Dragons’ Den’s “affable entrepreneur’s” fabric maps have doubled sales and increased profits since filming. The business took advice from the Dragons to grow the UK base and broaden the appeal to new markets before advancing to more export markets.
Outdoor adventurers love ultra-practical fabric maps already, but the widespread media attention and a focus on “gifts” has led to a whole new market for great map designs on fabric.
David Overton, founder of fabric map business, SplashMaps, shared his plans with Dragons’ Den (aired Sunday, May 28th on BBC2 at 7pm). The explosive results are thanks to tapping a whole new market for gifts and major events.
“Orders from retailers and collaborations with the biggest in the travel industry are taking SplashMaps to the next level,” says Overton.
Natural cosmetics retailer Lush recognised the potential early – they now use fabric city maps as attractive, practical and ever-lasting wrapping for their products. Tokyo and Amsterdam stores now join the chain’s London shops with dedicated SplashMap “knot-wrap” designs and there are plans to adopt a new style of map for all new stores that Lush open around the world.
What’s the fuss about? Well, fabric maps are the most reliable, practical form of map – no need for batteries, signal or folding and they’re happy being dropped! They’re scrunchable (to stuff into pockets, tie around necks etc.), and so weatherproof that Southampton Sailing Week have commissioned the world’s first sea-proof fabric event maps from the company.
You can centre them anywhere worldwide(!), choose a scale to suit your activity and customise them with your own titles, logos etc. So they’re popular for sporting or other events, weddings, corporate gifts and more.
Overton, also known as the “affable entrepreneur” (as the BBC labelled him), comments: “It’s a phenomenal time for us. Orders are flying in, not just from individuals buying for themselves or as gifts, but bulk orders of custom maps for all kinds of uses. People are getting creative with our maps; Lush’s knot wraps are a great example.”
Is this all due to the Dragons? You’ll need to tune-in to find out!
Find SplashMaps at www.splash-maps.com along with all the latest map news and design tips.