Couple enjoying retail success despite snub from Dragons Den

DRAGONS DEN may have thought the idea was not worth backing but since appearing on the BBC2 show a Dunmow company has gone from strength to strength.

Entrepreneurs Gavin and Suzanne Naismith appeared on the show in 2010 with their children’s luggage brand The Cuties and Pals and walked away without a penny.

However, the couple are having the last laugh as they enjoy nationwide retail success, selling over 25,000 units per year in some of the countries best known stores.

The Cuties and Pals have also travelled to 12 export markets, including the USA, Australia and Hong Kong and are due to be in Taiwan in May this year.

The European market is also a target with sales already in Spain, Germany and Italy but plans for expansion over the next year.

The company has a turnover of �465,000 per year and puts its success down to hard work and determination as well as a business-savvy attitude.

Mr Naismith said: “The retail market is extremely tough at the moment, so you have to really believe in your product and identify the correct target audience if you’re going to survive. There’ve been a lot of late nights and long weekends doing retail launch and trade shows – and we still are to be honest!”

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“It’s such a fantastic feeling seeing a child’s face light up when they first sets eyes on their favourite animal as a piece of luggage. And obviously it’s even better if they persuade mum or dad to buy it.”

The couple are not resting on their laurels though as they plan to make The Cuties and Pals’ a world famous by 2015. For information, visit