DRAGON'S Den rejects David and Sarah Glashan are proving the millionaires were wrong by not backing them, as they reap the rewards of their invention.

The couple, from Bovinger Way, Thorpe Bay, were panned on the TV show in 2006, when none of the entrepreneurs would invest £250,000 for a 20 per cent share in their firm to make the Itsa.

The Itsa is a beach bag which turns into a sun lounger cover, with pockets to keep valuables at the beach or poolside.

Now, after a year of trading, they have sold 65,000.

This year, they believe they are set to sell more than 100,000 - and make more than £2.5million.

The concept was even picked up by fashion store Next, which featured a similar product in its catalogue. However, the couple fought it, and Next withdrew the product from sale.

Mr Glashan, 54, described it as the biggest compliment yet.

He said: "Next obviously disagreed with the Dragon's theory our idea was not going to succeed because they launched their own version.

"We protected our invention with a European design registration to stop this happening and now we have won the legal battle.

"It was really scary for us because we had invented this product and the big boys wanted to take it.

"It's been a real rollercoaster ride and we have beaten adversity. We put our lifeblood into this, and borrowed against our home. We were absolutely mullered on the programme, but the public have backed us. They like a loser to win."

He said they were now selling the Itsa through agents in countries including Cyprus, Italy, America, Canada, and soon in Australia.

The company has 25 employees and a new warehouse, having outgrown its previous building.

Mr Glashan said: "The success of the business has been phenomenal - much better than we could possibly dream."

The idea came about after a friend had her bag containing keys and mobile phone stolen at the beach. The itsa, which won a double gold award at the British Invention Show, costs about £25.

It is available at www.theitsa.com