Sleeping giant rises thanks to Dragon’s Den

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A Gomersal business which received investment from Dragon’s Den is celebrating success five years since appearing on the BBC show.

Entrepreneur Hilary Devey CBE pledged £80,000 of investment into luxury sleeping bag firm Duvalay in return for a 26 per cent share in the venture.

Since 2011, the brand has increased turnover by 200 per cent, selling over one million products, and has begun distributing all over Europe and in Australia.

And now founder Liz Colleran’s close relationship with mentor Hilary has led to the pair launching a new line of handmade mattresses named after the businesswoman. The Hilary Devey Collection is a premium range that uses bespoke materials and handcrafting techniques, and Hilary has had considerable input in the design process.

Duvalay’s move into a new factory with four times as much floorspace has enabled the company to diversify and expand its product lines, while staff from the entrepreneur’s haulage firm Pall-ex have helped Liz and her team reach new heights.

“Since Hilary’s investment, our company has grown significantly due to diversifying into wider trade and domestic markets,” said Liz.

“Hilary has put a great deal of time into mentoring and providing invaluable knowledge, which has helped to move Duvalay on to the next level. She initially decided to back the venture after developing an interest in her lorry drivers’ struggles to get a good night’s sleep on the road.”