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qathet region business owner reflects on pitch to dragons

Faith Chipman appeared on CBC show after years of auditioning
DRAGON’S DEN: Faith Chipman auditioned for CBC’s Dragons’ Den for nearly a decade before being selected to pitch for real. With no offers given during her recent appearance on the show, she says she wouldn’t return if she had the chance to do it again.

Faith Chipman, a qathet region resident, had auditioned to appear on Dragons’ Den for the past eight or nine years before being selected to pitch for real on the CBC show last May. 

It took her nearly 10 years of auditioning, practicing and improving her pitch, to learn that business with the dragons wasn’t the deal she was looking for. 

The episode aired on December 8, when Chipman, a dog groomer and founder of MarshMello Dematt, asked the dragons for $37,000 in exchange for 25 per cent equity in her company.

Made with marshmallow root and free of silicones and sulphates, Chipman’s line of dog grooming products includes a detangler, cleansers, scented sprays and more.

Although she walked away from the pitch without any offers from the dragons, Chipman said she grew as a businessperson from the experience.

“I crafted and I practiced, and I created pitches year after year,” she added, “and I kept trying to mould my business into something that was investable.”

The pitch

Going into her final audition, Chipman said the producers recognized her from past auditions. She made her pitch stand out and dropped her usual business decorum. She was zany and out there, she added.

Over the years, the producers never coached her on improving her pitch. She said she relied on a few tips on the Dragons’ Den website, reading blogs and following marketers on Twitter. 

She said the producers look at pitches to ensure they are good ideas, and for entertainment value. She learned to cut to the chase and make it entertaining to watch. 

“In the first 10 seconds, they want to know what it is and why it’s different,” said Chipman.

So, she went from saying, “groomer hair, don’t care,” while flicking the hair with the back of her hand, to “silicones, silicones, silicones, not silicones. It’s our plant-based detangling spray for dogs!” as she knocked sprayers off the table, representing her silicone-using competitors. 

Although her business was well received from the dragons, no offers were made.

After the den

As soon as she walked out the door after the pitch, she told herself, “just continue on as if you got the deal.”

Ironically, before the show aired, she secured the same funding from other sources, about $37,500, without losing any equity.

She hitched her wagon to a marketing company based out of western Canada and had a new website built on Shopify. She was thrilled with the results.

“If I could do it again, I wouldn’t go back to the show; I wouldn’t have wasted my time,” said Chipman. “I would have taken my first $3,000 and hired a digital marketing company right off the bat.”

She said they showed her assets that she didn’t know she had. 

Now, she wants to see how far she can go as a lean startup.

“I really think you can do more with less,” she added. “If you can keep your business actually profitable along the way, you can keep investing back into yourself, and you don’t have to seek outside funding.”

Chipman said she hasn’t watched her episode yet and wouldn’t be returning for another audition.

“I discovered I actually don’t need investor funding,” she added. “I can find it.”

Her dog grooming products can be purchased at or her Facebook page @marshmellodematt.