Artistic entrepreneur, Zena El Farra (and her mindful-painting business, MasterPeace), – has secured Dragon’s Den investment from Deborah Meaden, and the brand is set to launch a BRAND NEW product to provide a more immersive painting experience for customers.
Appearing on the debut episode of this year’s season (18) of BBC’s iconic TV show, Dragons’ Den, – London-based entrepreneur, Zena El Farra managed to scoop up a £50,000 investment from Deborah Meaden, in exchange for 25% of the business.
Prior to launching MasterPeace, Zena spent over ten years working in retail innovation, and more recently for Barclays Ventures. She was also one of the original members of the HelloFresh team. But, she decided to quit the corporate world, and to follow her true passion: art.
The Dragons were struck by Zena’s vision and skill(s) for using creativity as a tool to help people manage their mental health and well-being, – a need of which has become absolutely paramount during the pandemic.
Initially, MasterPeace started out as an art-and-mindfulness studio in London, where teachers would come in, and run mindfulness and art classes (in-person). But once lock-down hit, Zena was forced to use her business brain(s) to pivot the business, to instead, – create a series of ‘At Home Art Kits,’ – as a way to help people cope with the anxiety surrounding Covid-19, and the negative effects of self-isolation.
These kits enable customers to learn art at home in an interactive way, with an art teacher via Zoom (or through the MasterPeace app), and customers get to choose from a wide selection of paintings to engage in.
Well-known for her passion and commitment towards backing wellness brands, Dragon’s Den investor, Deborah – invested with the intention and hope of supporting Zena in her vision towards making art more accessible to the masses, for both adults and children stuck at home (in and around the pandemic).
With this in mind, the killer duo aspire(s) to help more people benefit from art’s soothing, yet invigorating potential, not to mention it’s healing qualities.
“At MasterPeace we want to raise awareness about the causes and cures of our modern stress epidemic. Whilst there is no silver bullet, research shows that building self-care activities into our routines like drawing, colouring in and painting can be a small, but powerful way to sustainably reduce stress,” said Zena.
On describing Zena, and her pitch on Dragon’s Den, Deborah said:
“I really saw something in Zena and the MasterPeace experience that is becoming increasingly relevant. I loved the actual product, especially at a moment when we are all looking to try new things, particularly in the mindfulness space.“
She also said: “Whilst some of the component parts were criticised during the Den, I could see how willing Zena was to listen and respond. I also really liked that Zena hadn’t fallen at the first knock of opening an experience business within the early days of lock-down, and by introducing the Art Kits and an online app experience, she showed how “tuned in” and nimble she could be.“
With plans to put Deborah’s investment to immediate use/effect, Zena has launched a brand new product, named ‘IlluminArty,’ – an artist’s projector made for the ‘contemporary-creative’ at home.
By connecting a smartphone to the IlluminArty device, and by projecting a photo of your choice onto your canvas board, the product enables you to outline your image effortlessly, before starting to paint. Designed by artists for artists, it can reconfigure to become an artist’s easel, a time-lapsing stand, and a stylish desk lamp, for the space-conscious modern-day-creative.
“We designed it to feel like ‘part of the furniture,’ – something you’d be proud to showcase at the heart of your home, rather than on the top shelf, or in the attic. That way, it’s easy to build creativity into your day-to-day routines, as all the tools you need – are within arms reach,” explained Zena.
The company has also launched a 45-minute art video, which will teach users how to paint, and this comes included with all new art kit purchases. MasterPeace also intends to re-launch physical, in-person classes after the pandemic.
In terms of success stories, as well as successfully raising investment from Dragon’s Den/Deborah Meaden, MasterPeace has been featured in the Evening Standard, The Independent, Vanity Fair and Forbes.
The new IlluminArty costs £249, and is available from the MasterPeace website.