BBC Dragons’ Den hopeful details ‘crumbling’ during pitch while recalling family tragedy

Dragons’ Den hopeful Charlotte Clemence has opened up on becoming emotional as she faced the formidable business experts on the BBC programme. She and her husband Grant appeared on the season finale of the BBC show seeking £50,000 investment for 25 per cent of their business YardArt.

Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk alongside her other business partner Rebecca Lund, she admitted that discussing her family tragedy with the Dragons made her “crumble”. Charlotte and Grant lost one of their twin daughters Fleur a week after her birth to a rare heart condition called hypoplastic left heart syndrome.

Charlotte was aware she would need to talk about this on-screen since it played a part in inspiring her to set up her business and admits she was nervous at the prospect. “I said to my husband before, ‘I hope I can keep it together.’ And you go in there quite strong. But the moment I started opening my mouth, I felt myself go you know, when you just crumble.”

Charlotte confessed she used her art as a form of therapy. “I’ve suffered quite badly I think probably obviously grief and postnatal depression after giving birth to twins, but it was kind of my way out whatever you call it. But we have her sister who turned 13 last week, so, yeah. But you can see on the episode I do cry,” she says.

Despite her tears they managed to get investment from the two Dragons they were hoping for. Although Rebecca didn’t appear on the show they had decided in advance that they wanted investment from Steven Bartlett and Sara Davies. Speaking after a long day showcasing their product at the Ideal Home Show, they said: “It’s really the expertise we were after to take the product – I guess make it go viral, take it abroad, find the contacts.

“We wanted Sara Davies and Steven Bartlett and we came out with them. The reason we wanted them was because obviously Steven Bartlett’s very tech savvy and knows social media inside out. And our brand is a web-based product so he was perfect for that. And Sara Davies is very into her crafts and art. So to get the two is a perfect combination.”

YardArt is what it says on the tin. It is outdoor artwork to enhance gardens and outdoor spaces. Each piece comes complete with a 3D illusion frame and is waterproof, UV resistant, windproof, fade proof and durable.

They also work with a variety of artists all of whom receive a percentage of the sales. Indeed, Charlotte features some of her own artwork in the business which hugely impressed Sara.

Unsurprisingly, the business took off during lockdowns and they subsequently managed to get into John Lewis stores countrywide. However, they have since withdrawn their product from there and hope to expand into the hospitality field getting hotel chains on board to invest in their work.

Although the episode was filmed months ago they are still finalising details of the investment even though the show makes it look like a done deal on the spot.

They said: “That’s obviously the impression you get as a viewer. But what happens in reality is that The Dragons of course have to do their due diligence.

“They’ve got the due diligence from BBC and all the paperwork, we’ve already given and they need to go away and get their team to go through it, go through all our profit and loss and other factors – the actual financials and etc, and see actually whether it really is going to be a fit for them.

“So it’s basically an ongoing process after you actually go and talk to them. And that can take a while because obviously, they’ve got loads of business they’re investing in. You just have to be patient,” they said.

All episodes of Dragons’ Den are available to watch on BBC iPlayer. YardArt is available to peruse and purchase from their website.

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