An exciting evening for Truzees team as Nikki Lawlor, Co-editor of ‘True To Life Parenthood: The Only Handbook You’ll Need’ made the big screen on TV3 and was invited to chat with Lucy Kennedy and Martin King on The Seven O’Clock Show.
Joined by Micheál Martin and Derek Ryan you can catch up on the full episode on the TV3 player here or watch a short clip by clicking play below!
The get your hands on the popular and best selling book click here.
It was day for celebrations as we received the news that Truzees was shortlisted in two categories for the regional and Leinster finals for the Bank of Ireland Startup Awards. You can imagine how delightfully shocked we were as it was just 2 weeks to the day after our official launch. We were absolutely thrilled to have such recognition at such an early stage.
It was the following Friday we made a pitch to four judges in hope to bring home the gold. One week later at the awards night which held in the beautiful RHA(Royal Hibernian Gallery) in Dublin, Truzees was awarded GOLD and hailed as this years Craft Based Startup of the Year.
So with gold in hand and now an award winning company – we look forward to Truzees future happenings for the year 2016 – 2017!
(L to R): James Hogan, Senior Enterprise Development Officer at Offaly County Council, Orla Martin, Head of Enterprise at Offaly LEO, Angela Mahon, Founder of Truzees, Joe Fennell, Bank of Ireland Branch Manager and Anna-Maire Delaney, CEO of Offaly County Council.
Chances are if you’re reading this, you’ve probably seen Angela Mahon, Designer and Founder of Truzees appearance on RTE’s Dragons Den. The montage that you saw of Truzees was just a snippet of what went on behind the scenes, so here’s her inside story in case you’ve ever wondered what really happens in the Den…
Why We Said Yes to Participating on RTE’s Dragon’s Den
I had spent two years designing, developing and producing a range of baby gift products. When I became aware that RTE were seeking applicants for the 2016 show, I saw it as the perfect opportunity to get Truzees noticed in the Irish market. The timing was perfect – Dragons’ Den series would air in April and coincided with our official launch date for our new line of gifts. I did of course, also see the benefits of having the potential investment and a Dragon on board – The working capital and a Dragons’ knowledge and expertise, would ensure we had a strong foundation for lift off – we would be closer to achieving the exponential growth we desired in a shorter amount of time. Dragon’s Den just seemed to be the perfect fit and opportunity all round.
Our application was successful and resulted in Truzees being selected for the show. After personally meeting with the producers, I had to complete various elements of due diligence including sending financial reports, management information, forecasts and more. This is standard procedure and something I have become accustomed to having completed various entrepreneur programmes and accelerators such as Enterprise Irelands New Frontiers, Phase Two and the ACORNS initiative.
The next few weeks were spent compiling and practicing the perfect pitch, studying and dissecting the financial figures and forecasts and rehearsing the answers to the possible questions I could be asked.
I thought of backing out on numerous occasions. The eve before my pitch, the nerves got the better of me and I had decided against making an appearance altogether. Thoughts circulated my mind as to how the final edit would turn out. What if they only showed the bad parts of my pitch? What if they edited it in a way to make my appearance more dramatic? What if the Dragon’s made some awful comments about my products? What if it ruined my chances of launching Truzees successfully? Ultimately, the potential of a successful outcome outweighed the risks.
I wanted to create a strong and sustainable business for both my son’s future and mine. If I was going to do it, I was going to have to mitigate the risks involved – I was going to deliver my pitch without a hitch and be confident in the potential of my business. As long as I controlled the things in which I could, then the rest was up to the Dragon’s personal preferences or the editing process.
Fast Forward To Pitch Day
Before it was my time to pitch, I honestly thought about running straight out the door. The nerves had kicked in full force. Again, I had to keep telling myself that if, out of the experience, derived a positive outcome, Truzees would benefit greatly.
Walking in to pitch was a very surreal, exciting and nerve racking experience. I had never experienced a TV production atmosphere – the ambiance was something new to me and added an additional layer of insecurity. Standing in front of the Dragons, I gave my 2-minute pitch. After what felt like a good pitch, the Dragon’s began to ask the standard questions – margins, predicted turnover, and route to market. This was easy, I thought. But, it did seem to be going TOO easy. I felt the questions weren’t challenging enough. Was it because I was so well prepared or was it a lack of interest on their part? I began to feel like I was losing them. I was losing the opportunity. It crossed my mind to act a little more TV worthy. Heck, if I wasn’t going to get an investment then perhaps I should go for quality airtime.
Does Truzees and Angela get a Dragons investment?
To be continued after airing…
In the meantime…
Follow Angela on Snap Chat @ Angela_Mahon
Follow Truzees on Twitter @Truzees
Follow Angela on Twitter @Angela_Mahon
Follow Truzees on Facebook
Lorraine Keane Supporting Startups and Set to Launch New Irish Brand:
Where Design Meets Baby Gifts.
Lorraine Keane will officially launch an exciting new Irish brand to the market this month. Speaking ahead of the launch, the broadcaster and mum of two said: “Their products are beautifully designed and I’m looking forward to supporting a new Irish designer in her entrepreneurial journey.”
Truzees is a new brand created by Irish designer Angela Mahon. “I have combined my love of design with the gap in the market for unique, fun and functional parent and baby gift products. I was initially inspired to create the range when I noted the unconventional parenthood milestones through my son’s own journey from baby to toddler.”
Angela found that while there were numerous mechanisms available where a parent could record and celebrate conventional milestones such as their child’s first steps or first word, the somewhat more poignant experiences often go un-promoted and un-celebrated. Such occasions include the time when the toddler scribbles all over your walls with permanent marker or when they first say ‘I love you’. “These moments are as pivotal as the conventional.” Angela said.
Angela also recalls the time when she first spotted a gap in the market for her products and knew she had to take the leap. When she first became a mum, she received a total of six silver frames and an abundance of baby books, most of which were left unused. “The market was oversaturated and buyer options were limited to few items – with customers often reaching for the typical, safe products such as clothes and picture frames. I wanted to create alternative options but more importantly, I wanted to design products that reflected the true process of an individual child’s growth and development from baby to toddler. I wanted to bring some fun and function to the parenthood journey!”
Truzees create a range of pieces from fun and witty novelty items that promote the true to life aspects of parenthood to a range of investment pieces such as their wooden keepsake boxes and kits – a place to cherish those special items such as first scan, first curl, birth certificate and more.
Truzees also endeavors to support Ireland’s largest independent children’s charity by donating a portion of the product sale proceeds to Barnardos. €1.00 of the retail sales and €2.00 of the online sales for their gift book ‘True To Life Parenthood: The Only Handbook You’ll Need’ will be donated to Barnardos children’s charity to help children in need create better memories.
Truzees will launch on the 26th April in 1 Grand Canal Square, Dublin 2 from 12 noon to 2.30pm. It’s an open event so if you would like to attend check out Truzees website for further information www.truzees.com
29th APRIL ~ 12 NOON – 2.30PM ~
1 GRAND CANAL SQUARE, DUBLIN 2
Join us and bring your friends and aquaintances along for a lunch launch party to meet with Angela & Nikki of Truzees, our MC Sophie White of HerFamily, some of Ireland’s award winning Parenting & Lifestyle bloggers and the fabulous broadcaster & journalist Lorraine Keane who will officially launch the event.
Celebrate the launch of our new line of design-led baby gift products and connect with others in your industry.
Pop over on your lunch break, have a bite to eat, avail of our Makeup Refresh stand for mums, be the first to see our new line and get your copy of True To Life Parenthood: The Only Handbook You’ll Need signed.
(2.00 euro for every book sold will be donated to Barnardos Childrens Charity).
Take note if you would like to meet and introduce yourself to someone at the event
Just some of our attendees to date and counting(I will keep adding to the list):
Jenny & Rachel – Arnotts
AlanJohn Lawlor – Alan Lawlor Music
Sarah Eustace – Barnardos
Caroline Spollen – CS Digital Marketing
David Payne – Designhub Ireland/Plynt
Sharon Tighe – Eumom
Frankie Horan – Frankies Hairdressing
Sophie White – HerFamily
Niamh Hogan – Holos Skincare
Lorraine Keane – Journalist & Broadcaster
Paddy Dunican – Kilbeggan Races
Georgina Heffernan – Magpie Magazine
Michael Lonergan – MIRC New Frontiers Programme
Kelly Felton – Mummy Moments Dublin
Maryrose Simpson – MyLadyBug
Jennie Dennehy – Mummy V’s The World
Andrea Mara – Office Mum
Darren Mealiff – Pavanu
Sonia Tahraoui – Sonia Makeup Artist
Naomi Clarke – The StyleFairy
Nikki Lawlor – Truzees/ Life at Lawlors
Debbie Mulhall – Urba Skin & Beauty