An entrepreneur who grew up in Castlegar made his way to prime time when he appeared on the popular investment television show Dragons’ Den recently.
Ryan Fields now lives in Calgary where he is working on developing his designer underwear business. Fields credits part of his successful pitch to having tried out for the show in 2015. Though that attempt was unsuccessful, it gave him valuable experience and his presentation had made such an impression, that the screeners remembered him. “At that point in time I knew that I was already going to be accepted, because they remembered me from before,” said Fields.
Fields confessed to having a passion for designer underwear since he was in Grade 6. His designs are mostly b-boy, hip-hop inspired and unique. “I thought, if you are going to do something, you need to go all in, so I made the decision to take everything I had and everything I earned and dump it all in,” Fields stated.
Fields explained that he was offered a lot of support while preparing for his time in the den, which helped him feel fairly confident before hand. “It’s not as nerve wracking as you think, until you get into the den,” he said. Once he was in the den, Fields asked the dragons to invest $100,000 in RareForm Underwear in exchange for 40 per cent of his business.
The dragons were impressed with Fields’ presentation and Michael Wekerle and Manjit Minhas offered him a joint deal of $100,000 for 50 per cent of the business. “I feel really good that I got the right partners,” said Fields.
The episode was filmed on April 29, so Fields has had to keep his good news to himself for almost six months. “It was really hard to keep it quiet, with everyone bugging you and asking you what happened,” he explained.
Fields now has his sights on expanding his online presence, moving in to more stores and watching his business grow.