A mindful art company received a transformational investment from a Dragons’ Den investor after a successful pitch on the BBC show last year.
Dragon Deborah Meaden invested £50,000 and took a 25% stake in MasterPeace, a Belgravia-based company which offers mindful art classes and painting kits.
MasterPeace founder Zena El Farra, 28, had considered closing the company’s doors after struggling throughout the pandemic and not qualifying for furlough.
However, Meaden’s investment has been a huge confidence boost for the company.
El Farra said: “You don’t get a bigger endorsement that there is something worth fighting for.
“It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done and probably ever will do. You are absolutely rattled by the time you get on the show.
“I was so relieved as I had gone in wanting Deborah.”
Founding artist Lara Robinson, 26, who demonstrated the painting kits to the Dragons, added: “It was absolutely nerve-wracking but also a dream come true.”
El Farra initially offered the Dragons a 15% stake in the business but was happy to take Meaden’s offer.
Meaden, who joined the Dragons’ Den panel in 2006, commented: “I really saw something in the MasterPeace experience that is increasingly relevant.
“I also really liked that Zena hadn’t fallen at the first knock of opening an experience business within months of the lockdown.
“Having worked with Zena over several months now, I have also been proved right!”
MasterPeace opened in September 2019, offering in-studio art classes run by 20 artists, but six months later was forced to move online by the pandemic.
The company was approached to go on the show in September 2020 and filming took place the following month.
The team only found out a few days before filming that they were guaranteed a place on the show.
Since Meaden has come onboard, the company has improved the quality and sustainability of its art kits and is looking to open a second studio either in London or another major UK city.
MasterPeace will resume its in-studio classes at the end of May and is about to start a new recruitment drive for London-based artists to join the team.
The Dragons’ Den episode aired on BBC1 at 8pm yesterday.
Featured image credit: MasterPeace