Yes it's true...the Pixies faced the Dragons on the popular TV show CBC Dragon's Den!
Their episode (season 5, episode 16) was aired February 16, 2011, and can be viewed by clicking here. The Pixie Glassworks segment starts at 16 minutes and 40 seconds into the video.
Much preparation went into meeting with the Dragons. "The thought of facing Kevin O'Leary without doing our homework was terrifying," laughs Irja from Pixie Glassworks. "We crunched our numbers intensely and looked at our business from every angle before meeting with the Dragons. So even though we didn't get the Dragon's Dollars, the experience and deeper understanding of our business was very valuable".
"We came to the Dragons asking for an investment that would be put towards expanding our business,” says Thomas Billings of Pixie Glassworks. "Our glass products sell faster than we can make them, and expansion is necessary in order to increase our production capacity".
Little did the Pixies know that the deluge of business following the airing of the show would boost their revenues up enough to carry out the expansion on their own, without the need for outside investors.
"We worked our butts off the last few months," says Irja. "There were many nights of staying up until after midnight, either making pendants on the torch or processing orders. We didn't really know what to expect, but the orders just kept rolling in. It's literally been a dream come true, because now we have enough money to carry out our vision!"
And they have! In August 2011, they moved from their garage studio into a 1400 square foot warehouse studio. They now have 7 glass-blowing stations set up and 8 employees/apprentices. They are always looking for more experienced glassblowers to add to the team, and expect to grow even further in the near future.
"We are so grateful for the positive response we have gotten from the show and from all the people who have supported our craft,” says Irja. "Being on Dragon's Den has changed our business and really changed our lives for the better.”