The Daily Express
“We’ve Slain The Dragons
Dragons’ Den is the BBC’s compelling reality show where bright sparks put forward their new inventions to a panel of entrepreneurs hoping for financial backing. And as often as they find a gem the business brains – who include Peter Jones and Duncan Bannatyne – throw out ideas often with a caustic comment. But even the experts get it wrong, as Lix Frost proved when she spoke to five of their rejects.
The Dragons laughed at ITSA, a beach bag made by computer sundries businessman David Glashan, 54, and wife Sarah, 43, but the Southend couple have made £370,000.
David says: The idea was dreamed up after my wife lost her watch at the beach. We came up with the idea of a beach bag that opened up into a towel with pockets for books, sunglasses and even an iPod.
I thought we were on to something. We even came up with a slogan: “Everything to hand, nothing in the sand.”
We experimented sewing beach towels together and mocked up a product which we had made in China. I had such faith that I committed £300,000 to have 42,000 made.
I saw Dragons’ Den as an opportunity to get some investment and support at the very least, at worst to get exposure. But some of the Dragons were quite scathing. Duncan Bannatyne said he didn’t see the point, would never use it and couldn’t see why anyone would buy it. Theo Paphitis laughed at us.
They convinced us we’d made a mistake and when I saw my pitch on TV, I was horrified. In the editing process I had been made to look a complete fool.
We had already invested more than £96,000 so decided not to let the experience stand in our way.
The next morning our website had received more than 300 e-mails of support from people who had seen the show and during the next day more than 150 orders were placed.
I’m glad we didn’t give up. In the two years we’ve been running, we’ve sold more than 187,000 ITSAs worldwide. We’ve more than covered our initial investment and have reinvested double that.”
“Dragons’ Den rejects David and Sarah Glashan are proving the millionaires were wrong by not backing them, as they reap the rewards of their invention.
The couple, from Bovinger Way, Thorpe Bay, were panned on the TV show in 2006, when none of the entrepreneurs would invest £250,000 for a 20 per cent share in their firm to make the ITSA.”
“If you’re jetting off for some winter sun this Christmas, we’ve found the ideal beach accessory – the itsa! Beloved by Charlotte Church and Isabella Hervey, the itsa is a bag that turns into a beach towel – complete with pockets for your book and suntan lotions.”
Recline – The MyTravel in-flight magazine
“Don’t leave without…
Before you jet off, make some room in your suitcase for our holiday essentials:
ITSA Beach Towel. This clever beach towel doubles up as a bag. Simply unfold and drape it over your sun lounger, stick your sunglasses and suntan lotion into the pockets, and relax, safe in the knowledge that none of your belongings are languishing in the sand.”
The British Invention Show
At the British Invention Show at Alexandra Palace The “itsa” scooped the Double Gold Award for Best International Innovative Product in the leisure category 2006 beating over 120 other finalists.
This Morning TV with Philip and Fearne
“We love this… the ‘itsa’ has been designed by a British couple who had their bag stolen on holiday losing their wallet, ipod, the lot! So they have designed this bag that starts as a beach bag, you pull it out of the bag and it opens up, place on the sun lounger, tie it to the legs of the sunbed, and it will then act as a towel but it also has 6 side pockets to store all your bits including a secret one to store valuables. It comes in 7 different colours and we think it is a great buy for this summer.”
The Daily Express
“Bag it up.
Is it a bag? Is it a towel? Well, it’s both called ITSA. And sure to be a hit with sun worshippers – the beach towel doubles up as a bag and a sunlounger cover. After using it to carry your sunbathing gear to the beach, it unfolds into a lounger towel, complete with ties, a side pocket and feet protector. It even has a hidden zipped pocket for valuables when you go for a dip.”
The Observer – Pick Of The Week
“The Itsa is a new beach towel that doubles up as a bag, so you don’t have to trek to the beach with a rucksack or lose your stuff in the sand.”
Evening Standard – Really Useful Guide
“Bag a smart beach towel.
Itsa has a nifty bit of kit to take with you to the beach (or garden).
The company’s multifunctional beach towel can be used as a bag before unwrapping it and draping it over a sun bed. As a bag, this clever item has handy pockets for essentials, loops for headphones and a secret zipped compartment for precious things, you can choose from seven vibrant colours.”
For a beach essential this summer try the ITSA multifunctional beach towel that doubles up as a bag! The bag folds out to provide a fully fitted towel for your lounger, complete with pockets, feet protector, headphone loops and a hidden zipped pocket for your valuables. Perfect for first class lounging and available in seven different colours to suit your bikini.”
The Good Holiday Guide
“‘itsa’ very clever idea.”
“The ‘itsa’ towel has a handy pocket for your sun lotion, folds to become a beach bag and is available in seven vibrant colours.”
“Itsa kinda magic.
Gadget girls will love this new beach bag from Itsa. Why?
Because once you’ve got to the beach, you can turn it into a beach towel… accessories that can do double duty – it’s the way forward!”
Meet your perfect beach companion: a towel that doubles as a bag, with secret pouches for all your tanning accessories and personal belongings. Its available in seven colours so you can co-ordinate it with your swimsuit.”