Yanika feels the heat but emerges with a deal after surviving a grilling on TV's Dragons' Den

Yanika Cordina, Founder, Cordina Hair: "To be there in front of the dragons was a surreal experience."

By Staff Reporter [email protected]

Published: June 13, 2021 | Updated: 14th June 2021

Entrepreneur and inventor Yanika Cordina emerged triumphant and with a deal after surviving a grilling on TV’s hit show Dragons’ Den.

Tears of delight rolled as the 31-year-old from Poole left the famous studio set after securing £75,000 from businesswoman Sara Davies.

But the deal came at a cost as Yanika – who featured on Dorset Biz News last year – gave away 50 per cent of her Cordina Hair business in return for the investment.

She originally offered a 15 per cent stake for the money.

Yanika said she hoped the deal will further expand her brand and provide women with simple, stress-free alternatives to salon styling at a time when people were increasingly turning to at-home options.

She added: “Sara Davies [pictured right] is the ideal dragon partner for Cordina Hair, with extensive experience in TV shopping which I believe is the next logical step for our heatless styling products.

“It’s also fantastic to be partnering with a fellow working mum.

“I unexpectedly fell pregnant just three months after launching the Flower Curl and I think it’s really important to work with someone that understands what it’s like to run a business with kids!”

Yanika pitched her Cordina Hair brand and patented Flower Curl product to the panel of five multi-millionaire dragons – Touker Suleyman, Deborah Meaden, Tej Lalvani, Theo Paphitis and Sara – on the June 10 episode.

One by one they turned her down for investment until, finally, Sara stepped in with an offer.

The programme, which regularly attracts audiences of 3m, was filmed last October in Manchester.

Yanika, and everyone involved in the production, was sworn to secrecy on the final outcome.

A researcher had initially contacted Yanika and invited her to apply to appear on the programme in January 2020.

Cordina Hair launched its heatless hair curler, the Flower Curl, pictured right, in 2018.

Yanika invented the product after struggling to find a comfortable overnight hair curler that didn’t interfere with her sleep or with her day-to-day activities.

The UK patented hair product, designed to be worn comfortably day or night, has become a big hit in the United States which accounts for about 60 per cent of sales followed by the UK (30 per cent) and Europe.

Walking through the lift doors and appearing in front of the five TV dragons was a surreal experience, said Yanika.

She said: “There were cameras everywhere and for someone who is introverted by nature. I was well outside my comfort zone.

“But I felt I had nothing to lose by taking part.

“It was nerve-wracking and after leaving the studio I did have a cry.

“I think it was because I’d successfully finished my pitch, got a deal but also given away 50 per cent of my company.

“But it was a great experience and I don’t regret it at all.

“It will give my products extra promotion and credibility and that can only be good.

“The dragons were very nice.

“They questioned me hard but I didn’t feel they had given me a hard time.

“I enjoy watching the show but to be there in front of the dragons was a surreal experience.”

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