A BUSINESS rejected by the multi-millionaires on Dragon’s Den continues to have the last laugh – a right royal one this summer.
Mask-arade appeared in the den in 2009 when they tried to secure a ten per cent stake in their personalised and celebrity mask business for £50,000. All five dragons refused to part with their cash.
But since the den rejection the Southam-based company has gone from strength to strength – making over £2million a year and supplying masks to high street retailers including WH Smith and River Island.
Last year its three creators, Ray Duffy, Dean Walton and Chris O’Nyan, decided to sell their company in an undisclosed deal to Oxfordshire-based costume manufacturing giant Rubies, which turns over £79million annually. While Dean and Chris opted to leave the business, Ray has remained at the helm of the 16-strong team as commercial director.
And thanks to the Queen’s 90th Birthday Celebrations, the company is now seeing huge demand for its royal range, which has been expanded to include a corgi as well as masks of a Coldstream Guard, policeman, various members of the royal family, including of course Her Majesty.
Expect to see many of Mask-arade’s creations when parties are held across the nation to mark The Queen’s big day on Sunday June 12.
The company also recently teamed up with Stratford District Council – creating 10,000 specially-commissioned Shakespeare masks, which took centre stage in the Birthday Parade during the weekend to commemorate 400 years since the Bard’s death.
And with Euro 2016, the Olympic Games in Rio and Wimbledon in the coming months, it looks set to be a summer of success for Mask-arade.
Mr Duffy said: “It never fails to amaze me how the British public gets into the spirit of a royal occasion.
“Mask-arade face masks are a natural fit for this kind of party atmosphere and are always a favourite on social media with Facebook and Twitter full of pictures of people wearing our products.
“We firmly believe the extra effort we put in to our design and production is what makes us such a successful company and we hope it will be another fantastic year for Mask-arade.”