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Dragons missed a trick say Yeadon family as jumpers take off
It might have seemed like a woolly idea to the Dragon’s Den presenters, but a Yeadon family are making a successful business out of Christmas jumpers.
Mother and son Babs and Frank Hersey wore their own quirky creations to appear on the BBC show over the festive period.
While they say the Dragons “universally loved” their bold designs, they failed to secure funding from the judges.
But the show, filmed in April, hasn’t stopped them making a success out of their jumpers.
The pair say their striking designs have been worn by David Hasselhoff, Leigh Francis, Alex Reid and several BBC TV presenters.
The Yeadon-based company, Woolly Babs Christmas Jumpers, has sold out of this season’s stock – and Frank, 30, and Babs, 59, are busy creating more sweaters to meet an expected spike in demand.
Frank said: “The Dragons universally loved our quirky jumpers, bold designs and squeaky features. Deborah Meaden in particular expressed her love for them and tried really hard to find a way for things to work out.”
He said the Dragons may well have missed a trick.
“The show was recorded back in April, way before this year’s Christmas jumper trend took off. They seemed to not understand or appreciate the massive demand there would be for festive knitwear,” he said.
The inspiration for the business came five years ago when Babs made Christmas jumpers for Frank and one of his friends. When people started offering to buy the jumpers they decided to start producing them for sale. Now Babs, who lives in Yeadon, and Frank, who lives in London, work together to come up with the designs.
While Babs makes the jumpers her son handles the buying, the website and customer services. His sister Laura Hersey helps with accounts.
He said: “We think the appearance will cause a short spike in sales, but will be really beneficial in the long run in terms of using it as an ‘As seen on Dragons Den’.
“When people come to our website they’ll be able to see our appearance on the show.”