Essential reading for retailers and suppliers in the home improvement market

Innovative DIY invention stuns on Dragons' Den

Published: 15 August 2016
Despite a slightly stumbling presentation on popular BBC show Dragons' Den, Martin and Jenny Chard's invention Marxman received offers from all five dragons.
Innovative DIY invention stuns on Dragons' Den
All of the investors were impressed by the simple Marxman tool, which is used to mark surfaces for drilling using a burst of brightly coloured chalk even at a distance from the wall. In the end, Mr and Mrs Chard opted to accept Deborah Meadon's offer of £50,000 investment for 30% of the business, despite it not being the top offer on the table.

Said Mrs Chard: "We had our sight set on Deborah from the very beginning. She's a fantastic businesswoman with a huge amount of knowledge and experience in this sector that will really help us develop our offering and expand our network."

Deborah Meadon added: "The best inventions come from people solving a problem that lots of us experience but don't do anything about. Martin is exceptional in that not only did he recognise and solve the problem through his invention, but he did so in a simple, elegant and affordable way. I can see widespread use of the Marxman with it becoming an essential part of all home and professional tool kits."

Martin Chard came up with the idea for Marxman six years ago while trying to fit a sink. He couldn't mark the drilling position on the wall and see the marks clearly so after a few time wasting attempts he reached for a can of black spray paint in desperation and marked it with that. After several other frustrating incidents like this and lots of wasted trips up and down ladders with broken pencils and felt tips not doing the job he started the process of developing Marxman so other workers could benefit.

Once a search of the patent office came back clear in 2009, Marxman began to take shape in 2010 as the first early stage prototype was developed. The first product was sold in 2014 and in March this year the duo secured a contract with trade retailer Wickes.

It was Jenny's son Oren who came up with the name Marxman and up until recently the family have been manufacturing every unit themselves in order to achieve the level of perfection they wanted to ensure Marxman does the job.

Mrs Chard added, "Being on Dragons' Den was extremely daunting and we were very nervous, we definitely got flustered when being grilled on the numbers - that's not our forte!

"We are the first to admit that we have very little business experience and we know we need a lot of help. We've been able to get this far thanks to the extraordinary support we've had from friends, family and the various businesses big and small we've asked advice from along the way. We are extremely grateful to everyone that has believed in Marxman and played a part in our journey so far."

Jenny and Martin plan to use Deborah Meadon's investment to increase manufacture and grow the awareness of the tool, which won best new product at the Totally DIY & Totally Tools show back in 2015.

Comments


(Your email address will not be published)
Already Registered?
Sign In
Not Yet Registered?
Register
Printable View E-mail Bookmark
*

Latest reader comments

re: Latest update on Green Homes Grant and implications for homeowners and landlords

John Hart
After applying for a green homes how long will it take for a decision? thanks...

re: SX Rainproof Exterior Caulk

Wally
I need the exterior sx rain resistant caulk! Can't get it anywhere so please help! How can I order it? Need it yesterday...

re: BCT can replicate any material in a ceramic tile

Christina Tiritanou
Not sure if you can help as I require a tile which has the measurements of 6”x 6”? Thank you....

re: Latest update on Green Homes Grant and implications for homeowners and landlords

colin thompson
SarahVery clear and helpful information.Thanks...

Most read stories