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Essex: Dragons show bags of interest in YUU

06:00 25 September 2012

Kellie Forbes, left, along with her business partner Gill Hayward

Kellie Forbes, left, along with her business partner Gill Hayward

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AN Essex business bagged a winner in the hit BBC TV series Dragons’ Den with backpacks that include fold-down desks and a series of activities for children.

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Great Dunmow-based YUUworld, run by business partners Kellie Forbes and Gill Hayward, slayed the Dragons in the latest episode of the series on Sunday night.

Kellie and Gill were in the enviable position of having all five Dragons wanting to invest in their award-winning range of YUU activity backpacks.

In the end, Peter Jones and Deborah Meaden were chosen as the investors.

The backpacks include colouring pads, pencils, a magnetic game board, a secret pocket, detachable pencil case and water bottle holder, plus space inside the bag for an iPod and a DS.

They are designed with ergonomic back panels, and are aimed at a range of activities including camping trips, car journeys, holidays, sleepovers, school days and sports clubs.

Following the Dragons’ investment decision, they will be able to extend their range of products and even launch the bags overseas.

Kellie and Gill said: “We went into the Den feeling secretly confident that we would secure investment from a Dragon, but to have offers from all five was really overwhelming.

“Deborah Meaden and Peter Jones have since proven to be supportive and invaluable investors, enabling us to already extend our range.”

Peter Jones was clearly impressed by the bags.

“The YUUbags are perfect for children when they are out and about,” he said.

“I know the products will succeed because I’ve given them to my own kids who thought they were great.”

Deborah Meaden admired the way the two had planned ahead.

“Kellie and Gill are both clearly smart and energetic, with strong emotional intelligence, which is important because it helps you sense what your customer wants,” she said.

“They were also demonstrably keeping ahead of the game through product development.

“I knew that there would be no resting on their laurels with these two…and I was right.”

The backpack is aimed at children aged seven and above and retails at £43 plus post and packaging.

It comes with a membership card for an online club where YUU clubbers can play games and enter competitions.

For more on YUU bags visit www.yuuworld.com .

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