How did you come up with this business idea?
A couple of years ago I was thinking to myself what does my daughter love to do? I have always heard that people become successful just by doing what they love to do. Well I knew she loves lizards and had been catching them since she could walk. She then started to hypnotize them and dress them up in her doll clothes. My husband is a professional photographer so he took pictures of them for her.
How did you get started?
After seeing the photographs we were awed by what she had created and thought this could be a startup business for her.
Explain what your business is – what you sell, where and how – and who you sell to
We have produced a line of greeting cards, t-shirts, photographic prints and limited edition prints. The latter have been sold in a local art gallery as well as auctioned at a museum fundraiser here. It was the first to sell in the photographic auction for $2500. The t-shirts, cards and small prints are sold in our web store and local craft shows. We also have a few novelty stores that sell the greeting cards. The people who have bought are products are lizard lovers, art collectors, artists and people with a sense of humor. They very funny and have a story to tell.
Why did you start your business?
We started this business for our daughter’s future. It’s her love of lizards and all animals and believe this has a lot of potential in many different areas.
Your role in the business?
Lily’s role in the business is setting up the scenes for the images. She catches and hypnotizes the lizards, comes up with the ideas for the scenes, we shop for props and has a big role in naming the images as well.
Your parents role in the business?
Our role in her business is providing support. Researching publishers, printing companies, stores to carry the product and marketing. She is also in an arts-related school studying communications along with regular curriculum.
What were some of the big challenges?
The biggest challenges have been the legal issues ie. not knowing the “business” of licensing etc. and the cost of starting a business.
One lesson we have learned to date is to ask more questions and to ask for help/advice and listen to it.
Skills you have developed?
How will this experience change your future?
I hope this experience will teach Lily the importance of patience and that it takes time to develop a business. It certainly has taught us. It’s constant work and perseverance.
How do you see your business growing?
We see a lot of potential for this business in many different areas. Our next goal is to have a children’s book published. There’s a terrific amount of other ideas for it as well…ie. video games, tv, cartoons etc. We have big ideas. Unfortunately we are not making much money on the web store and am currently looking at changing the look of it to focus more on the product than “the story”. We are also going to offer “free shipping” on web orders. We’re hoping this will jump start some orders.
What will you do with the money earned?
The money that is coming in now pays for the bills. We also had some tremendous lawyer bills as well. Once the business actually makes $$, we plan to put a good portion in a trust account for Lily’s future. We hope this business will be with her for many, many more years to come.