Churchill Gowns on Dragons’ Den

12th August, 2019

Whilst the Churchill Gowns blog is usually filled with academic dress trivia or top tips for graduation, this week we’ve got something a bit different… The exciting announcement that Churchill Gowns is set to appear on Dragons’ Den!

Where it all started...

For those of you who don’t know, Churchill Gowns was founded in the UK by University of Cambridge graduates Oliver Adkins and Ruth Nicholls after they were shocked to see the high prices charged by traditional gown suppliers and the total lack of choice in the market.

They did some research and found a start-up in Australia that was shaking up the graduation gowning world by offering customers a simple online ordering process and home delivery model. They were also really impressed by the ethical credentials of the Australian business, who were making all their gowns from recycled plastic. Oliver and Ruth approached the founders of Churchill Gowns Australia and partnered with them to bring affordable and sustainable gowns to UK university students. Churchill Gowns UK was born!

Churchill Gowns on Dragons’ Den

Churchill Gowns founders Ruth Nicholls and Oliver Adkins

Taking Churchill Gowns to the next stage

Fast forward a couple of years and Oliver and Ruth were looking for ways to take the business to the next level. They’d had an enthusiastic response from students and were keen to expand their range to include more universities, which meant investment in new stock was needed. As luck would have it, while they were devising an investment strategy, a researcher from the BBC got in touch to ask if they’d be interested in pitching to the formidable panel of ‘dragons’ on the primetime show ‘Dragons’ Den’. They jumped at the chance, knowing full well that having a dragon on board would bring the investment they needed and would put Churchill Gowns on the map.

After a nerve racking audition at the BBC studios in London, and a mountain of paperwork, Ollie and Ruth got the call they’d been waiting for… they’d been allocated a place on the show and would be pitching to the dragons a month later!

What happened next? You’ll have to tune into Dragon’s Den at 8pm this Sunday, 18th August, to find out!