Bedford Modern School year seven student, Alice Habermehl, has successfully launched an environmentally friendly pet bed business following her pitch to Pets at Home Head of Innovation, Claire Gavin, on the BBC show, Pocket Money Pitch which was aired on 28 March.
Alice auditioned for the television programme in 2015 and after several selection stages, including a Skype audition with the assistant producer of children’s BBC, she was chosen to take part and present her business idea in a head to head, Dragons Den style pitch to a panel of five young business entrepreneurs.
Alice’s business idea is to create and sell attractive, low cost and environmentally friendly cardboard pet beds. She has called her business Aleo Pet Products; the first two letters of her name and the last two from her cat’s name, Cleo. The idea started when Cleo preferred an empty cardboard box to the luxury cat bed Alice had saved her pocket money to buy. But the young entrepreneur decided to turn her disappointment into something positive and decorated the box with her own design. She then applied to take part in Pocket Money Pitch with the business proposal of selling boxes for children and creative adults to decorate and personalise as beds for their pets.
She said: ‘All cat owners will know how much cats love cardboard boxes; they’ll jump into one at the first opportunity! Aleo pet homes are stylish, low cost, environmentally friendly and fully customisable. I hope that children and adults will have hours of fun decorating their Aleo pet homes.’
Alice has secured a manufacturer for her product in the UK, which is being stocked at both Scott’s Veterinary Clinic in Bedford and Willington Garden Centre.
The industrious 12 year-old plans to donate some of her profits to Bedford and District Handicapped Riders Association; a charity her grandmother founded 55 years ago.