Having sold 40 per cent of her business to ‘Dragons’ Gavin Duffy and Niall O’Farrell, the Ardkeen resident spoke her delight to The Munster Express following last Thursday night’s show.
“It might have been edited down to 10 minutes on television, but you’re standing there for an hour and a half with no script, nothing up your sleeve that you can avail of, nothing,” said Kate, who hails from Crosshaven in County Cork.
“It’s just you in a room with five strangers and your idea. It was very intensive and I was exhausted by the end of it. But thankfully it all went well!”
With her inbox inundated with emails of congratulations and her phone ringing off the hook since Thursday last, Kate has been taken aback by the reaction to her TV appearance.
“Nothing could have prepared me for what the past few days have been like. It’s been great. To have so many people contacting me the way they have has been unbelievable.
“It’s been an incredibly positive experience and a huge step forward for me in terms of developing the business.”
The business in question – www.henparty.ie – is an information portal for those planning hen parties, a sector which has proven well worth exploring from Kate’s perspective.
“I got it off the ground last February, literally in my bedroom,” the UCC graduate added.
“I was still working for Pims Business Systems in Dunhill at the time but as the interest in the site picked up; I branched out on my own, took the plunge and have got it to this point, which is great.”
The site acts as an online store for hen party paraphernalia and also provides an advertising medium for the hospitality trade seeking ‘hens’ with cash.
“I’m now attracting advertising from four star hotels, which was pretty unthinkable at the onset of putting all this together,” said Kate.
“But given the altered state of the economy, hotels are now opting to advertise on the site because they themselves need to explore every avenue they can when it comes to ensuring income streams, which is obviously good news for me.”
So did the old chestnut about a recession being a good time to start up a business certainly ring true from Kate’s experience? “Absolutely,” she added.
Some would say that for €30,000, she has given away a chunk of her business for a song. Kate begs to differ. “The 60 per cent I’ve got now is worth more to me already than what the 100 per cent was prior to Dragon’s Den,” she explained.
“You just couldn’t buy the sort of publicity I’ve enjoyed since last Thursday. The brand recognition which henparty.ie has had in the past few days is so important in terms of future development and expansion. I’ve just taken on my first employee so it’s a very exciting time for me.”
Congratulations to Kate Hyde, who has turned a good idea into an even better niche business. Her future looks assuredly bright.