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25 DTC Shopify Brands Featured On Dragons’ Den

25-dtc-shopify-brands-featured-on-dragons’-den
25 DTC Shopify Brands Featured On Dragons’ Den

25 DTC Shopify Brands Featured on Dragons' Den

Dragons' Den is a popular reality TV series where entrepreneurs pitch their business ideas to a panel of venture capitalists, also known as “dragons”. Originating in Japan in 2001, the show has expanded into over 40 countries, including Canada and the United Kingdom

Throughout the show’s run, countless brands have pitched and secured financial investments from the dragons. Amongst these brands are several thousand DTC brands powered by Shopify

Modern entrepreneurs have impressed the dragons with their stores, proving that building and scaling a successful brand is easier than ever with ecommerce platforms like Shopify. We’re highlighting 25 DTC brands powered by Shopify and Smile.io that successfully secured a deal on Dragons' Den. 

Table of Contents

  1. Monos 
  2. XXL & Co.
  3. Hush Blankets 
  4. EATABLE Popcorn
  5. huha 
  6. KALA Therapy 
  7. Happy Pops 
  8. The Bare Home
  9. Sweetapolita 
  10. Abokichi
  11. Nomad Nutrition
  12. brüst
  13. True North Challenges 
  14. Little Buck
  15. inkbox 
  16. Genuine Tea
  17. Satya Organic 
  18. UpCircle
  19. Ori Lifestyle
  20. Love Cocoa 
  21. Imperial Candles 
  22. Thrift+
  23. True Skincare
  24. SmileTime
  25. Natural Nutrients

What to learn from these Dragons' Den-approved Shopify brands 

1. Monos

25 DTC Shopify Brands Featured on Dragons' Den
Monos is a premium travel and lifestyle brand.

Monos is a premium luggage and travel accessory brand inspired by a mindful travel philosophy. Its sleek and modern designs are meant to be timeless classics made to last. Customers can find a full range of products to suit all their travel needs, from carry-on and full-sized suitcases to accessories like packing cubes, jewelry cases, and more.    

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Industry: Travel & Lifestyle
Original Ask: 1.6M for 10%
Dragon’s Offer: 1.6M for 15%
Outcome: Accepted deal from Michele Romanow

2. XXL & Co. 

25 DTC Shopify Brands Featured on Dragons' Den
XXL & Co. sells oversized hair accessories.

Founded by mural artist turned entrepreneur Tina Nguyen, XXL & Co. is home to the XXL Scrunchie. This Canadian brand specializes in oversized hair accessories like scrunchies and claws and has since expanded to clothing, protective pillowcases, and more. Praised by the dragons for her personal brand and personality, Tina has been sharing her journey on the show through the brand’s social channels. 



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Industry: Hair Accessories
Original Ask: 500K for 20%
Dragon’s Offer: 500K for 30%
Outcome: Accepted deal from Manjit Minhas

3. Hush Blankets

25 DTC Shopify Brands Featured on Dragons' Den
Hush is tackling insomnia with sleep wellness products. 

A Canada’s leader in cooling sheets and weighted blankets, Hush is committed to helping customers reclaim their sleep. Starting in 2017 with its signature Hush Iced Weighted Blanket, Hush has since expanded into a full line of sleep wellness products, including mattresses, sheet sets, pajamas, and more. 

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Industry: Health & Wellness 
Original Ask: 400K for 10%
Dragon’s Offer: 400K for 8%
Outcome: Accepted joint deal from Lane Merrifield and Jim Trevliving

4. EATABLE Popcorn

25 DTC Shopify Brands Featured on Dragons' Den
EATABLE Popcorn sells alcohol-infused popcorn for sophisticated snacking. 

EATABLE Popcorn perfectly pairs your favorite snack with your happy hour go-tos. Its range of alcohol-infused popcorn is designed to deliver moments of guilt-free indulgence and joy through a sophisticated snacking experience. The husband and wife team Charlene and Vince founded EATABLE in 2019 and have since secured dozens of high-profile collaborations with the likes of Barefoot Wine, Bacardí, and even the Oscars. 

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Industry: Food & Beverage
Original Ask: N/A
Dragon’s Offer: N/A
Outcome: Accepted deal from Arlene Dickinson 

5. huha

25 DTC Shopify Brands Featured on Dragons' Den
huha sells a wide range of natural, breathable underwear. 

More than an underwear brand, huha is an undercare brand. The intimate care brand sells undergarments made from natural, zinc-infused fabrics designed to be less irritating and more breathable for your most sensitive areas. Leveraging social media, the Canadian brand has gone viral and received recognition from BuzzFeed, Popsugar, Urban Outfitters, and more. 



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Industry: Fashion & Apparel 
Original Ask: 400K for 5%
Dragon’s Offer: 400K for 5% royalty
Outcome: Accepted deal from Arlene Dickinson

6. KALA Therapy 

25 DTC Shopify Brands Featured on Dragons' Den
KALA sells high-quality red light therapy devices for various uses. 

Red light therapy is all the rage in the health and wellness space right now—and for good reason. KALA Therapy packages light therapy’s healing benefits into various devices, including its best-selling Kala Red Light Mini, Light Face Mask, and Infrared Saunas. As Canada’s best light therapy device brand, KALA has earned the approval of 20,000+ happy clients, ranging from top therapy clinics to professional athletes. 

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Industry: Health & Wellness
Original Ask: 300K for 10%
Dragon’s Offer: 300K for 25%
Outcome: Accepted deal from Vincenzo Guzzo

7. Happy Pops

25 DTC Shopify Brands Featured on Dragons' Den
Happy Pops are all-natural ice pops made with real fruit and organic cane sugar. 

In search of a healthier alternative to the existing sugar-filled frozen treats, Leila created Happy Pops in 2016. Happy Pops are all-natural ice pops made with real fruit and sweetened with a hint of organic cane sugar. The refreshing treats come in unique flavors like Guava, Lychee Lemonade, Pineapple Coconut, and more. Customers can order directly from the website for delivery or find them in retailers across Canada like Whole Foods, Longos, Metro, and Sobeys. 



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Industry: Food & Beverage 
Original Ask: 50K for 10%
Dragon’s Offer: 150K for 30% 
Outcome: Accepted deal from Arlene Dickinson 

8. The Bare Home

25 DTC Shopify Brands Featured on Dragons' Den
The Bare Home is a sustainable cleaning brand with curated bundles and refill options.

With a mission of living a more conscious and sustainable life, Ashley James created The Bare Home to make sustainable living and cleaning more accessible. The brand offers a variety of curated bundles of biodegradable, phosphate, and dye-free cleaning products, including a Dragons’ Den Kit. Customers love the 3L and 10L refill options that allow them to cut down their single-use plastics consumption.    



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Industry: Home Cleaning Supplies
Original Ask: 300K for 15%
Dragon’s Offer: 300K for 30%
Outcome: Accepted deal from Arlene Dickinson

9. Sweetapolita 

25 DTC Shopify Brands Featured on Dragons' Den
Sweetapolita is a colorful premium sprinkle brand. 

With a pinch of inspiration and a dash of creativity, this colorful premium sprinkle brand was founded by Rosie Alyea in 2010. Sweetapolita started as a baking blog and has since blossomed into a devoted community of baking enthusiasts (amateurs and experts alike). Known for its sprinkle medleys that combine different shapes, sizes, and colors, Sweetapolita is adored for its playful devotion to the magical world of sprinkles. 

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Industry: Food & Beverage
Original Ask: 720K for 9%
Dragon’s Offer: 720K for 45% + 10% royalty
Outcome: Accepted deal from Arlene Dickinson

10. Abokichi

25 DTC Shopify Brands Featured on Dragons' Den
Abokichi is a Japanese-inspired food brand inspired by heritage and innovation. 

Abokichi is a creative Japanese-inspired food brand loved for its famous Okazu chili, miso, and sesame oils. When co-founder Jess moved back to Canada after living in Japan, she struggled to find healthy and natural food that compared to her Japanese favorites. She and her life partner, Fumi, teamed up with their operations partner, Bobby, in 2018 to bring heritage-inspired food to Canadian consumers. And with that, Abokichi was born. 

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Industry: Food & Beverage
Original Ask: 150K for 10%
Dragon’s Offer: 150K for 15%
Outcome: Accepted deal from Michele Romanow

11. Nomad Nutrition 

25 DTC Shopify Brands Featured on Dragons' Den
Nomad Nutrition is the #1 plant-based dehydrated meal brand.

Founded by avid climber Denis Mikhailov, Nomad Nutrition is the leading plant-based dehydrated meal brand. Adventurers are always seeking healthy and nutritious options that are easy to pack in their backpacks for their next journey. This is where Nomad Nutrition comes in, with ready-to-eat vegan meals packaged compactly for the modern wanderer. 

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Industry: Food & Beverage
Original Ask: 100K for 10%
Dragon’s Offer: 100K for 17%
Outcome: Accepted deal from Lane Merrifield 

12. brüst

25 DTC Shopify Brands Featured on Dragons' Den
brüst sells ready-made protein coffees to fuel your day. 

Former athletes Amar Gupta and Josh Barr created brüst to solve their shared problem—a lack of a simple protein drink that could help them recover between training sessions and tasted good. brüst is a ready-made protein coffee drink filled with grass-fed protein and cold brew coffee. Available in Dark Roast and the original Light Roast, brüst is a low-sugar, low-calorie option for anyone looking to fuel their day. 

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Industry: Food & Beverage
Original Ask: 1.2M for 25%
Dragon’s Offer: 1.2M for 28%
Outcome: Accepted deal from Arlene Dickinson

13. True North Challenges

25 DTC Shopify Brands Featured on Dragons' Den
True North Challenges offers virtual race challenges for athletes to complete anywhere. 

Formerly Virtual Run Canada, True North Challenges is an online platform enabling athletes to complete virtual races with medals from anywhere. Customers choose an event that suits their skills, complete the challenge from anywhere, and cross the finish line. More than a medal, True North Challenges offers an opportunity to explore new horizons, stay active, and join a supportive community of athletes. 

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Industry: Fitness & Recreation
Original Ask: 700K for 20%
Dragon’s Offer: 700K for 40%
Outcome: Accepted deal from Arlene Dickinson and Wes Hall

14. Little Buck 

25 DTC Shopify Brands Featured on Dragons' Den
Little Buck sells matching stylish headwear and swimwear for children and parents.

Little Buck sells stylish, durable, quality headwear and swimwear for your little ones and yourself to match. Its snapback hats are designed to suit adult styles, an alternative to the cartoon characters that most children wear. Husband and wife team Marianne and Shane James founded Little Buck shortly after the arrival of their firstborn son. 

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Industry: Fashion & Apparel
Original Ask: 110K for 10%
Dragon’s Offer: 110K for 5% royalty
Outcome: Accepted deal from Michele Romanow

15. inkbox

25 DTC Shopify Brands Featured on Dragons' Den
inkbox sells semi-permanent temporary tattoos that last 1-2 weeks. 

Temporary tattoo brand, inkbox, was created by brothers Tyler and Braden Handley in 2015. The semi-permanent tattoos last 1-2 weeks and come in a wide range of designs, including custom and freehand options. inkbox now offers other accessories, such as nail art strips.  

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Industry: Jewelry & Accessories
Original Ask: 100K for 1.7%
Dragon’s Offer: 100K for 5% royalty
Outcome: Accepted deal from Michele Romanow and Joe Mimran

16. Genuine Tea 

25 DTC Shopify Brands Featured on Dragons' Den
Genuine Tea is recognized as Canada’s best organic tea brand. 

Voted Best Tea in Toronto in 2020 and 2021, Genuine Tea is a premium organic tea brand. This DTC brand is a tea lover’s oasis with various loose-leaf teas, wellness teas, matcha, tea accessories, and more. Genuine Tea is committed to ethical sourcing, exceptional quality, and the bold belief that a better cup of tea means a better you. 

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Industry: Food & Beverage
Original Ask: 90K for 15%
Dragon’s Offer: 150K for 30%
Outcome: Accepted deal from Arlene Dickinson and Vincenzo Guzzo

17. Satya Organic 

25 DTC Shopify Brands Featured on Dragons' Den
Satya Organic sells a variety of products for eczema relief. 

Satya Organic was born out of a need for a better, natural solution to the topical steroids often prescribed for eczema. After her baby girl was diagnosed with eczema, Patrice began experimenting in her kitchen to find a natural remedy. Fast forward, and Satya Organic offers an entire range of products for eczema relief, including its Easy Glide Stick, Jars, Travel Tins, and more. All products are made from just 5 organic ingredients— calendula petals, cold-pressed sweet almond oil, beeswax, cold-pressed jojoba, and colloidal oatmeal. 

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Industry: Health & Wellness
Original Ask: 115K for 15%
Dragon’s Offer: 125K for 25% 
Outcome: Accepted deal from Vincenzo Guzzo 

18. UpCircle

25 DTC Shopify Brands Featured on Dragons' Den
UpCircle is a sustainable beauty brand stocked in stores and websites worldwide. 

Founded in 2016 by brother-sister duo Will and Anna, UpCircle started as a coffee-based skincare concept that gave coffee grounds a new lease on life. 8 years later, UpCircle has expanded into a wide range of skincare, haircare, and other beauty products. The U.K.-based sustainable beauty brand is stocked in stores and websites across Europe and the United States. With a commitment to upcycling, UpCircle has also earned B Corp certification and has launched a refill scheme and circular packaging.   

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Industry: Beauty & Cosmetics 
Original Ask: £50,000 for 2%
Dragon’s Offer: £50,000 for 30%
Outcome: Accepted joint deal from Touker Suleyman and Tej Lalvani

19. Ori Lifestyle  

25 DTC Shopify Brands Featured on Dragons' Den
Ori Lifestyle offers holistic products and courses to help customers reach their hair goals. 

Certified Hair Coach Titi Bello created Ori Lifestyle after struggling with hair loss and damage and noticing her daughter’s hair insecurity. The natural haircare brand uses the best of science and nature to design products that meet customer’s hair needs. With a focus on empowering customers, Ori also offers memberships, courses, and consultations to educate people on how to reach their hair goals.  

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Industry: Beauty & Cosmetics
Original Ask: £60,000 for 15%
Dragon’s Offer: £60,000 for 25%
Outcome: Accepted deal from Emma Grede

20. Love Cocoa

25 DTC Shopify Brands Featured on Dragons' Den
Love Cocoa carries the Cadbury family chocolate legacy 200 years later. 

Inspired by his great-great-great-grandfather's legacy, James Cadbury founded Love Cocoa to produce delicious, high-quality chocolate ethically and sustainably. As a certified B Corp, Love Cocoa sells climate-friendly chocolate in over 17 countries and countless retailers. Satisfy your sweet tooth by shopping the range of chocolate bars, truffles, and hot chocolate, or give the perfect gift with a curated gift box or hamper

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Industry: Food & Beverage
Original Ask: £75,000 for 5%
Dragon’s Offer: £75,000 for 20%
Outcome: Accepted deak from Tej Lalvani

21. Imperial Candles

25 DTC Shopify Brands Featured on Dragons' Den
Imperial Candles sells scented candles with hidden jewelry inside. 

Imperial Candles sells a variety of products to help you relax and unwind, from candles to bath bombs to wax melts and more. Made famous for its Jewellery Scented Candles, Imperial Candles hides a piece of 925 Sterling Silver surprise jewel in each candle. Customers can choose from a necklace, ring, earrings, or bracelet and uncover their treasure whenever they light their candles. 

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Industry: Home Goods
Original Ask: £100,000 for 10%
Dragon’s Offer: £100,000 for 40%
Outcome: Accepted joint deal from Touker Suleyman and Tej Lalvani

22. Thrift+

25 DTC Shopify Brands Featured on Dragons' Den
Thrift Plus is a seamless secondhand fashion marketplace. 

As an alternative to fast fashion, Thrift Plus is a seamless secondhand fashion marketplace that makes selling and buying pre-loved clothing easy. In 2017, Joe Metcalfe set out to revolutionize the thrifting industry by making second-hand shopping hassle-free. Thrift+ has recirculated over 500,000 clothing pieces and donated £1.5 million to charities. 

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Industry: Fashion & Apparel 
Original Ask: £150,000 for 5%
Dragon’s Offer: £150,000 for 10%
Outcome: Accepted deal from Sara Davies

23. TRUE Skincare 

25 DTC Shopify Brands Featured on Dragons' Den
TRUE Skincare sells certified organic skin care products at accessible prices.

TRUE Skincare is a certified organic natural beauty brand that wants to make beautiful organic products accessible to everyone. Its products use waterless formulations to reduce environmental impacts. While this decision increases costs, TRUE Skincare has reduced its margins to ensure that beauty can be inclusive, not exclusive. Customers can shop all their skincare favorites, like cleansers, exfoliators, serums, moisturizers, body care, and more. 

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Industry: Beauty & Cosmetics
Original Ask: £75,000 for 5%
Dragon’s Offer: £75,000 for 12.5%
Outcome: Accepted deal from Deborah Meaden

24. SmileTime 

25 DTC Shopify Brands Featured on Dragons' Den
Smile Time sells at-home teeth whitening kits and products. 

Launched in 2019, Smile Time is the fastest-growing and most recognizable premium oral cosmetics and at-home teeth whitening brand in the United Kingdom. The experienced team behind Smile Time noticed a gap in the market for a holistic approach to all things smile-related that was affordable, sensitivity-free, and delivered results. Today, over 120,000 happy customers have used Smile Time’s teeth whitening products to brighten their smiles from the comfort of their homes. 

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Industry: Oral Cosmetics 
Original Ask: £50,000 for 2%
Dragon’s Offer: £50,000 for 10%
Outcome: Accepted joint deal from Touker Suleyman and Steven Bartlett 

25. Natural Nutrients

25 DTC Shopify Brands Featured on Dragons' Den
Natural Nutrients sells a wide range of natural, high-quality supplements.

Natural Nutrients is a supplement brand that sells highly effective products made from natural, good-quality ingredients. As a seasoned personal trainer, co-founder Liam struggled to find supplements to recommend to his clients that he could stand behind. This was when he decided to create his own solution, and soon after, his now business partner Craig came on board. Natural Nutrients sells a variety of protein powders, greens powders, and other sports nutrition products.  

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Industry: Health & Supplements
Original Ask: £100,000 for 10%
Dragon’s Offer: £100,000 for 35%
Outcome: Accepted joint deal from Peter Jones and Tej Lalvani

What to learn from these Dragons' Den-approved Shopify brands 

Each of these successful 25 brands started as nothing more than an idea. Whether you’re a seasoned entrepreneur or looking to grow your commerce business, several important lessons from these Dragons' Den-approved DTC brands exist. 

1. Capture interest immediately 

Each DTC store owner had a few minutes to capture the dragons' attention and interest. They’ve seen thousands of business pitches, so these 25 business owners had to stand out to secure a deal. 

You’re facing the same situation with your ecommerce brand on an even larger scale. 

You may not be competing for the dragons' investments, but you are competing with every other DTC brand for your customers’ attention. When a customer interacts with your brand on any touchpoint (in-store, on your website, social media, digital advertisements, emails, etc…), you need to make it a positive experience within seconds. 

Ensure you’re making your brand’s value extremely obvious across channels. Whatever your unique value proposition is (whether that’s you, your products, or the brand experience), make it stand out. 

2. Keep your customer at the center of everything

As a business owner, you know your brand better than anyone else. While you can (and should) take advice and feedback from external sources, you know your needs best. Some of these Shopify entrepreneurs turned down more financially compelling offers to partner with the dragon that best aligned with their industry, customer needs, and brand values. 

This is an important mentality to adopt for all business decisions you make. If you’re introducing a new product, configuring a rewards program, or even deciding on a new marketing strategy, ask yourself one question, “What makes sense for my customers?” 

How High-Volume Brands Use Smile Plus
Smile Plus is a plan for high-volume businesses looking for a loyalty program that drives results. Discover how brands use Smile Plus today.
25 DTC Shopify Brands Featured on Dragons' Den

3. Ask for feedback 

On Dragons' Den, all of these entrepreneurs were seeking guidance from the investors. They all wanted financial support, but most saw more value in the advice and expertise that came with their new dragon partner. 

But you don’t have to go on Dragons' Den to gain valuable feedback. Utilize online feedback sources like website analytics, ecommerce purchase behaviors, loyalty program engagement rates, online surveys, social listening, and more to gain customer feedback. Then, use this feedback to inform future business priorities and decisions.

4. Failure is a learning opportunity

While all of these successful Shopify stores secured an offer on Dragons' Deal, some of the deals broke down after the fact due to various factors. Whether the brand is still actively working with their dragon today or they parted ways, these 25 DTC brands share one thing in common—they all rave about how much they learned from the experience. 

Successful entrepreneurs learn from failures. These 25 brands are successful today because they learned from the dragons’ feedback, iterated, and succeeded. The same goes for your brand. If a new product launch doesn’t go as planned, study the entire process to learn why it failed. Take what you learn and apply it to your next launch. 

5. Customer loyalty is so valuable 

In every pitch, the dragons seek validation that the business is worth their investment. This comes in the form of healthy margins, revenue, and performance. 

Focusing on acquisition is tempting in the early stages since it allows you to boost sales quickly. But it’s costly. Relying on pricy channels like online advertising is not sustainable. 

Instead, focus on retaining the customers you already have with tools like loyalty programs. Once you’ve built a solid loyal customer base, introduce a referral program as a more sustainable customer acquisition channel. 

The State of Ecommerce Customer Loyalty in 2023
Discover key loyalty and retention findings from Smile Rewards’ dataset with this report on the state of ecommerce customer loyalty in 2023.
25 DTC Shopify Brands Featured on Dragons' Den

Ready to make a deal?

If you’re feeling inspired by these 25 DTC Shopify brands featured on Dragons' Den, it’s time to take your brand to the next level. Boost your ecommerce store’s success with a loyalty program. We may not be sitting in the den, but the team of loyalty experts at Smile.io is just as eager to help your business grow and succeed. (Plus, we promise we’re less intimidating). 

Invest in your loyal customers. 
Launch a loyalty program to reward customers.

This article originally appeared on Smile.io and is available here for further discovery.
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