Meet Sally Copus. She’s a mum, designer and the creator of ‘lil Fairy Door, a magical door children can attach to their bedroom wall allowing fairies to come and visit. This ‘lil idea has already sparked an abundance of joy and imagination in the lives of children across the globe, but especially for kids who need it most. Now, Shark Tank’s Naomi Simson and Glen Richards are also ‘lil Fairy Door fans, investing $325k each into Sally’s business; proving perhaps that fairies do in fact exist...
1. Tell us a bit about yourself and what you were doing before starting ‘lil Fairy Door.
“I’ve always loved anything creative, especially seeing my little ones using their imagination. This, and a fairy crazy four year old, started me on the road to designing a range of miniature ‘lil Fairy Doors so that children can ‘invite the fairies into their home'.”
2. Tell us about the lightbulb moment that sparked the ‘lil Fairy Door idea.
“I was madly trying to put together a fairy party for my daughter’s fourth birthday, browsing google images for anything that might work and stumbled across the idea of the Fairy Door. I spent the next few nights creating one (in secret of course) and the response from my daughter was amazing. Our life changed from that moment on. I instantly saw that every little person needed to be able to invite the fairies into their home.”
3. What were your first steps in getting the idea out there and how has the business grown over the years?
“I got to work right away creating logos, a website, designing packaging and having prototypes made. My graphic design background meant that I was able to do this myself, though I spent way too many hours trying to make it just right. I decided that this could be something that I could do myself as a business, that the ‘lil Fairy Doors would be a lovely gift to offer to all children. I had been looking for an idea that would allow me to do my own thing and stay home with my children and this seemed to fit me so perfectly.
I exhibited at a number of trade fairs that gave me fantastic brand recognition and most of all, social media has been the key driver for my business. Facebook has been an amazing way for others to spread the word about ‘lil Fairy Doors, with people liking my page and sharing stories about how the doors have positively affected their children’s lives. And, I have had some fantastic PR as well, with the product featured in a lot of national newspapers and supplements as well as kids and parenting magazines.
Things are amazing now! After nearly 6 years in business, the brand has grown exponentially with 'lil Fairy Doors being sold in close to 1000 stores across Australia. I sell through my online store www.littlefairydoor.com and now RedBalloon as well as to retailers in NZ, UK Canada, US and South Africa.
I’m constantly expanding my range and produce ‘lil extras for the ‘lil Fairy Doors now too, so you can ‘accessorise’ your ‘lil Fairy Door.”
4. What have been the most rewarding and challenging moments in the ‘lil Fairy Door journey?
“I love being my own boss and the flexible lifestyle that comes with that – Tuesday morning brunch, anyone? I’m not independently wealthy from ‘lil Fairy Door just yet, but I do feel like I’ve achieved great success already because I now know what it means to use my abilities to touch other people’s lives, and that’s pretty priceless.
The most rewarding part of it all, is hearing the positive stories and feedback from parents. Children whose parents have divorced or someone has passed away, children who are sick or going through something in their lives, are really benefiting from their ‘lil Fairy Doors. I am constantly hearing heart-warming stories from parents about children leaving messages for people who are no longer around. More so, stories from parents whose children are going through difficult childhood stages, like sleeping through the night, potty training or starting a new school. It’s amazing to have created a product that is really making a difference to so many little people.
The challenges are working very long hours and still trying to maintain some balance in my family life. I’m learning how to look after myself, to give myself some time out to enjoy life, to celebrate my achievements and reward my efforts.”
5. What do you think is the secret behind ‘lil Fairy Door’s growing success?
“Fairies never give away 'all' their secrets.” ;)
6. What are some of the future goals you have for the business?
“There are so many! A range of books to begin and one day…maybe even a TV show! I would also like to expand even further internationally and hopefully get ranged in some more major retailers.”
7. What motivated you to go on Shark Tank?
“The most important aspect to me, on my Shark Tank journey has been meeting some amazing mentors. Really, I’m just a mummy with a clever idea. To have such incredibly smart business people on my team now - it’s the greatest reward I could have asked for.”
For more information visit, Little Fairy Door
Find out more about the other businesses Naomi Simson has invested in during this season of Shark Tank.