A Prince George company is taking the national stage.
Patricia Carr, owner of K9 Kelp, has received the call from CBC's The Dragon's Den to head to Toronto next month to make her pitch to the sought-after panel of investors.
Carr has been on pins and needles awaiting word about the show since auditions were held in town in January.
"In the past year that we've been doing the business, I've been told by so many people to go on Dragon's Den," said Carr, who is a fan of the show.
She said when she got the phone call letting her know she was selected to pitch on-camera, a producer told her they get thousands of pitches related to pet products. The fact that K9 Kelp rose to the top was "pretty flattering," said Carr, whose company is the only one in Canada with her specialty.
Started in 2011, K9 Kelp is a line of all-natural, kelp-based grooming and supplement products for dogs.
The enterprise began with a booth at the Prince George Farmers' Market but in a short time has outgrown the venue and moved to availability at various Save-On-Foods, Bosley's and The Bone and Biscuit stores, not just in Prince George, but around the province. The products are also available online.
And just like her products, all of which are self-manufactured, Carr's business has also grown naturally though word of mouth.
Carr is currently working on her pitch for a Dragon's Den boost to make K9 Kelp a household name.
"I need the dragons obviously for the exposure, but I also need them for the marketing side of it, their expertise and just to help me grow," said Carr. "I'm doing it by myself right now, so if I can just take it to the next level and then have their help in getting me to that point where I can get into all the Save-Ons, all the Bosley's, all The Bone and Biscuits and deal with the distribution centres themselves rather than individual stores."
Ideally, Carr said she would like to have the business grow to a point where she can hire people to help her make the shampoos, moisturizers, kelp blend supplements for dogs and lip balm for their owners and help sell the products nationwide.
"I'm very particular about not having it outsourced," she said. "We make our products in smaller batches so that we don't lose that quality. I definitely want to be able to have that ability to oversee the products being made, in larger quantities of course, but at the same time still keeping the quality."
Earlier this year, a member of the show's production team told The Citizen that about half of the on-camera pitches taped in Toronto will make it to air, but that the dragons have the ability to invest in any pitch, whether it's televised or not.
"I've had a great support of local people here in Prince George that have adopted our products from day one and have been very supportive," said Carr. "We're really excited and hope that we can expand and make this a great Canadian product that's right from Prince George."
For more information on the company, visit www.K9Kelp.ca.