Sussex mum wins Amazon Small Business of the Year – after being told she would ‘live to regret’ turning down a Dragons’ Den investment

A mum who turned down a Dragons’ Den investment and was told she would live to regret it has won Amazon Small Business of the Year.

Hazel Reynolds, chief executive of Gamely Games, said the card game business she founded had carried on in its own unique way and by Christmas, will have sold more than 100,000 of its family-friendly party games.

Hazel Reynolds, chief executive of Gamely Games

Hazel Reynolds, chief executive of Gamely Games

Gamely Games, which is based in Brighton but runs its logistics from Worthing, has turned over more than a million pounds to date and gives 10 per cent of its profits to charity, as well as giving hundreds of games to children.

Dave Perrins, retail relationships and community builder, said: “This is the cherry on top of what’s been an amazing year for us.”

This time last year, Hazel turned down an offer of a £50,000 investment on Dragon’s Den and Peter Jones declared ‘she’ll live to regret that’.

Dave said: “In fact, we haven’t regretted it at all. We have carried on doing business in our own unique way, focusing on what is fun and good - for our customers, our team and for the wider world.”

Hazel said her innovative small business was proving it was possible to make the world a better and happier place while turning a profit.

Customers crowned Gamely Games the Amazon Small Business of the Year in the first Amazon Small Business Awards.

Hundreds of UK small businesses selling on Amazon were nominated across three categories and tens of thousands of customers voting for the winners.

The range of original games was created to help to reduce screen time for children. Gamely launched in 2016 and has five games, including Randomise, one of the bestselling card games on Amazon.

Hazel said: “Winning this public vote and this incredible prize feels amazing. We are excited to work closely with the Amazon team to take our growth to the next level and to help more families to put down their screens and spend more quality time laughing together.”

The prize package includes six months of dedicated account management, £10,000 of Amazon advertising credit and a trip to Amazon’s Seattle head office to meet senior business leaders and learn more about the tools and services Amazon provides to help sellers grow and scale their businesses.