Dragon's Den power duo

Huge £50,000 win for two Croydon mums on Dragon’s Den

Two mums from Croydon have claimed they got “the best Dragons” after securing a joint £50,000 investment from Deborah Meaden and Peter Jones on last week’s Dragon’s Den.

In 2018 whilst Natalie Duvall, 39, was decorating the Christmas tree, her daughter asked if fairies could be black – a question which prompted Natalie to team up with Alison Burton, 50, to create March Muses.

The two Croydon mums applied to Dragon’s Den in order to scale up their business and bring diversity to the UK, and said working with Meaden and Jones has been a positive experience.

Natalie said: “We see Deborah as our auntie, auntie Debs! If Touker or Steven or Sara asked something challenging, then Deborah would back us up the whole way so we knew from the start she was someone we wanted.

“We got the best two dragons, we got the OG’s!”

Alison added: “Peter has had to travel a lot as he films in America, but he keeps in touch with us via his financial advisor who we speak to on a daily basis, so even though we don’t see him as much, he is always in the loop.”

Dragon's Den favourite, Deborah, Natalie and Alison
AUNTIE DEBS: Dragon Meaden, with Natalie, Alison and their March Muses products.
Credit: Ernest Simons

There was a time however, when the pair thought they were going home with nothing after three of the five dragons rejected them in a row.

Alison said: “The whole pitch is two hours long but you only see about 13 minutes on the final edit.

“What you see on TV is completely unscripted, the rejections came one after another but we carried on despite that.”

March Muses specialises in handmade Christmas decorations including black angels and Santa baubles ensuring each product pays close attention to varying skin tone, hair design, body shape and size.

And the name has its own story to tell.

Natalie said: “It would have been so easy to put a generic name like Black Decorations for example but we didn’t want to just fit into a corner.

“Alison and I are born in March, which fits the beginning of the name and we wanted to be muses for our girls hence the second half of the name.”

All the decorations are named after an empowering black role model born in March such as Aretha Franklin and Diana Ross.

MARCH MUSES: Some of the products that Alison and Natalie sell. Image: Amy Cuthbertson

Natalie added: “Everyone we spoke to on set that day really encouraged us, from the chefs to the make-up artists, so by the time it was our turn to pitch we were ready and were like ‘we can do this’.

“But we do regret wearing heels!

“We wore them for the pitch, and as soon as it was over and the doors to the lift shut, the shoes came off, but then the Dragons wanted to meet us after filming so they had to go back on! 

“I remember watching myself back on TV and seeing my legs shuffling from the pain!”

Dragon's Den original Deborah Meaden with her new team by Peter Jones name
IN THE LOOP: Jones may be away, but he is always there to support the team. Credit: Ernest Simons

Their girls were excited to see the products being made, such as the Black Santa, but by the time the show aired, they were normalised to the idea, which is an important factor to both women. 

Keeping quiet was hard for them, as they filmed in June meaning they had to keep the secret for nine months.

This involved the signing of many NDA’s, but the response on social media after the show went live was worth the silence.

Natalie said: “The fact that Alison’s phone has to stay constantly on charge says everything. The response has been amazing. We have had our trolls but the majority has been really positive.”

In the next five years, the pair hopes to continue developing more new products for both Christmas and all year round celebrations to sell globally.

Jones said: “They had identified a gaping hole in the market with clear consumer demand for their offering, the business has huge growth potential in the UK and internationally and the products are simply stunning.”

Meaden added: “I truly admire Natalie and Alison for the important work they are doing, and I look forward to helping them to take March Muses to the next level.”

Featured image credit: AO-Photography

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