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Ucluelet cleaning entrepreneurs Mint CBC Dragon’s Den pitch

Monika Scott and Robyn Mair of Mint Cleaning Products harness nervous energy to win over investors
Mint Cleaning founders Robyn Mair and Monika Scott hoped to slay their Dragons’s Den pitch on Monday. (Mint Cleaning photo)

Two dynamos of the West Coast’s business community whose Mint Cleaning company has been soaring since 2021 were stoked, albeit anxious, to enter the CBC’s Dragons Den on May 13.

Monika Scott and Robyn Mair were buzzing with nerves and excitement on May 10 as they headed out of town to make their pitch to Canada’s famed dragons, but the community’s support had them confident they would slay.

‘I’ve got so many messages and so many ‘good lucks’ and I’m just feeling very supported. We’re always so grateful for Ucluelet and Tofino and all the support,” Scott told the Westerly News as the pair departed Ucluelet together Friday afternoon.

Scott was initially reluctant to apply for the show despite consistent urging from Mair.

“I’ve watched Dragon’s Den forever. My brother’s actually been on it twice and I’ve always wanted to go on it just as a crazy dream,” Mair said.

“Monika finally said, ‘If they reach out to us, then we will apply’ and I said ‘OK, deal,’ and sure enough, literally two days later, Dragon’s Den reached out to us. Their producers reached out to ask if we would apply.”

“So, obviously I had to say yes,” added Scott.

The business partners then went through the application steps and were invited to an audition.

“Three days later they called and told us that we were going to be on the show,” Mair said. “It was crazy. I just screamed and got very excited and then immediately nervous.”

Scott said emotions were running high leading up to the event.

“I’m so nervous. I don’t want to do it, but I’m so grateful and excited at the exact same time, so it’s like four emotions circling me at all times,” she said. “We’re staying pretty close to the bathroom if that helps paint a picture a little bit. We’re feeling it for sure. We did have a lot of mentorship through this and something we learned is to not try to get rid of the nervousness or the anxiety or the fear, but just channel that in a positive way; use that adrenaline and all those emotions that you try to stifle when you feel nervous, but actually use them. I’m trying to practice using those gross feelings and channelling them into excitement and being so grateful.”

Mair agreed.

“I’m nervous, but I’m definitely trying to really focus on that attitude of gratitude. We’re so lucky to be able to have this opportunity and to do this. It’s such a huge challenge for us and we just hope that we pull it off somehow,” she said.

Scott added that the community’s support has been a key source of gratitude.

“Mint Cleaning Products started because of our community and the support we had in this town. We always say that, if we started in a big city, we would not have the success we’ve had. We’ve had endless support in this town that started with people reaching out. Businesses reaching out to sell it, cleaning businesses reaching out to use it. We really got our start in this town just from the support of everyone wanting to buy what we were making, just to support us…They were there for us and that really helped take us to the next level. We’re always so grateful for this community.”

Mair said the community has been reaching out with excitement about the Dragons Den announcement.

“I feel like when you’re from a small town, there’s way more buzz because not many people from Ucluelet go on the Dragons Den, so I feel like it’s way more exciting when it happens to someone in a small town. There’s so much more support and we’re just feeling so supported and so loved. We’re so grateful,” she said.

Mint Cleaning Products is the result of a pivot Scott and Mair leaped into in 2021, moving from the cleaning business they had launched in 2017 to focus on creating and selling natural, non-toxic, cleaning products.

Their products are now available at roughly 135 refilleries and retail stores across North America and they opened their first storefront in Ucluelet in May of 2023.

They took top honours in the Small Business BC’s E-Commerce Experience Award in 2023 thanks to their massive social media presence, which includes hilarious videos of the pair as well as DIY cleaning tips and product information.

They said they planned to ask the Dragons Den for $400,000 for 10 per cent of their company, with a focus on mainland distribution.

“Obviously, distributing out of Ucluelet is challenging to say the least, so we’re trying to open up. We’ve been working on that forever but just not been able to find the right contacts or obviously the funds for it,” Scott said.

Both assured that, if everything goes perfectly and they get all the funding they ask for from the dragons, they will still be staying in Ucluelet.

“Ucluelet is number one. We’ve raised our families here. Ucluelet will always be our homebase. We’ll always have our flagship store in Ucluelet,” Mair said. “I love it here. I couldn’t live anywhere else. I couldn’t live in a big city. Having that lifestyle is such a huge value to us. Yes, our business is growing and we hear a lot, ‘Would you ever move to the city?’ My work is not as important as my family and where we raise our kids and what we like to do. Ucluelet is just home.”

“Plus, our husbands are surfers, so there’s nowhere else we can live,” Scott added. “We’ll always be in Ucluelet.”

Following their pitch on May 13, Scott and Mair will likely be keeping mum on the outcome of their pitch until their Dragons’ Den episode airs at a later date.

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Andrew Bailey

About the Author: Andrew Bailey

I arrived at the Westerly News as a reporter and photographer in January 2012.
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