The businessperson who declined the Dragons twice

Russell, Cally

Cally Russell has now declined two offers in the Dragon's Den, which is something he never imagined he would do.

Eight years after turning down an investment offer from Dragon Peter Jones during a previous appearance in the den, the Edinburgh businessman makes an appearance in the most recent episode of the BBC series.

Only a few people—including Mr. Russell—have made multiple appearances on the show.

However, it is understood that on both occasions, nobody ever rejected the potential investors.

The 35-year-old businessman expressed his disappointment with their low offers.

It takes a lot to reject a Dragon, so I've been left feeling anxious and a little stressed about it, says Mr. Russell.

But I know it was the right choice; all I need to do is show it now. ".

In 2015, Mr. Russell made his first appearance in front of the Dragons with his concept for a fashion app called Mallzee, which used the data produced to aid retailers in making better clothing purchase decisions.

Cally Russell
In 2015, Cally Russell presented Mallzee to the Dragon's Den.

Peter Jones, a Dragon at the time, made an offer, but he declined it because he wanted an excessive stake in his company.

The Covid pandemic caused retailers to stop buying stock, which had a negative impact on the company's growth.

In order to concentrate on his new endeavor, This is Unfolded, he shut it down in 2021.

It asserts to produce clothing without the waste that major brands typically produce.

According to Mr. Russell, 26 billion pieces of clothing per year, or about 30 percent of all clothing produced, are never sold.

To reduce waste, his business only begins producing the clothes after an order has been placed. The customer is then reached in between four and six weeks.

On social media, he has about 3,000 female followers who vote for their favorite designs before the most popular ones are made available for purchase on his website.

Mr. Russell claims that in addition to paying bonuses to the garment workers at the Indian factories he uses, he also wants to pay for nearby children's literacy programs.

Steven Bartlett and Peter Jones watching Cally Russell's pitch
Cally Russell rejected Peter Jones' proposal.

He requested £75,000 from the Dragons during his most recent meeting in exchange for 2% of his business.

Mr. Russell received no offer from Steven Bartlett, but three of the Dragons gave him the full £75,000 instead.

Deborah Meaden requested 12% of the business, Peter Jones requested 15%, and Touker Suleyman requested 30%, which Steven referred to as a "Dracula offer" because it was bloodsucking.

Touker's offer was rejected by Mr. Russell on the grounds that he didn't believe it would be beneficial for either of them to collaborate, let alone for his mental health.

The businessman then attempted to reduce Peter Jones' percentage from 15% to 4% or 5%, which prompted the Dragon to inquire as to whether he was joking.

According to Mr. Russell, he "simply couldn't go lower.".

Cally Russell arriving at the Dragon's Den
Arrival of Cally Russell at the Dragon's Den.

Deborah Meaden stated that she did not believe a compromise could be reached because of how far apart they were, but she still wished him luck.

Peter Jones also expressed his wish that Mr. Russell would not regret turning him down twice.

Peter and Deborah would have made excellent partners for This is Unfolded, and Mr. Russell told BBC Scotland: "I'm still upset that we weren't able to work out a deal to get them both on board, but it just wasn't possible with the percentage they wanted. ".

He claimed that if he gave away too much of the business at this early stage, it wouldn't be possible to raise additional funds in the future.

Saying no to Peter Jones the first time felt like one of the biggest choices I had ever made, according to Mr. Russell.

"All the way back to Edinburgh, I experienced waves of fear that I might have made the wrong choice.

"However, I believe I was right to reject him this time around. ".

That's not to say I haven't had a few sleepless nights since, he continued. ".

In July, a recording from Manchester captured his most recent appearance in the den.

He had invested £600,000 in his business at that time.

Since then, he has acquired another £600,000.

Dragon's den
Five Dragons were up against Cally Russell.

Going up in front of the Dragons is a very frightful experience, according to Mr. Russell. You are in front of them for two hours without a break, and your adrenaline is running all day.

"They have a lot of questions, and you have to decide on investments quickly. It's a challenging setting.

"I'm really sorry about having to decline their request, but I was unable to come to an amicable agreement with them.

. "

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