We were rejected on Dragons’ Den for our wedding business idea to chaperone DOGS – but now we’re laughing
IT may have been a resounding “I don’t” from the millionaires of Dragon’s Den, but a duo who care for couples’ dogs so they can be part of their marriages had the final say.
Emma and Adrian Cartlich, who run Precious Pets Weddings, are now booking through 2025 – and their business shows no signs of stopping.
The duo entered the BBC’s lair in June last year hoping to convince Peter Jones, Deborah Meaden, Touker Suleyman, Sara Davies and Theo Paphitis to inject some cash into their chaperone service for puppies.
Unfortunately, the panel thought Emma, 39, and Adrian, 49, were enraged, and they left empty-handed.
But 14 months later, Precious Pets has helped over 100 brides and grooms 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 weren’t too disappointed as it was great exposure for our business.
“Adrian and I are very proactive, determined and hardworking people – working seven days a week if necessary – so we made sure we would be a success.
“We are both immensely proud of our accomplishments to date, and there was never any doubt in our minds that we were not going to be successful in our endeavor even without the Dragons.”
Pet packages start from £369 and each quote is tailored to the specific animals and needs of a couple.
So whether you want a Miniature Schnauzer to walk you down the aisle, a ring-wearing Chow Chow, or a Great Dane to pose for group photos, they say they’ve got you covered.
The couple, from Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, decided it was time for a career change in 2017.
At the time, Emma was responsible for training for the NHS, while her husband worked in heavyweight.
But they wrapped it up to pursue their lifelong dream of working with animals and Adrian trained as a freelance dog grooming stylist.
He was able to put his skills to the test with his friends and family who were getting married around this time, and they quickly realized he was a success.
“Adrian is like a dog whisperer,” Emma said.
“As a wedding gift, we chaperoned our friends’ dogs for their photographs and even coordinated a surprise ring bearer for another.
“We never thought it would be a successful business for us in the future.”
There was no doubt in our minds that we weren’t going to succeed in our endeavor even without the Dragons.
In less than a year, the couple launched their pet companionship service with the motto “dogs are family” and they were inundated with “incredible and overwhelmingly positive” feedback.
“Precious Pets Weddings was born and the rest is history,” Emma said.
Months later, they were approached by the Dragons’ Den research team and subsequently appeared on the show in June 2021.
Although they failed to impress the Dragons, they won the hearts of people watching at home.
After the program, Emma and Adrian got their first job outside their local area and chaperoned pup Bear at Old Marylebone Town Hall in London.
They also had the joy of being rewarded by Dragon Theo Paphitis in its Small Business Sunday competition.
The retail mogul and entrepreneur named Precious Pet Weddings as one of his “ones to watch” in May 2022.
Emma and Adrian now look forward to a “very bright” future – with engaged couples booking their services until 2025.
“We are very proud that our business has gone from strength to strength,” said Emma.
“We have already grown by expanding into different counties, including going to the wedding scene in the capital.
“This year has been and continues to be a banner year for us, and 2023 and 2024 are booking up fast.
“We have even been approached to open our 2025 agenda.”