‘Credit to female entrepeneurship’: Swimwear duo fails to win Dragons’ investment

The business partners behind a swimwear accessory designed to alleviate neck and shoulder pain have failed to secure investment on Dragons’ Den.

Lucy Cox and Lerryn Clare, the sisters and entrepreneurs behind the Halto brand, appeared on last night’s edition of the BBC show in a bid to secure a £50,000 investment from one of the business giants in exchange for a 15% stake in the company.

The pair presented, with the assistance of musical puppetry, their Halto cushion, a strip of soft silicon (pictured) designed to redistribute the weight of the wearer’s breasts away from the ties on a halter-neck bikini top.

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The product, which is currently stocked by Bravissimo, has turned over £14,000 over the last nine months, with a 68% gross profit margin.

While Dragons including Deborah Meaden, complimented the branding and the product, adding that the business partners are a “credit to female entrepreneurship”, the potential investors voiced concerns that the market was too small.

The product is the first of its kind to roll out in the UK, but the business duo said they are aware of a company in North America that has been trading a similar product for the last decade on a small scale.

Dragon Taj Lavani voiced his concerns over the market size after discovering that the US-based company turns over just £140,000 per annum.

Longstanding Dragon and technology tycoon, Peter Jones, added: “The market is not as big as the assets it’s supporting.”

Meaden, who explained she couldn’t fault the branding or the product, concurred with Jones, ruling that the product’s potential was too limited.

Meanwhile, Touker Suleyman explained that he feared the product would be easily copied at a lower cost by lingerie and swimwear brands in-house.

Despite admiring the business partners and their innovation, all five Dragons said “I’m out” to the Halto team.



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