Kristen Ianson (from left)

Entrepreneur turns down the Dragons

Elaine Popove of Fashion-Aid turned down a $50,000 offer for a 50 per cent share in her company

Although entrepreneur Elaine Popove fell short of an acceptable offer on Dragons’ Den, what appeared on TV did not tell the whole story.

Popove and business advisor Shannon Baikie pitched Fashion-Aid, a liquid roll-on adhesive to keep clothing in place.

Popove asked the panel of five Dragons to invest $50,000 for 25 per cent of her company, Miss Fix Fashion Products.

Though her presentation was filmed last May, Popove’s pitch didn’t air on television until last Wednesday night.

Popove, who moved to Campbell River from Shawnigan Lake last year, was surprised to see what CBC aired of her 45-minute pitch, but  acknowledges she did sign up for reality television.

“It’s part of reality TV,” Popove said. “Going in to this I did sign a contract.”

That six-page contract prohibits Popove from disclosing anything not shown on television.

What viewers did see was Popove turn down veteran Dragon Jim Treliving’s offer of $50,000 for 50 per cent of the company.

Treliving said he had contacts in London Drugs and Rexall, retailers, he said, Fashion-Aid would do well in.

“It was not an easy decision to make,” Popove said. “In the end, the contacts and distribution that Jim offered would have duplicated our efforts since we were already in communication with the proposed stores.”

The Dragons were also a lot more supportive of her business than it appeared – so supportive that Dragon Arlene Dickinson took to Twitter after the episode aired to set the record straight.

During taping Dickinson sampled Fashion-Aid and said it left a mark on her clothes.

But the night the episode was shown, Dickinson tweeted “For all who have asked – Yes after cleaning it did come out.”

Popove said it’s a relief to have the truth come out.

“I would personally like to thank her for doing that as she didn’t have to,” Popove said.

She maintains that the product is non-staining and water washable.

“Since it is a liquid adhesive, it may show a wet mark at first and in most cases it dries clear, however, on certain fabrics and darker colours you may see a slight residue similar to what you can expect from deodorant or lotion,” Popove said. “We want customers to go into the stores and know this is a good product. We have sold over 10,000 units and have not had one complaint or return from any of our retailers or customers. One of our biggest supporters are bridal stores and they recommend Fashion-Aid to their customers to use on wedding gowns worth thousands of dollars.”

Popove said despite the “negative vibe” going around after the show, Dragons’ Den was a good experience.

“There were a lot of things not shown in the five-minute clip that would have explained the whole story and pitch,” Popove said. “That being said, we are grateful for the air time we got as many businesses don’t get the chance to have their pitch aired.

“I would like to thank the community for all the support we have received. It’s been an amazing feeling being new to a community and receiving such great support.”

Next up for Popove and Miss Fix Fashion Products is possible expansion into the U.S. market later this year.