Toys for making sand and snow castles have been around for a long time, but Create a Castle designs more 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 2022, 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 the husband’s educational background, but Laurie got a degree in retail management from the University of Connecticut.
Laurie started her career as a store manager at The Gap. She was also hired to be a district manager at The Walt Disney Company. Then, 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 the Company
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 has made decent sales, and it’s on track to be an industry leader in its niche. This may be why the entrepreneurs were looking to bring a Shark on board.
After Kevin and Laurie Lane were accepted onto the show, they were invited to film in July this year. And before their episode aired, Kevin decided to thank his supportive townsfolk in New Milford by making a 15-foot sandcastle on a nearby beach.
He hired a sand sculptor named Dan Anderson for the project. It serves as a kind of PR announcement for their presentation on Shark Tank.
After Shark Tank
Despite their episode only recently airing, it’s expected to receive a huge boost in orders from fans of the show. As Create A Castle only has three employees in total, they may struggle to cope with shipping in the short run.
Their product is available to buy on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, CreateACastle.com, and a couple of small toy stores in the US. Thanks to the deal they signed with TOMY, they will be in 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 540 Amazon reviews. Currently, Create a Castle is worth an estimated $2 million.