Our Dragon’s Den Story by FSB Members Katy Foxcroft and Gillian Robson

  • 12 Nov 2019

Despite popular opinion, Tancream has not been an overnight success story. More than three years of research & development, followed by years of building a robust supply chain and a sustainable customer base the company still struggles to compete with the giants in the industry.

We have spent a long time building the brand, trying to compete with the bigger brands and although we were determined to succeed and had a strategy for growing the brand, we’re still not making the big bucks!

We believe in following your instinct. If something doesn’t seem right, don’t do it. If your gut tells you to pursue something… go for it. In business, you have to be prepared to take risks. Going into the Den was definitely that!


It was a huge risk to not only expose our weaknesses but also having been an avid viewer of the program, we knew we could be leaving the Den with our tails between our legs.  The decision to approach the Den was made on a bit of a whim but as the process takes months of due diligence and stress testing we had plenty of time to make an informed decision. EVERYONE we met would tell us we should do it, little did they know! Deep down we knew that it would make a massive difference to our brand awareness and potentially be a make or break decision.

We would recommend anyone with an innovative idea, concept, product or small business to try the Den. Its brand exposure, awareness and potentially the key to success is worth all the hard work to get there. Don’t underestimate the pressure, the scrutiny and the potential risk that they could tell you your business is not worth investment but as long as you believe in your product, go for it! You wouldn’t be there if your business was perfect. You’re there to get support and advice from successful entrepreneurs and with luck on your side, you’ll leave with just that.


The Tancream duo Gillian Robson and Katy Foxcroft (pictured above) will be speaking at two events in York on 13th November, as part of York Business Week. Join them in the morning for a Young Entrepreneur’s Breakfast organised by the York Guild of Entrepreneurs, and in the afternoon Gillian and Katy will be speaking at a small business event organised by FSB North Yorkshire and City of York Council designed to inspire and support small and micro businesses in York and its surrounding areas.

Titled ‘The Different Faces of Small Business’, the event will feature presentations from inspirational local business owners and a number of industry experts will be on hand to provide 1-2-1 support on a wide range of topics including apprenticeships, cybersecurity, finance, marketing and doing business with the Council. The Tancream duo will talk about their rollercoaster adventure from Gillian’s life changing skin cancer diagnosis 6 years ago to appearing on the new series of Dragons’ Den. They will share their top tips from finding a gap in the market to filling a gap on the shelves with a multi award winning, unique and innovative product. Attendees will also here what is it really like to face the Dragons? What is life like now and what is ahead for the dermatology duo?


To look at the full programme for York Business Week, please go here.