We were rejected on Dragons’ Den for our wedding business idea to chaperone DOGS – but now we’re laugh… – The Sun
IT may have been a resounding “I don’t” from the Dragon’s Den millionaires, but a duo who look after couples’ dogs so they can be part of their weddings have had the last laugh.
Emma and Adrian Cartlich, who run Precious Pets Weddings, are now booking until 2025 – and their business shows no signs of stopping.
The twosome entered the particular BBC lair in June last year hoping to convince Peter Jones , Deborah Meaden , Touker Suleyman , Sara Davies and Theo Paphitis to pump some cash into their puppy chaperone service.
Unfortunately the panel thought Emma, 39, and Adrian, 49, were barking mad, and they walked away empty handed.
But 14 months on plus Precious Pets has helped more than 100 brides and grooms-to-be make their furry friends part of their special day — and they’re ready for hundreds more.
Emma, 39, said: “We were hoping for an investment but we didn’t feel too disappointed as it was great exposure for our business.
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“Adrian and I are very proactive, determined and hardworking people : working seven days a week where necessary – so we ensured we would be a success.
“We both feel immensely proud of our achievements to date, and there was never any doubt in our minds we were not going to make a success of our business, even without the Dragons. ”
Pet packages start from £369, and each quote is tailored to a couple’s specific animals and needs.
So it doesn’t matter whether you want a Miniature Schnauzer to walk you down the aisle, a Chow ring bearer or a Great Dane to pose for group pics, they say they’ve got you covered.
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The couple, from Stoke-on-Trent , Staffordshire , decided it was time for a career change in 2017.
At the time, Emma was a training manager for the NHS, while her husband worked in heavy goods.
But they packed it in to pursue their lifelong dream of working with animals plus Adrian trained as a self-employed dog grooming stylist.
He was able to put his skills to the test with friends and family who were getting married during that period, plus they quickly realised he was a hit.
“Adrian is like a dog whisperer, ” Emma said.
“As a wedding gift, we chaperoned our friend’s dogs for their photographs and even coordinated a surprise band bearer for another.
“We never thought it would be a thriving business for us in the future. ”
There was in no way any doubt in our thoughts we were not going to make an achievement of our business, even with no Dragons.
Within a year, the couple launched their pet chaperone service with the motto “dogs are family” and they had been inundated with “unbelievable and extremely positive” feedback.
“Precious Pets Weddings was born and the rest is history, ” Emma said.
Months later they were approached by the Dragons’ Living room research team and subsequently appeared on the show in June 2021.
While they failed to impress the Dragons, they won the hearts of people watching at home.
After the programme, Emma and Adrian secured their first job outside of their area and chaperoned pup Bear at The Old Marylebone Town Hall in London.
They also had the joy of being given an award by Dragon Theo Paphitis as part of his Small Business Sunday competition.
The particular retail magnate and entrepreneur named Precious Pet Wedding ceremonies as one of his “ones in order to watch” in May 2022.
Emma and Adrian are now looking forward to the “very bright” future – with engaged couples booking their services as far in advance as 2025.
“We are very proud that our business has gone from strength to strength, ” Emma said.
“We have already scaled up by expanding into different counties, including hitting the wedding scene in the capital.
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“This year has been plus continues to be a record-breaking one for us, and 2023 and 2024 are booking up fast.
“We have even been approached to open our 2025 diary. ”