Introducing the first Dragons’ Den investment of 2015: Clean Heels

First of all, what’s the Clean Heels story and how did you come up with the idea?

I came up with the idea for Clean Heels a decade ago when I was at a family outdoor party. We were outside and I could see my sister’s heels completely swallowed up by the ground, and I didn’t want to spoil my own heels this is when I spotted beer bottle tops and put them under each heel (to be honest I only found one bottle top so had to ask the waiter if I could have another beer, he did look at me as if to say ‘I just gave you one’).

So with the two bottle tops under my heels I was able to stand without sinking. After testing numerous styles and materials I knew that the design had to be round to be able to distribute the weight evenly without sinking and a soft tube so that this wouldn’t cause damage to the neck of the heels. 

What’s the USP?

I am offering to all the women the affordable product preventing them from sinking into the ground at outdoors events and protecting their heels at any occasion. 

Did you always want to run your own business or was it a case of seeing a gap in the market?

It just happened...I love creating and making things, this is what I do best, as for the business I have learnt this on the way. I have never had any business experience, just jumped in with two feet. Luckily for me it has been a good one but I knew in my heart that I wanted to share this with every woman who loves shoes.  

In your early stages, what’s been your biggest barrier and how have you overcome it? 

My biggest barrier was a lesson I will never forget. The day I launched Clean Heels I was diagnosed with breast cancer with nine months of Chemo and radiotherapy. I thought of all this hard work and now I had the biggest fight of my life. But on a good note it made me fight. 

Why did you choose to seek investment on Dragons’ Den?

I wanted to share the Clean Heels with every woman and to do this I had to take the next step.

How did you find the whole experience?

Really...It was amazing, I walked in and couldn’t stop smiling. I was a little nervous but I had fabulous time, I loved chatting with them all and listening to their comments and being able to tell them about Clean Heels. Getting Deborah up to try them was the best, within two steps she was amazed at the feeling of not sinking and being able to balance better in her heels.

You secured Dragons’ Kelly Hoppen MBE and Deborah Meaden, what were your initial thoughts once the deal was agreed? 

It was a perfect end to the show, they both wanted me so I asked them to come together to make a stronger team. ‘Girl power’. 

What do you plan on doing with the investment? 

The investment has already been put to good use as I needed their help with marketing and to open doors for me, I’m now working alongside a tremendous team. Without Deborah and Kelly I wouldn’t be able to do this.  

The product was selected for inclusion in the Oscars 2014 VIP party goody bag, how did this come about? 

They got in touch with me as they wanted to use British businesses for their goody bags so I jumped at this opportunity, unfortunately I didn’t get an invite personally.

What does 2015 hold in store? 

Who knows, watch this space there are more ideas to come. But I will work my socks off to make sure every lady knows about Clean Heels, so they never ruin their heels again.

Each pair of Clean Heels Heel Stoppers costs £4.99 and are reusable. Cleanheels.co.uk customers receive a free pack with every order. Clean Heels also makes Heel Sleeves, a barely visible ‘coat’ for heels that protects from damage. Heel Sleeves cost £3.90 for a pack of two.

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