Mother of two Jaime O’Connor notched up a first when she appeared on TV’s Dragons’ Den.

When she demonstrated her innovative oven protection product to the high-powered panellists, they were wildly enthusiastic – but none of them chose to invest in it.

Multi-millionaire businesswoman Deborah Meaden told the Calderdale woman: “This is the first time ever all of us dragons love the product, but will not be investing – because you have done everything and there’s nothing we can add!”

Disappointed at the lack of cash – but spurred on by Deborah’s endorsement – Jaime has now built on the success of her first invention, an oven door shield that can be removed and cleaned after cooking.

“Every one of the dragons said I deserved to make a huge success and that really spurred me on,” says Jaime, 36, of Southowram.

Less than a year after her Dragons’ Den encounter, Jaime’s heat-resistant, transparent, dishwasher-safe shield, which keeps oven doors clean, is now on sale in some of the UK’s major stores, including Currys and Dunelm as well as through catalogue retailers Betterwear and Kleeneze.

It is also under consideration by two of the country’s best-known supermarket chains.

Now, under her new branding of By Jaime, she has designed an oven floor shield, which works in the same way, and is also developing an odour-free gel-based oven cleaner to complement her first two products.

“It has been a lot of hard work and I’ve learned so much along the way,” said Jaime, who spent months sourcing the right materials at the right price.

“Fortunately, my bank has shown faith in me and enabled me to buy the materials to fulfil my orders. Now I am in a position to repay their faith.”

Jaime’s latest batch of naturally-sourced material for her door shields was delivered to her home from her European supplier.

Jaime O'Connor's oven floor shield
Jaime O'Connor's oven floor shield
 

With the help of just one other person, she packed 20,000 oven door shields for distribution to customers.

Said Jaime: “In future, my distributors will arrange packing, but I wanted to do the first batch myself, so I knew exactly how it should be rolled and packed to meet my own high quality control standards”.

Jaime’s business acumen was recognised last year when she won the Young Entrepreneur category of the 2012 Business Excellence Awards.

She’s also kept busy supporting husband Dale, who is about to celebrate the 10th anniversary of his own Aga-servicing business by expanding into a new range.

Dale said: “When I started out it was a bit of a gamble, but my customers soon mentioned me to friends and neighbours.

“I introduced a cleaning service which has proved popular and I also wanted to add another brand. Esse fits in perfectly”.