Carrie and Darrell Langevin, owners of the small business Mother Earth Essentials grabbed onto a life changing opportunity by stepping into a world of dragons.
Earlier this year, the Cree Métis couple from the county of Lac St. Anne decided it was worth a shot to bring their Aboriginal-based, 100 per cent natural ingredient bath product line to the CBC hit show Dragons’ Den, which gives entrepreneurs a chance to grow within the business industry.
“We auditioned (in March) in Edmonton, showed them our products and told them about our business and they decided that yes they would like to see us for filming so they flew us down (to Toronto) in May…it was fast…and I was terrified!” said Carrie Langevin.
There is a lot at stake. Canadian business moguls on Dragons’ Den decide whether the entrepreneur is worthy of a deal which involves an investment loan and possible access to marketing resources by a major business company, who will in turn benefit from a select percentage of the business’s profit. The show is named Dragons’ Den because the moguls can be overly critical.
“I was really worried that Kevin (Leary) would ask me a whole lot of business questions that would be way over my head and I would be in tears on TV,” said Carrie, “but I got prepared and was able to answer all of his questions and felt pretty good about that.”
While at this point the outcome for Mother Earth Essentials is unknown in terms of contracts, the company asked and received an $80,000 loan and Dragons’ Den refused to take 20 per cent of the share.
“The one guy had said that once he sees a business that he truly loves and well, ours was it…they treated us very well,” said Carrie.
The couple is hoping to receive more details soon before finalizing their use of the loan.
Mother Earth Essentials is also awaiting word on a possible deal with a hotel chain that has shown interest in the product.
Mother Earth Essentials, in operation for over three years, has products sold in about 40 stores across the country with a wide client base from tourists to the health-conscious and those looking for alternative healing.
The idea for the company came from the desire to help Aboriginal youth find a connection to their traditional culture and to prove Aboriginal contributions to erase stereotypes, said Carrie.
A portion of what is made on the bath products goes into a cultural camp element of the business. Education and social groups are welcome to use the Langevins’ land and engage in traditional teachings and activities provided by Elder Francis Whiskey Jack.