Rising Star: Simeone Salik of Blinds in a Box

67-year-old Dragons' Den contestant Simeone Salik drew Duncan Bannatyne and James Caan to the potential of her product Blinds in a Box, after appearing on the show.

How did you get the idea?

My husband retired in 2003 and we had just built a house. But the windows needed to be covered before the curtains arrived. I teamed up with a designer to make some temporary ones and then realised that there was actually a gap in the market for this.

How did you finance it?

I founded the business with two partners and we decided to keep our costs down because we didn’t want to get saddled with debt. We spent around £3,000 each getting it off the ground, but that wasn’t all in one go and part of that was from revenue.

Why did you go on Dragons’ Den?

Someone called from the show and asked if we’d like to go on it. Initially, we said no as we didn’t want to appear fools on national television. We then agreed and decided we’d just have to do a lot of rehearsing. In the end, it was a lot of fun.

How have you marketed your product?

I used to work in PR, so I wrote all the press releases and managed to get the product into some of the national papers. Since we’ve been on Dragons’ Den, the business has been given a massive boost. Now, we’re also selling in Argos.

Where next?

I want to do things with the health service and develop flame retardant blinds. I’d also like to get into the student market. People still don’t really know we exist, but in the current climate, we have a really cheap solution.

Also see: Rising star Jo Young – on starting her Urban Sprawl sofa covers business

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel was the editor of SmallBusiness.co.uk from 2010 to 2018. He specialises in writing for start-up and scale-up companies in the areas of finance, marketing and HR.

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Dragons' Den

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