tag.




    Ive got to be honest with you, I saw the product and liked it. Then I saw the price and thought it was expensive and the pricing was a bit Irish. I did not buy it. I just read your post and I never realised so much work went in to it. Il pick one up soon and wish you the best.


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  • Company Representative Posts: 16 Verified rep I'm an inventor, AMA


    Thargor wrote: »
    Any Youtube link to the pitch? I would give my left arm to have done something like this tbh.

    Being totally honest I watched the DD since the age of 13/14 and I always had it down on my bucket list to appear on. I'm just lucky enough that the business that I went on it with was very strong! I can't describe how good/surreal it felt when the elevator doors opened and there right in front of my eye were 5 Dragons. Even a few days ago me and my sister watched the episode back and it was just such a crazy crazy experience...
    I work for a company where glue is a critical part of the product that is subjected to harsh environmental testing, and so I have to back you up on this 110%.

    You may, but most people wouldn't believe the lengths we go to source, trial and validated glue. The investment is staggering, really does beggar belief in every aspect.

    Exactly! I'm not making the price of the glue up. It looks deceiving as it comes in such a small tube. Thanks for the kind comments.
    DavyD_83 wrote: »
    Well, this ama had made you at least 1 sale. Well played; I'd be surprised if I'm the only one.
    I remember the initial the looking for feedback and to be honest hadn't thought much about it since.
    But as soon as I stated reading this, the fact I have bottles all over floor of slower is really annoying me and 45 (thanks for that) seems a decent price for a solution that actually works and stays on the wall.

    Thanks Davy ! Hope you like it :)
    The_B_Man wrote: »
    The missus made me buy one of these at the Ideal Home Show there last month, after I argued with her about the price. But she won, of course, and I bought one.

    I actually haven't hung it up yet. I'll have the xmas decorations up before this!

    But fair play on getting a product to market.

    Whats your background? Did you go to college to do design, or marketing?

    Get it UP!! You paid good of money for it so get the most out of it. It will take 2 mins of your time to install and then you, and everyone else in your home, will use it every single day for years to come!! You will like it a lot and make sure to come up to me at the next Ideal Home Show, same stand!

    Done physics in NUGalway but knew I was never going to pursue it once I left college. I was always going to have my own business regardless of what it was.
    Muahahaha wrote: »
    Thanks for doing this AMA <snip>, have been following your story since the early days. Few questions

    -Regarding going for plastic over metal- Id read before that stainless steel is 'supposed' to never rust, is this the case or was there another reason for not using it
    - do you find that your market is mainly female? As a bloke I have 2 max 3 bottles in the shower whereas the fairer sex can easily double that and more
    - You mentioned the US and I know that Americans are big into shopping tv channels, is this a route you might go down over there
    -Lots of modern shower suites that you see on the continent or in good hotels now contain proper tiled shelves indented from the shower walls. Would you see this as potentially limiting your market in the future

    Very high grades of stainless steel (like marine grade) are properly rustproof but they are incredibly expensive. It is also a hard material to work with on a product like ours so it just isn't feasible.

    The market is mainly female however men like the product just as much as women do due to its functionality and practicality. Definitely women are the main purchasers however.

    A lot of people have suggested this but hotels are not a market that would we like to cater for. Each sale would require quite a lot of work whereas we want to focus on a form of marketing that involves less 'hands on' staff time e.g. no emails or calls needed to get a sale.

    Thanks for the comment :)
    LizT wrote: »
    I want to congratulate you on a great product. I bought it at Bloom this year, your stand was packed and seemed to be very popular. It's definitely worth the money, mine has been up since then and is still going strong!

    Did you see a huge spike in orders after being on Dragons Den?

    Brill to hear! Everyone that has a ShowerGem loves it. Great Christmas presents for friends and family haha. There was a large spike in sales for us however I spoke to contestants in our serioues and despite them seeing a spike it was nothing worthwhile. For us on the other hand it helped to propel us to be consistently one of the top 8 best selling shower organisers on Amazon UK (currently number 4 out of 3000)!
    fritzelly wrote: »
    Which dragon do you like the most and which do you think has been the most helpful in furthering the business?
    (maybe you don't wanna answer the question in case they are reading...)

    They're all a great help in their own way. Each have different areas so it would be hard to just choose one. They don't further the business so to speak but more offer guidance. It's they could have being more involved but we opted to retain more control rather then them come in and takeover everything from manufacturing to sales to marketing.
    Ive got to be honest with you, I saw the product and liked it. Then I saw the price and thought it was expensive and the pricing was a bit Irish. I did not buy it. I just read your post and I never realised so much work went in to it. Il pick one up soon and wish you the best.

    We are in quite a lot of independent bathroom retailers or Right Price Tiles if you ask at the counter but be under no pressure to buy it at all :) Yeah, it's amazing to thing for a shower organiser three years of work had to be put in to actually develop it fully. Its one of the disadvantages of being the first to market.


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,412 ✭✭✭✭fritzelly


    They're all a great help in their own way. Each have different areas so it would be hard to just choose one. They don't further the business so to speak but more offer guidance.

    Did they not open doors that you yourself could never open? Always liked Touker and thought he had fingers in a lot of pies


  • Company Representative Posts: 16 Verified rep I'm an inventor, AMA


    fritzelly wrote: »
    Did they not open doors that you yourself could never open? Always liked Touker and thought he had fingers in a lot of pies

    I actually had a huge amount of doors opened before appearing on the show so in the Dragons own words at this stage it comes down to price, marketing and product!


  • Registered Users Posts: 21,529 ✭✭✭✭Tell me how


    Very interesting read.

    What was your chief motivation in applying to appear on the show?
    Was it to get some marketing via the broadcast, secure funding or to specifically get access to Dragons contacts/expertise?

    What occupies you mostly during your working week at the moment?
    Is it managing of operations such as manufacturing supply/shipping, creating new sales channels, or considering additional products?

    Finally, what sort of vibe was there amongst fellow participants in the green room? Did any of them come across as over confident/cocky or anything remarkable?

    One more, did you come under pressure to move manufacturing abroad to reduce costs? I love the guaranteed Irish by the way, don't go all James Dyson on us!!


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,412 ✭✭✭Gloomtastic!


    Post the link to the show please......


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  • Company Representative Posts: 16 Verified rep I'm an inventor, AMA


    LINK TO THE DRAGONS DEN CLIP

    https://www.facebook.com/watch/live/?v=438939416798095


    Very interesting read.

    What was your chief motivation in applying to appear on the show?
    Was it to get some marketing via the broadcast, secure funding or to specifically get access to Dragons contacts/expertise?

    What occupies you mostly during your working week at the moment?
    Is it managing of operations such as manufacturing supply/shipping, creating new sales channels, or considering additional products?

    Finally, what sort of vibe was there amongst fellow participants in the green room? Did any of them come across as over confident/cocky or anything remarkable?

    One more, did you come under pressure to move manufacturing abroad to reduce costs? I love the guaranteed Irish by the way, don't go all James Dyson on us!!

    Motivation was definitely door opening and marketing. When you apply for the show there is a 4 month wait before you actually get to pitch to the Dragons and during that time I opened a lot of doors myself so the need for this was reduced which mean marketing was now a very big factor (over 3 million viewers). I can say a lot more about this next April but there are a few NDA's in place at the moment.

    Most of my time goes towards manufacturing and developing new routes to market + foreign markets. We have a big thing coming up in the US in Q1 next year which is really sucking up a lot of my time. We are also doing a big 100 store launch in Ireland over the next month and a half which meant a lot of time was spent on packaging and POS stands.

    The contestants I was with were very sound. We had a bit of a laugh and enjoyed the experience. There was one company that I knew were going to get absolutely annihilated as they had a valuation of £2mill, £20k sales and were a few 100k in debt. They were pretty sure they were going to sail through the Den experience but I think they got a bit of a harsh reality check pretty quickly. This company wasn't on my episode FYI!

    Yes, I came under significant pressure to go to China or else move it to the UK because of Brexit. Still manufactured in Ireland though :p:p


  • Registered Users Posts: 21,529 ✭✭✭✭Tell me how


    Yes, I came under significant pressure to go to China or else move it to the UK because of Brexit. Still manufactured in Ireland though :p:p

    Can you say more about this?

    What was the argument for moving to UK in relation to Brexit?


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,412 ✭✭✭Gloomtastic!



    Brilliant! Well done, they can be quite intimidating but you faced them off perfectly.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,893 ✭✭✭Kersh


    For us on the other hand it helped to propel us to be consistently one of the top 8 best selling shower organisers on Amazon UK (currently number 4 out of 3000)!

    Great success, wishing you all the best.

    How do you find Amazon is going?
    We used it for a while, but found they took far too much commission and monthly fees, and after tax and product cost there wasnt much in it for us.
    Do you get more favourable rates off them for volume?


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,412 ✭✭✭Gloomtastic!


    No mention of the 'B' word yet? How do your dragon backers view Brexit?


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 907 ✭✭✭Alpha_zero


    Is Dragon the same thing as an investor in Narnia or Middle Earth


  • Moderators Posts: 12,371 ✭✭✭✭Black_Knight


    Just bought one. Was all set to buy back when you were asking for help around your website, but the wife said no. There's about 8 shower bottles on the shower basin that I say overrule her.

    Cheers for the boards code. Tis that I needed to prompt me to buy


  • Registered Users Posts: 16,990 ✭✭✭✭Sleeper12


    My business is shower repair. I stand in 5 to 8 showers and baths every day. It brings a smile to my face every time I see a Shower Gem. It's a 20 to 30 euro product when you look at it first. I comment on the product every time I see one. Every single person is happy with the product and feel that it is value for money. Its a once or twice in a lifetime purchase. I have yet to meet a client who felt ripped off by the price or let down by the product

    It makes me proud every time I see one. 100 percent Irish invented & manifactured except the adhesive & a father & son team no less!

    I saw dragons den and you were well able to stand your ground


  • Registered Users Posts: 19 steam iron


    Where can i find the boards code ?


  • Registered Users Posts: 379 ✭✭Leilak


    BOARDSIE10


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  • Registered Users Posts: 19 steam iron


    Thank you


  • Company Representative Posts: 16 Verified rep I'm an inventor, AMA


    Kersh wrote: »
    Great success, wishing you all the best.

    How do you find Amazon is going?
    We used it for a while, but found they took far too much commission and monthly fees, and after tax and product cost there wasnt much in it for us.
    Do you get more favourable rates off them for volume?

    I don't think amazon UK is fully necessary as I think people would be happy to solely buy of our website where I would make more margin. The only thing is that I'm afraid of closing our Amazon listing incase I am wrong on the above and then it will be hard to get back to the top again.

    I don't know, but I am guessing that in the US Amazon is an essential part of doing business unfortunately as half of internet purchase related queries are not on Google but instead directly on Amazon which totally limits the reach of a normal website.
    No mention of the 'B' word yet? How do your dragon backers view Brexit?

    They used it to try to move manufacturing to the UK but they major worry over it tbh.
    Just bought one. Was all set to buy back when you were asking for help around your website, but the wife said no. There's about 8 shower bottles on the shower basin that I say overrule her.

    Cheers for the boards code. Tis that I needed to prompt me to buy

    No probs, let me know how it goes for you :)
    Sleeper12 wrote: »
    My business is shower repair. I stand in 5 to 8 showers and baths every day. It brings a smile to my face every time I see a Shower Gem. It's a 20 to 30 euro product when you look at it first. I comment on the product every time I see one. Every single person is happy with the product and feel that it is value for money. Its a once or twice in a lifetime purchase. I have yet to meet a client who felt ripped off by the price or let down by the product

    It makes me proud every time I see one. 100 percent Irish invented & manifactured except the adhesive & a father & son team no less!

    I saw dragons den and you were well able to stand your ground

    Thanks a lot for this comment. Do you see many of them around !? I love seeing them in random places. We even got messages from random courier drivers saying how are they delivering so many ShowerGems (this is actually true!).
    steam iron wrote: »
    Where can i find the boards code ?

    Code is SAVE10


  • Registered Users Posts: 15,177 ✭✭✭✭ILoveYourVibes


    Will you come back in two years for an update to AMA? :)

    Well done on getting investment good luck!


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,255 ✭✭✭naughtysmurf


    Remember seeing this & thinking it was a good product but didn't buy at the time, ordered one yesterday though, just a little stocking filler for the Mrs, she'll be delighted, seriously though our en-suite is tight enough so will be ideal


  • Registered Users Posts: 436 ✭✭S_D


    Great AMA topic

    What’s the future plan to keep working with the 3 investors , is there a finish line as in right contracts are up or does it just keep going ? Have they been asking you for more inventions since coming on board ?
    I know you said you had a lot of doors already opened already and by the sounds of things didn’t ‘really’ need it that badly .. maybe I’m wrong but are you seeing a huge change since them joining or is it minamum ? I’m guessing they have so many investments and teams aligned they probably just can’t give much time but interested to know

    And finally .. did you mention about paying them back and going back to 12%? Or is that still a no no topic


  • Company Representative Posts: 16 Verified rep I'm an inventor, AMA


    Might be on Nationwide tonight at 7! RTEONE


  • Company Representative Posts: 16 Verified rep I'm an inventor, AMA


    Nationwide rescheduled for tonight at 7 RTEONE.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,169 ✭✭✭limnam


    No real questions.

    Just congratulations on the product.

    and on the price point.

    I find it amazing that Irish people will drop 100 quid+ on a night out and then complain about 50e for a product that they'll get benefit out of every single day.

    all the best in the future.


  • Registered Users Posts: 19,643 ✭✭✭✭Muahahaha


    Just saw the Nationwide slot earlier this evening which then prompted me finally to look at the Dragons Den clip. Fair play to you in there for getting a deal with three of them.

    So a couple more questions- in the Den you were adamant that you were not revealing where your glue is manufactured (not even the continent :D), its clearly part of the secret sauce as such. But can you tell us how you arrived at that selection. How was testing done in terms of longevity of the glue? For some reason Im imagining you with 20 Shower Gems hung up on a shed wall with 20 different glues and you powerhosing them every day for months on end :D

    And the other is more a question on IP that all inventors face. If someone in the far east copied your product do you have workable legal recourse to get a stop put to it? I know years back there wasnt but have things changed in this respect?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,375 ✭✭✭Brendan Flowers


    Any plans to produce the ShowerGem in different colours?


This discussion has been closed.
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