Life After Dragon's Den
1st May 2017 Paul Andrews
Hilary Devey CBE invested in family firm Duvalay during her time on Dragon’s Den, one of the major success stories from the BBC show.
Just over five years on since featuring on the show, in which Hilary invested £80,000 for a 26% share of the business, the West Yorkshire based company has increased turnover by over 200%, selling over one million of their award-winning luxury sleeping bags. Duvalay has also gone on to secure distribution of their products across Europe and as far afield as Australia.
Keen to mentor women in business, Hilary has spent significant time with Liz, founder of Duvalay, imparting her business acumen to further the growth of the company, as well as providing access to her wider team from her haulage company, Pall-ex. Diversifying into new markets, while utalising the skills and knowledge within Duvalay, has been a key strategy and has led to the launch of the Hilary Devey Collection.
Combining traditional handcrafted bed-making techniques with the finest raw materials and innovation, the Hilary Devey Collection is a premium range of hand-made mattresses. Each one is produced from Duvalay’s new Yorkshire factory, which the company moved into a year a go, quadrupling floor space to keep up for the demand for Duvalay products. With Hilary at the forefront of the design of the collection, personally selecting key features and materials, the collection brings a fresh take to a male-dominated industry by providing affordable luxury with a glamorous edge.
Liz Colleran, sales director at Duvalay, comments: “Since our Dragon’s Den experience and Hilary’s investment, our company has grown significantly due to diversifying into wider trade and domestic markets. Hilary has put a great deal of time into mentoring myself and providing invaluable knowledge, which has helped to move Duvalay on to the next level."
“The Hilary Devey Collection is the next stage in our growth strategy and has been named in recognition of the time and effort Hilary has put into the company, along with symbolising her love for lavish and indulgent items.”
Hilary Devey CBE, entrepreneur and CEO of Pall-ex, adds: “I know I wanted to in Duvalay as their pitch and USP appealed to me. Having my main business interests within haulage, I know how important it is truck drivers get decent nights sleep while on the road and their products offer this."
“Liz and Alan’s passion and commitment have been evident to myself over the last five years and, with help, they have been able to grown the company significantly and it will be enjoyable to see where Duvalay can grow to in another five years.”
Duvalay have also developed the world’s first lightweight mattress for leisure vehicles. Typically reducing the weight from 20kg to 13kg by swapping out a traditional mattress, while not affecting comfort, led to the company winning the contract to supply the UK’s biggest caravan manufacturer, The Swift Group, with all their mattresses.