Toys for making sand and snow castles have been around for a long time, but Create a Castle designs detailed molds for creating beautiful castles with less effort. Founders, Kevin and Laurie Lane appeared on season 14 and got a deal with Kendra Scott. As of 2024, Create a Castle is worth an estimated $2 million.
About the Founders
Kevin and Laurie Lane are a married couple who reside in New Milford, Connecticut. Not much is known about Kevin’s education, but Laurie got a degree in retail management from the University of Connecticut.
Laurie started her career as a store manager at The Gap and also worked as a district manager at The Walt Disney Company. Next, she worked as an independent vacation planner at MEI-Travel & Mouse Fan Travel.
Kevin has a lot of experience in web design and landed his first job in the industry at Digital Madness. Later on, he was hired by companies such as LifeCare, WebMediaBrands, and Jupitermedia. In 2010, he founded his first firm, Code Hounds, with his wife as an account manager.
Founding Create A Castle
Aside from creating websites, Kevin loved building sand castles. But like many people, he didn’t like sand castle buckets because you’d have to strike them several times to get your final product.
The duo designed a range of castle molds that can be opened on the side after you fill them with sand or snow. They made perfectly shaped little castles and started selling them in 2017.
A year later, the startup received over 500 orders after being featured on ABC’s Live with Kelly and Ryan. In 2020, the product was hailed as Toy of the Year by the Toy Association. This helped the founders get a distribution deal with TOMY Australia.
Getting on Shark Tank
Create A Castle had decent sales, and was on track to be an industry leader in its niche. After Kevin and Laurie Lane were accepted onto the show, they filmed their pitch in July 2022. The couple were well prepared and knew their numbers inside out.
Before the episode aired, Kevin hired sand sculptor, Dan Anderson, to create a 15-foot sandcastle in his hometown of New Milford. Laurie and Kevin ended up grabbing a deal with Kendra Scott!
After Shark Tank
Their episode aired in October 2022 and since then business has been booming. Kevin Lane revealed in an interview the company has been pushing hard to keep up orders. The company made close to $3 million in 2022 after Sam’s Club and Costco Canada took on the product.
Their product is also available to buy on Amazon, Target, Barnes and Noble, CreateACastle.com, and a couple of small toy stores in the US. Thanks to the deal they signed with TOMY, they made it into retail stores across Australia in time for Christmas. Given Australia’s beautiful beaches, down under should be a major market for the company.
Create a Castle has an average review rating of 4.3 from over 384 Amazon reviews. Currently, Create a Castle is worth an estimated $2 million. There’s no evidence yet to verify that the deal with Kendra closed after the show.