Love Bomb Cushions

Carl and Sarah Agar-Brennan of Love Bomb Cushions

Emoji cushions win over the Dragons

Sarah Agar-Brennan of Love Bomb Cushions walked away from the Dragons’ Den with three offers of investment.

Leeds businesswoman Sarah Agar-Brennan, founder and managing director of Love Bomb Cushions, received three offers of investment when she appeared on Dragons’ Den.

The BQ Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year finalist walked into the Den hand in hand with her giant emoji mascot and handed out a goodie bag of products to each of the investors.

Sarah then went on to deliver her pitch where she highlighted the company’s remarkable first year results, turning over £526,000 with a gross profit of £240,000.

The figures were music to the Dragons’ ears and all five were eager to find out more about the business and the story behind it.

Stepping into the Den however is never easy, and after some pretty grilling questions, Sarah had to explain why the company had seen revenue fall to £90,000 since then.

However, after highlighting the issues the company has had with a distributor and their ambition to bring distribution in house, she was able to pull it round and win some of the Dragons back over.

Experienced Dragon Peter Jones was then eager to find out more about Sarah’s background in business, to which she explained the inspirational story behind her previous businesses.

She launched her first business in her 20s, collecting and selling Star Wars goods and memorabilia, and opened six stores as well as launching her own website.

However, following the death of her son, she decided to exit the successful business and sold it off as fast as she could.

She then took up skateboarding in a bid to put something back into her life which she described as “feeling like a hollow pit” at the time.

Sarah then went on to coach kids skateboarding which nursed her back to health. She is now the lead coach educator for the national governing body for skateboarding as well as the owner of Love Bomb Cushions.

Her heart-felt story rounded off the questioning and she was set to face the Dragons’ to hear whether or not they would give her the £80,000 she was hoping for in return for a 10% stake in the business.

The first Dragon to make her an offer was Tej Lalvani, who offered her £40,000 for 17% of the business. Tej was then followed by fellow new Dragon Jenny Campbell who also offered £40,000 for 17% of the company.

The final Dragon to make an offer was Peter Jones, who having listened to the story behind the business and analysed the financials, offered all of the £80,000 Sarah had requested but for a 40% stake in the company.

After taking time out to ‘talk to the wall’, Sarah returned and made a counter offer to both Tej and Jenny, asking them to drop their stakes to 15% each for the £40,000 put forward, totalling £80,000 for a 30% stake in the business.

The pair accepted and much to the disappointment of Peter Jones, who admitted he was willing to drop his stake to 30% if needed, Sarah decided to take on board the investment from the two new Dragons.

She told BQ: “The Dragons have a tremendous reputation for business success and entrepreneurial spirit so we were hoping for a sprinkling of that in or business...together with the investment of course. 

“I am a huge fan of Tej and his Vitabiotics brand and Jenny's drive and determination to succeed is an inspiration. With them being the new Dragons I chose them over Peter because I felt they would potentially have more time to give me in the business.”

When asked how she will use this funding to continue growing the business, she concluded: “We plan to develop new licenses and in house branded products, a new sales system and sales staff. This will allow us to take our business to the next level as our capacity will be much greater.”

Sarah was a finalist at last year's BQ Emerging Entrepreneur Awards. To enter or book a ticket for next year's event, click here.