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Entrepreneur Spotlight – Create A Castle – Kevin and Laurie Lane
Kevin and Laurie Lane are the Co-founders of Create A Castle, a sand and snow castle-building toy line that captured the attention of the sharks on Shark Tank. Kevin (an avid sculptor) and Laurie wanted to create a more efficient and less time-consuming method for constructing imaginative sand creations. Now, families can use their molds to enjoy a fun and frustration-free way of building elaborate castles, towers, and whatever else they can dream of in the sand or snow. Create A Castle’s toys have garnered awards in indoor and outdoor categories, including the prestigious 2020 Outdoor Toy of the Year accolade.
They have made a name for themselves in the toy space, selling in stores worldwide, and have generated double-digit sales increases year-over-year, even during the pandemic, with sales of $3 million in 2022. Kevin and Laurie also hold numerous patents on their products in the US, Australia, Canada, and China.
Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:
- [02:48] Kevin and Laurie Lane share their personal and professional backgrounds
- [08:59] How Create A Castle came to be
- [11:21] Kevin and Laurie’s products and how they differentiate themselves in the marketplace
- [12:35] Kevin and Laurie talk about marketing their products
- [16:20] The Shark Tank experience and how it impacted their business
- [28:36] Entrepreneurial advice for achieving success
In this episode…
Creating sand and snow castles is an entertaining way for families to bond, but it can sometimes be time-consuming and frustrating. When you embark on the quest to create your awe-inspiring castles, is there a better way to get to the finale?
After seeing a dad and his son struggling to build a sand castle using traditional methods, avid sculptor Kelvin Lane felt compelled to create an innovative and revolutionary castle-building approach. Together with his wife, Laurie, they developed a split mold technology to assist people in creating impressive sand and snow sculptures in minutes. Despite the many obstacles they faced in the crowded toy product category, they scaled the business and realized substantial success.
In this episode of the Quiet Light Podcast, Pat Yates sits down with Kevin and Laurie Lane, the Co-founders of Create A Castle, to discuss how families can easily and happily build sand and snow castles quickly. They share the genesis story of Create A Castle, their product line, marketing strategies, the Shark Tank experience, and entrepreneurial advice.
Resources mentioned in this episode:
- Create A Castle
- Kevin Lane on LinkedIn
- Laurie Lane on LinkedIn
- Kendra Scott
- Quiet Light
- Quiet Light on YouTube
- Joe Valley on LinkedIn
- Pat Yates on LinkedIn
- Mark Daoust on LinkedIn
- Quiet Light Podcast email: [email protected]
- The EXITpreneur’s Playbook: How to Sell Your Online Business for Top Dollar by Reverse Engineering Your Pathway to Success by Joe Valley
Sponsor for this episode
This episode is brought to you by Quiet Light, a brokerage firm that wants to help you successfully sell your online business.
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If you’re new to the prospect of buying and selling, Quiet Light is here to support you. Their plethora of top-notch resources will provide everything you need to know about when and how to buy or sell an online business. Quiet Light offers high-quality videos, articles, podcasts, and guides to help you make the best decision for your online business.
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Hey folks, it’s the Quiet Light Podcast where we share relentlessly honest insights, actionable tips and entrepreneurial stories that will help founders identify and reach their goals.
Pat Yates 0:32
Hello, and welcome to the Quiet Light Podcast. Again, I’m Pat Yates sitting in for Joe Valley. Today we have an amazing conversation. I think the exciting part about this is I’m opening it up to a lot more entrepreneur spotlights along with our sellers and our partners that we have a Quiet Light. This is just going to be a fantastic conversation. I did several trips this year with a group called United Inventors Association and Chris Guerrera, where we Shark Tank companies went around and we became very actionable for entrepreneurs trying to bring new products to the market, we would go out and help them we do pitch panels like we’re sharks to give actionable tips on how to grow it. And I happened to meet a couple Kevin and Laurie Lane who have a business called Create A Castle and I was just taken by them. They are just such great people. They talked family, they talked their experiences more than they talked in brag about anything they done in business. And the more we talked, the more we just became friends and their philosophy towards approaching their business was not only great, but their business itself was awesome. They have forms that you can build these castles it becomes something that kids can do hands-on and not have a device they don’t have to do it and you can do it in snow. You can do it in sand. It’s a really versatile product, they cut a deal with Kendra Scott, really incredible company getting ready to go a lot of places but just more tremendous people. Really excited to get this conversation today. So let’s get right to it Kevin and Laurie Lane from Creative A Castle. And again, if you need any information for me or you’re looking to work with Quiet Light, you can email me at [email protected] or check out all our listings on quietlight.com. So let’s get right to the show. I can’t wait to talk to Laurie and Kevin here we go. Kevin and Laurie. It’s great to have you in the Quiet Light Podcast. How you doing today?
Laurie Lane 2:10
Kevin Lane 2:11
Thanks Pat. Nice to be here.
Pat Yates 2:13
Really, really excited about this on people that are out there listening today. Kevin and Laurie have an amazing business we’re going to jump into but they just so happened to travel with me in a Shark Tank Group and do pitch panels and help entrepreneurs for a nonprofit really just passionate, awesome people and I love their product and business so much I just want to have you in so maybe tell everybody about a little bit about your background where you’re from family all that give us all the skinny on you two. Oh let’s go beauty before age. So Laurie, go ahead. Maybe you lost him both out on okay.
Laurie Lane 2:48
So we’re a couple we live in Connecticut. We’ve been married this year it’ll be 25 years. And so we’ve worked together with Create A Castle since 2017 2018. But we actually owned a different business together that we still run in the background, a web design business that we started in 2010. So we’ve worked together besides being married for a very long time. We have two kids that are both in college down in Florida so we’re not empty nesters so not really.
Pat Yates 3:20
I’m gonna give the raise the roof on the empty nester thing I love it too. What’s college?
Laurie Lane 3:26
One is at Eastern College in Melbourne and one is in Seminole State in Orlando.
Pat Yates 3:31
That’s really well, my wife’s grandmother lived in Melbourne so I’ve been there a bunch time.
Laurie Lane 3:36
Yeah, we have a lot of family down there all near them so which is good so they’re not alone. That’s awesome. Yeah. I worked for Disney. So I was a stay-at-home mom when we had our son in what 2001 but before that I had graduated from the University of Connecticut in stores and I had a degree in retail management. So I worked for the gap I worked for Express but my main retail career was with the Disney Stores. So I worked for Disney for almost 10 years, which is great because that’s where we have a lot of our connections a lot of my friends that I was a district manager with work for universal for Hershey, different companies, so still lots of connections. We had a wonderful time, like being able to experience Disney as an employee too. And I got the best customer service background you could ever get working for a company like Disney so that’s really benefited us.
Pat Yates 4:36
Funny you say that because I spent about a year going back and forth building a Disney license and I swore the last time that I walked out office up never go again. It’s like they haven’t such an amazing campus but it got so old going for a year trying to build a license. That was incredible. So and Kevin, what about you? I mean obviously other than marrying up, what about your background?
Kevin Lane 4:57
Well, she said we’re empty nesters. Are you really an empty nester when you own a business, I mean, that’s like your new baby. Right? That’s a great point. Yeah, my background is. So I grew up really passionate about design, doing anything design related graphic design specifically got a degree in graphic design from Western Connecticut State University, graduated in 1994. I believe it was, while it goes way back.
Pat Yates 5:29
Just stop that because I graduated college before you, you’re not going to make me feel any older than I am, go ahead, though.
Kevin Lane 5:38
So yeah, and then I quickly got a job in print publication that lasted about a year or two. And then I got an offer to move down to New York City for a startup company called Digital madness, which was in the forefront of web design and web development. So I quickly left the print publication space and saw the writing on the wall. I was like, wow, this is just an incredible opportunity. I moved down to New York City for about what two years was it? And right next to the Flatiron Building, Flatiron District in New York City, had a little elf studio got to see Godzilla being filmed. And I’m sorry about that. And basically, it was just an incredible path to learning all about tech. And I’m glad I made that move when I did, because it literally changed my life. I quickly got a job after two years being in New York City, I married up like I said, and decided to make the move back home to Connecticut to start a family and everything. New York City is great, but not a great place to start a family. So I got job with a company called internet.com. And I was in charge of about 150 websites give or take with hundreds of millions of views monthly and had to basically answer to all the higher-ups and manage my own team of about four to five people on a daily basis. And then from there after 10 years of doing that I moved over to information architecture, where I had to basically configure server configs layouts diagram things out Visio and a lot of corporate board meetings which drove me to really looking forward to my vacation time with my family. Laurie, always loved to plan out beach vacations. So I needed to take my time and spend time with my kids and build awesome sandcastles so I turned a hobby into a full-time career in a sense with Create A Castle, turned a passion into a career.
Pat Yates 7:51
That’s really amazing because the one thing that it sort of stands out to me that you guys are saying it’s interestingly enough is you came from a tech and web design background and Laurie came from a consumer products background is really not very shocking to me now when I look at this why you’re in the E-commerce business. It’s one of those things that sometimes what you know you find a way to merge those two things together and here comes something amazing. So I really would like to jump into the business because when we first met started talking I told you I just said this product is awesome. I looked at it and thought there are so many options, so many great things. It’s a great demo item. Tell us a little bit about Create A Castle, maybe start from the beginning of what your vision was and what you wanted out of this business when you first started it.
Laurie Lane 8:35
You want to start tell them the backstory.
Pat Yates 8:39
What do you mean does he want to start? Not starting with him Laurie? You’re the talent in this deal, you start.
Laurie Lane 8:44
I am the brains too.
Kevin Lane 8:47
Brains and look.
Pat Yates 8:48
Just like to mess with him.
Laurie Lane 8:53
You got a shovel the sandy of the beach, Pat, you know.
Kevin Lane 9:00
I told the backstory on Shark Tank it did not air but the backstory is wild. The backstory goes back to my youth. So I didn’t think you know this. I don’t think I’ve told many people this story. I used to grew up in a bakery with my twin brother and my older brother. My mom and grandma started a bakery business called Heidi’s Cake and Cookie shop out of their house. So she’s got three kids running around their table while they’re making the stack-tiered wedding cakes. So to quiet all those they found everything all of our passions my passion happened to be drawing. So my mom was like well I’m gonna get him these books called draw 50 these draw 50 books taught me how to draw castles of all things, castles, Eiffel Towers, building structures, but primarily I felt always homed in on castle. So as I’m drawing my little castles from this draw 50 book, I’m watching them bake their cakes with split mold, right so do the math. They had these pants called springform pans where the pan would kind of spring open, and they would lift it off. It’s the same exact premise of what we have now. I remember those. Yeah.
Laurie Lane 10:12
And so many people when we’re like demoing everything, like, oh, it’s like baking. Oh, it’s like baking, like resonates with people, because that is it’s used in baking. And his mom actually found a picture. I think it’s on our website to have a castle he had drawn when he was like, 10 years old. And it looks like Create A Castle.
Kevin Lane 10:32
Yeah, we actually, again, we had that on Shark Tank as part of our pitch.
Laurie Lane 10:35
Kind of crazy, it’s like one of those, it was in the best of his mind for 40 years. And so you never know what’s gonna come back from an experience you had as a child as a teen.
Kevin Lane 10:47
So now, that’s my passion, right? My passion is to have other people explore their creativity and have fun with a product that was born out of my mind from my youth. That’s the real power here is who knows what else could be born from Create A Castle from just, we could have future engineers and architects and everything. It’s endless.
Pat Yates 11:11
One thing if someone’s in their car, and we know what the product is, they may or may not. So can you from its basic level, explain exactly what Create A Castle is.
Laurie Lane 11:21
So basically, it’s new it we call it revolutionary. It’s a new twist on like an old task that people used to do, we have molds that instead of filling and flipping a mold to make a sandcastle, they split apart. So it takes away the frustration. And it actually works, the sand doesn’t stick in the bucket. So
Kevin Lane 11:46
Yeah, it’s hyper, hyper-detailed, versus what you can get out of a flip mold much, much larger. You don’t have to stack not all sands are created equal. So if you can’t stack, use the parts independently and create a little kingdom, on your beach, or in the snow to these also work in the snow as well.
Pat Yates 12:05
That’s really amazing. And I’m trying in these occasionally to be able to show my screen a little bit. Let me kind of as I’m doing this, so people can see this, as they’re watching the video version, you can see some of the things that Create A Castle makes these forms that you could do in snow, as well as is sand and stuff. Tell me a little bit because the coolest part about this, I think is the marketing. The way that you can go to the beach is Kevin, I know you go a lot. Tell us a little bit about how you engage with people and get them using the product in your hands. It’s really an amazing part of this company.
Kevin Lane 12:35
Yeah, that was a huge part of our invention process. In the prototype phase, we would go beach, the beach instead of door to door, and we will get feedback.
Laurie Lane 12:44
Like through great marketing, like they always tell you and I know I think Mark Cuban someone says you have to you know, hit the ground, and like just boots on the ground and figure out who’s gonna like your product, if it’s gonna work and that kind of stuff. And that’s what we did instead of door to door did beach to beach and went everywhere.
Kevin Lane 13:03
And we got an incredible response every time we went. So now you’re looking at some of the customer photos from the stuff that people have built. It’s incredible to see the creativity blossom. If you go back up real quick there Pat. Right there. Yeah, the one on the left, right there in the bottom left is a veteran down in Florida, who is yeah, the one down one more down where their kid is standing. Okay, yep, right there. That’s a veteran down in Florida who is legally blind. And she uses our product, he feels it, he splits it he can feel by the sense, and that’s part of the construction of our product actually, our daughter has visual disability. So we thought I’ll everything can be done by feel as well. And that was part of my job as an information architect going back to my career and my past life. It all ties in I had to build websites for visually impaired hearing impaired people. And it had to be done by law. So we applied all of those thought processes to the actual technology that were built out.
Pat Yates 14:17
It’s really, really amazing. So one of the questions I have let’s go to a few business questions on this. I look at this and I see that you have a regular form and there’s other things you add to it. I know there are kids do you find that people as they start getting involved in this actually gets so much more creative than buy several the kids to be able to do even more expensive does it become something that people just get super passionate about buying every one they have to see what they can make of it?
Laurie Lane 14:40
Well our top seller so we have like the different levels of kits that just basically are more pieces as you go up in our top kit, the Pro Kit is $50 and that is our number one selling kit for outdoor and I think that’s like what you’re saying is like people want to go big with it. So if you buy that pro kit, you can just use the pieces over and over on the beach, and so forth. And yeah, people want to be the rock star on the beach. And they can be.
Kevin Lane 15:12
And again, we’d like to stress that not in all situations in every beach, depending on the beach you’re on, because not all sands are created equal. You can only stack but if you look at some of our gallery of images, you don’t need to stack this product, it doesn’t matter. You can use the parts independently and still build a complete work of art.
Laurie Lane 15:33
We call it a sprawling kingdom instead of a high kingdom, you can still do a sprawling kingdom. And it’s still just as impressive.
Pat Yates 15:41
Yeah, I guess, one of the things I’m kind of interested, I know that the listeners will we both have one thing really in common. That’s kind of huge. Both companies is the ability to air on ABC Shark Tank. So tell us a little bit about I think the listeners hear me talk about it occasionally a little bit. But maybe talk a little bit about because I mean, you think about this, you started a business after having careers and all sudden you take to the level where you get on Shark Tank, and some people think that’s impossible. But I think it’s a lot about perseverance and the ability to continue to push to ask them to get on but you got to be really diligent really hard. Tell us about that process going up to it and what made you decide to go ahead and do it?
Laurie Lane 16:20
Well, if that was we said, we would be billionaires if we counted every time someone said, oh, this is a great Shark Tank product, you should be on Shark Tank, like what we did all of our consumer shows, trade shows whatever it was, we could coin make money on everybody’s saying that to us. So finally it was the summer I mean, the winter was at 20. Now we’re going back as 20 to 21. And we just said, okay, well apply, we had been going for a couple of years.
Kevin Lane 16:53
I think we need to step back and tell Pat and his audience about the toy of the year or two and that’s a huge accomplishment before that.
Pat Yates 17:00
And then the listeners not to interject but the listeners out there, their season 14 episode three of Shark Tanks, look it up, check out Create A Castle. See Kevin there? He’s got a shirt tucked into. I’m surprised at that, because I thought he might look a little sloppy. But go ahead, tell it tell us about the process. And what was good, bad or indifferent about it. I always talk about it. I’m curious to other people.
Laurie Lane 17:21
Yeah, so we decided to that October, we just said, you know what, everybody always says it to us. We had been in business for a couple of years. When people were saying it to us, we were like we’re too green. You see people go on there, and some are just starving. And there’s all different levels of people that go on Shark Tank. But I felt like if we were going to go on, we needed to have our ducks in a row. We needed to have sales, we needed to have our books in order, all that kind of stuff we wanted to feel comfortable with. So that when we went on the show, we could go on with a bang, and like Kevin said, we had won 2020 Outdoor Toy of the Year, which was in 2020, we had just started selling the product in 2018. And that was a huge it’s like the Oscars of the toy industry. He literally had to accept the award right after the owner of Little Tykes got inducted into the Hall of Fame. Like that’s how big it is. So, we had these accomplishments. So that’s why we kind of decided the time was right to apply for Shark Tank. We applied in October and then we were at his birthday dinner in March 3, we were sitting there and we got the email saying, hey, let’s go to the next steps. So that’s what we did. We started the whole process then and it’s definitely a process and I’m sure you’ve talked about this, it’s a lot of work. You have to have your business in order to be able to answer the questions that they asked give them the information that they need to move forward. And by having all of that definitely increases your chance of getting a deal.
Pat Yates 19:02
That’s a great point. So stepping from that after you take the episode Kevin, maybe you give us some idea of the kinds of things that come from Shark Tank after I mean did you get opportunities and retail and other places right away? We don’t necessarily have to talk numbers of the dealer who it was if you feel you want to you can discuss that with the listeners but tell us a little bit about post Shark Tank. That kind of things are awesome. I always tell people shark tanks the best worst thing that ever happened to me because it’s mixed bag of some things. The most of it best some of it you know you have to deal with and it becomes an issue but tell us about post that how you viewed the whole experience.
Kevin Lane 19:46
It was incredible. Primarily because we were trying to pivot the business to more, because of the Toy of the Year we were very heavy in retail sector already. Big box down to specialty. And we wanted to pivot the business away from retail, because we saw post-COVID what was happening and retail is taking a hit. So Shark Tank accelerated that whole concept of direct-to-consumer by leaps and bounds. I mean, it was just 30 500% growth year over year, compared to the prior year. So it was just…
Laurie Lane 20:24
The best advertising. Absolutely. That was the best part of it.
Kevin Lane 20:28
Yeah. Huge. I mean, where else can you see that kind of growth on your website, direct to consumer to capture that many new customers in your database. It’s an incredible opportunity.
Pat Yates 20:41
I definitely agree with you in that I think it opens so many doors and the folks out there listening, Kevin, and Laurie, a lot like me, I think are people that use that opportunity to be philanthropic to give back, we traveled with a group called United Inventors Association with Chris Carrera. And we do actionable tips to entrepreneurs that are starting brand-new products. So if you have a brand new product out there, and you’re thinking about trying to bring it to market, that kind of thing can help you look up United Inventors Association, you may find us at a trade show or sitting there helping people learn how to build their products, don’t think that that’s not a great thing to be able to do. So let’s talk a little bit more about the business. Kevin, I think you told me something one time that I was kind of astounded at, but I thought it was amazing that you had salespeople actually on the beach selling these, people walking around, and maybe I forget that, or maybe that was in the early days when you’re trying to prove concept. I mean, but again, that’s a hustling thing. So tell me if that happened? And if so what was that story.
Kevin Lane 21:35
Yeah, we still did that. We did that for what, four years, three or four years, I was traveling everywhere. Everywhere. I went up and down the coast, we did Virginia Beach, we did for one month straight was it over a month, I was down in Florida. This is when the kids are still in high school. But I was down in Florida for a full month doing the full circuit of sandcastle events. That was in 2019. And it was perfect timing. Because it was like that one month window, I could announce, Hey, go and vote for us for the Toy of the Year. Because that’s when we could do all that it was in the fall of 2019. Hundreds and hundreds of 1000s of people saw our brand saw our product. And it’s a target audience, right. I mean, we’re talking sandcastle events, and I’m hustling and slinging sandcastle products in front of them, literally, like some of the people in the sand castle events will come over and be like, dude, you can’t ever do that, again, because you’re making us look bad. Like, I can literally build sand castles in minutes. And I would have an odd people around me a circle of 5200 people around me. And they would like I would split it for the first time in front of them and you get an applause and my buddy who was with me, who’s a professional sand sculptor said, my God, I can’t believe that just happened. I’ve been building sand castles and sculptures for, you know, a decade now. And I never get an applause. So that’s the power of bringing a product to life is that guerilla marketing, there’s real, real raw power to it. Social media is incredible. Because you could put your product in front of people in a digital space very quickly, very efficiently targeting the right people. But I mean, come on, I’m on a beach at a sandcastle event making sandcastles with a brand-new product. It doesn’t get any better than that. And it’s raw. And it’s powerful. And you can converse with people and they’re excited, they feel your passion. And they want to be part of that. So I think it’s really important to touch the consumer at that level.
Laurie Lane 23:46
And that’s something that we’re actually, our big focus right now is like the shift with the direct to consumer as well as we’re starting an affiliate program where we’re going to clone people like Kevin on different beaches, so that since he can’t and it’s getting very tiring, beach to beach, but seriously, to have those affiliates that are the salespeople on the beach, they have QR codes and they’ll be helping us sell the product because that’s the best way we sell it. Yep. And the great thing is, is I’m not sure if your listeners know but we did get a deal with Kendra Scott, who is a jewelry. We also got Daymond too. But Kendra Scott, she is a master of affiliate marketing. She has all of her people that sell her jewelry for her. So that’s something that we’re working on with her right now. She’s gonna help us guide us through the process of really setting up a really good and beneficial affiliate program.
Pat Yates 24:49
I don’t know very many people that have had her on the panel. It’s really amazing because she hasn’t been on a ton of episodes. It’s amazing that you got to deal with I find her quite lovely so I could sit in on your next meeting if you get time I’ll go with you just so I can meet her if you need to, you can put me in that meeting. So I mentioned she’s awesome. So tell us a little bit about Kendra. Go ahead and tell us I mean, how’s it been to work with her?
Laurie Lane 25:13
It’s good. It’s in the beginning stages. So we don’t have a ton of work with her yet.
Kevin Lane 25:20
Just so everybody knows, all your listeners know, like, they see Shark Tank air. And then they think all of it just happens. No, there’s 98 due diligence that goes back and forth.
Laurie Lane 25:32
Yeah, so much craziness. So we literally have just had a couple of phone calls with her. But she’s very excited about the product. And the one thing I can say about her is she is so lovely and down to earth. She’s just real. And that’s what I love best. So she’s excited about the company, how she can help us and so we’re kind of just figuring out, okay, so this, like affiliate, the program is really a crazy strength of hers. So that’s what we’re gonna focus on right now with her because she’s busy too, like.
Pat Yates 26:03
That’s exactly right. One thing I want to make sure the listeners realize too, and we don’t have to go too deep into it. We talked a lot about beach and selling all these things. This is a snow form too. So like if you’re in cold areas, like our owner, Mark Daoust our founder, Mark Daoust, he’s a Minneapolis snows air every day. He’s got legitimately like 50 Kids, I think he has 10 I lose track. But he could take these things to build some forms, like you wouldn’t believe in front of their house for the team he’s got but people that are in cold areas, obviously want to use this too, right?
Kevin Lane 26:03
Yeah, absolutely. And that and again, that hustle turned into me going to random, very big, very popular ski resorts wherever my forms, and I’ll find a direction and just the bones at the bottom of the mountain flats are right at the bottom of the mountain. And people come over to like, what is that? So it’s applying that same exact technique. It’s just not a beach. Now it’s a ski mountain where tons of people are eyeballs on your brand.
Laurie Lane 26:58
And then now we’ve taken it totally from the beach in the snow, and we shrunk our molds. And now we’re trying to get that year-round fun of building castles. And that’s what our indoor line comes in. I think. By the way,
Pat Yates 27:14
I’ll be a beach guy. I hate cold weather. I might do one on my deck while sitting in the hot tub watching people ski, other than that, I’m probably not in on that one.
Laurie Lane 27:22
Well, you can use Buildmaster from your hot tub, you can just get built.
Kevin Lane 27:27
Yeah, right. I don’t know if you heard me or not. But our indoor set is up for toy of the year this year. So our competitors are Lego Hot Wheels, Pokeyman, major, major. So if any of your listeners can vote, go to our website and go and vote for us. Because we need all the help we can get.
Pat Yates 27:45
I have a feeling that this will air like if anyone is dating us. We’re like in the late part of August right now I don’t think this will air till like the second week of October. But if that’s still going on, then we would love for you to go in and vote. But if you’re buying a Christmas gift, go look up Create A Castle, that’s for sure. But I definitely put it up on my Facebook, we got a few there, man, I’m hoping that you end up winning. It’s really an amazing opportunity. So as we start to close this up a little bit. You’re amazing entrepreneurs. Obviously you started back in 2010. Working on web stuff. You’ve been in Disney Stores, which is like being an entrepreneur or training in progress. You’ve done the business you did Shark Tank, you’re doing all the things you’re doing if there were a couple of things that you thought you would give entrepreneurs to tell them of things that you in your experience are really important traits or things that you’ve done, what would those be?
Laurie Lane 28:36
I would say you have to have perseverance. Like it’s exhausting. And a lot of people would be like, Oh, look, you got into Target. You guys must be rich, or you guys did this. That’s great. Like they think it’s like, you know what I mean? Target gives you a check. They don’t realize that they wait 120 days to pay you. There’s just so much. And like, we always say the entrepreneur is like the duck on the water that’s going really, it looks so beautiful going across the water and underneath the feet paddling, paddling like crazy. And that’s, you have to realize that it’s a lot of work. And it’s rewarding work. And especially like we’re bringing up stuff he had dreams of as a kid and all this stuff. So it’s very rewarding work. And like you said, if we can give back and that’s what our goal is, I would love to be able to give back to other entrepreneurs, we wouldn’t be where we are if we didn’t have help from so many people. It’s an incredible network. Yeah, just like, from past lives everywhere, willing to lend a hand and that’s one thing we always try and do. Other entrepreneurs are always like, oh my God, thank you for helping us and like, we wouldn’t be where we are if people didn’t help us.
Pat Yates 29:51
So, Laurie, before you go on to the next point. Would you think that entrepreneurs typically don’t like to admit failure? So sometimes they open up their network as big as they should, but once they break down that bet barrier we’ve learned especially with the Shark Tank Group or with and the reunion, everything that we do, that there’s a great group out there to be able to help you. That’s a great suggestion. Any other tips? What do you got Kevin?
Kevin Lane 30:09
Yeah, I’d say be prepared to be hit with hurdles that you never ever, ever saw coming. Prime example, 2020 Toy of the Year, right, like huge momentum, Walmart coming to our booth saying they want to carry gas and all their beach stores. Bum COVID happens, we all shut down. So we lost, probably million dollars. We lost millions of dollars with the PO’s. But we dealt with it right. There’s certain things that you just can’t see coming that you have to face as an entrepreneur, we didn’t expect the container crisis to happen to pay $25,000 to ship a product over every container. So these are the things that you need to prepare for as an entrepreneur, that there’s going to be hurdles in your way. And you need to be nimble enough to find workarounds. And basically, just like when we said perseverance.
Laurie Lane 31:12
And you have to pivot, you have to be prepared to pivot. There’s always something you’re going to be going down and you’re like, oh, I’m going this way. And then it’s like, oh, that’s a really big tree on the road, and you got to go this way. And then you got to go that way. And so, I mean, I know you know, you just got to keep figuring it out. Like, it’s always going to be something and it goes back to asking other people for help. And that is definitely something like you said, people think they’re either burdening people by asking for help, or they feel like, they don’t want to, like you said, admit failure.
Kevin Lane 31:48
I’ll just say, just put your ego aside as an entrepreneur, because you should have help you need help as an entrepreneur.
Pat Yates 31:56
It’s really interesting that you guys say that, because I will say this to the listeners, Kevin and Laurie and I met along with my wife at one point at a show when we were speaking and people just become fast friends that want to help each other and want to be invested in what people are learning and have their eyes open to be able to teach and learn in entrepreneurship, especially growing companies. I can’t tell you enough how much great it’s been to have you on the podcast, folks. Again, this is Create A Castle look it up online. It’s up for Toy of the Year. It’s an absolutely phenomenal business. Kevin and Laurie, you’ve just done nothing but have a long marriage, raise two great kids build a business go on Shark Tank. You had that much going on. But it’s great to have you on the Quiet Light Podcast. I appreciate you being here today.
Laurie Lane 32:37
Always so appreciate you Pat. Thank you so much for having us.
Today’s podcast was produced by Rise25 and the Quiet Light content team. If you have a suggestion for a future podcast, subject or guest, email us at [email protected] Be sure to follow us on YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram, and subscribe to the show wherever you get your podcasts. Thanks for listening. We’ll see you next week.