A hairdresser became a multi-millionaire after being rejected by BBC’s Dragon’s Den.
Shaun Pulfrey, 57, became a hairdresser when he was 16 years old. In 2002 he came up with a brilliant idea, which got rejected by “Dragon’s Den”, the UK version of the popular American TV show “Shark Tank”.
Now, however, Pulfrey is the CEO of a company, that turned over £24 million just in the past year. And the product he launched can be found in the handbags not only of ordinary women, but also a bunch of celebrities.
Born in Grimsby, UK, Pulfrey moved to Manchester for two years, after deciding on being hairdresser, to get trained. Then he moved to London and worked for Vidal Sassoon as a colour technician, which let him travel to US, mostly Los Angeles, Boston and San Francisco.
At that time Pulfrey developed his unconventional way to untangle hair by tapping a brush over it. And the idea for Tangle Teezer was born.
The Tangle Teezer has flexing teeth, which allows them to flex over and around the tangles in the hair, without getting locked in them. The product was developed and brought to the market, by the partnership between Pulfrey and the company Data Plastics.
In 2007, Pulfrey brought the product to the UK’s Dragon’s Den, hoping he’ll get the money to launch it on the market. Things however, didn’t go as planned and his idea was rejected. Unstoppable, Pulfrey didn’t give up and continued to fight. “The appearance on Dragon’s Dan wasn’t a total failure,” he said in an interview for Business Insider, “It got publicity and people started talking about it.”
The product gained respect not only among hairdressers, but also a number of celebrities. Victoria Beckham was one of the first supporters. She mentioned in an interview that she loves the Tangle Teezer and always keeps one in her handbag.
“I knew the product will help hairdressers to do their job easily, but I never thought how many women have problems with untangling their or their kids’ hair.”
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