Young entrepreneur Jennifer Duthie (28 from Blackpool) wowed the Dragons’ with her cool customisable kids’ shoes and competent and determined pitch, receiving an offer of £60,000 investment from Dragons’ Kelly Hoppen and Piers Linney
Duthie, who holds a first class degree in business from Aston Business School in Birmingham, lost her job at Lehman brothers when it collapsed in 2008. She took another job at Lloyds but it was during this time that she came up with the idea of Skribbies – kids’ shoes that children can customise everyday by drawing and simply wiping away.
Skribbies inspires children to create their own unique designs using the magic ink pens and monster stickers included with each pair. In addition each pair also comes with a pen-holder wristband that doubles-up to provide a useful shoe ‘rubber’.
Currently the Skribbies range is only sold online (www.skribbies.com) and encompasses hi-top trainers in three colourways (Hot Pink, Neon Yellow, Navy Blue). Sizes range from UK size 11 up to UK Size 3 with prices starting at £39.99. However the brand is set to expand the range by adding boots and ballet styles to its collection later this year.
The new series of Dragons’ Den (which aired yesterday on BBC 2, 8.30pm) saw Kelly Hoppen and Piers Linney offer £30,000 each for a 12.5% stake in Skribbies, which Jennifer accepted straight away.
Jennifer said: “I was delighted that Kelly and Piers really understood the Skribbies brand and were impressed with the packaging and design. The opportunity to work with two dragons was an easy decision to make as they both have impressive business credentials.
The investment from the Dragons will be used for marketing, new product development and international expansion and I’m looking forward to working alongside Kelly and Piers to take Skribbies to the next level. I want to see kids everywhere demonstrating their creativity by customising their Skribbies!”