Our Dragons' Den Pitch - Read it here!

Dragon’s Den Audition Pitch by Joanna Miller, Bespoke Verse. 
Episode 11, series 14.  (Sunday 15th January 2017, BBC2)
 Note:  The poem was written to be read aloud, not from the page.
We've removed some of the figures - we're very modest you know!
I’m Joanna Miller, here to pitch
To Dragons talented (and rich!)
To coax, convince and to converse
About my business - Bespoke Verse
The offer I would like to make
Is a twenty percent equity stake.
I’m offering that upon the grounds
Of an investment of fifty thousand pounds.
Since 2012 I’ve worked full time
Creating gifts that feature rhyme.
From bespoke commissions - by my team of bards -
To tea towels, notebooks, mugs and cards.
I’m a working mum with children (3)
Whose business selling poetry
Has grown from kitchen to garden shed
To studio and team in Berkhamsted.
It all began with my wedding speech
(At that time I used to teach
English in a secondary school
“Yes, really class, poetry’s cool.”)
I told the bridegroom’s tale in rhyme
(With the - odd - fictitious line)
Which led to requests from friends who’d pay
For my services in Chardonnay!
Earning a living was never my target
But clearly there was a poetry market
To be specific, there was a gap
For poetry that was personal but wasn’t… naff!
Commissions?  Less easy to scale, I reckoned
So ‘off the shelf’ products beckoned.
Firstly, prints (unframed or framed)
Personalised with dates and names.
Then homewares and stationery bearing a ditty
The USP being - rhyming and witty.
Not everybody is keen on verse
(Some can’t think of anything worse!)
But MY customer wants to express an emotion
- Perhaps it’s humour or devotion -
They want the right words, and are happy to seek
Out a product that’s truly unique.
Bespoke Verse products have caught on apace
We’re proud to be stocked by Paperchase.
Over 300 products exist to date
With many more that I’d like to make.
We exhibit at trade shows, keen to expand,
Now have 90 stockists across the land.
The biggest percentage of our sales come from
The website
Where healthy year on year growth has been seen
(We won Partner of The Year in 2015)
And order volumes there, I’m happy to say,
In 3 years number over 45K.
Each year our turnover has grown aplenty
Net profit has not kept quite so in line:
But we’ve reinvested heavily - that is a factor -
And we need to cut costs in manufacture!
We’ve never had an overdraft, investment or loan
But the ‘Zen of the Den’ is well known
And I believe you can help my business expand,
Increase awareness of our brand,
Finance the means to make things ‘in house’
And contribute valuable dragonly nous.
So, thank you for listening to my rhyming quest
To find a dragon who’s keen to invest
Their cash, and time, and their suggestions…
Please let me know if you have any questions!



  • Natasha Gunning on

    Fabulous, Jo! No wonder there was applause! Truly original, as always.

  • ALison WOod on

    Curse those editors for not letting us see and hear the whole thing! Brilliant (as standard)!

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