It has been a whirlwind year for Medwin Culmer and Preyanka Clark Prakash, husband and wife co-founders of Cornish ethical beauty brand Bloomtown – the UK’s first independently certified palm oil-free company, which featured on BBC2’s Dragons’ Den.
After applying for the show in March last year, Truro-based Bloomtown featured on last night’s (Feb 3) episode. And despite failing to get an investment, owner Clark Prakash has been delighted with the reaction.
“We are overwhelmed with the response to our appearance on Dragons’ Den,” she said. “The feedback we have received has all been fantastic, and it is especially good to know we have helped raise awareness for the palm oil issue and introduced a wider audience to high quality, sustainable alternatives.”
The couple spent two years in Indonesia and witnessed first-hand the impact of palm oil production on virgin forests and endangered wildlife. When they realised that most of their products contained palm oil, often disguised under hundreds of alternative names, they decided it was time to produce a truly palm oil-free and cruelty-free alternative within the beauty industry, and so Bloomtown was born. The multi-award-winning brand is also PETA-certified vegan and cruelty-free.
Reflecting on her experience in the Den, Clark Prakash said: “It was the scariest and most exciting moment of my life. I pictured myself just two years earlier, sitting on my kitchen floor making my lavender sugar scrubs, and now here I was, gripping Med’s hand as the elevator doors opened and we walked in to face the infamous Dragons.
“We know the selection process is competitive and only around 60 businesses end up being aired so our chances were pretty slim. We are really grateful to my father, who travelled half way across the world to help us prepare by ‘playing Dragon’ – testing us on our numbers and helping us fine tune our pitch.
“The response to the show has been fantastic, and it has been wonderful to see the support for our independent, home-grown brand which is trying to make a difference to our planet by offering beautiful, effective products that don’t cost the earth.”