Has your child ever talked about fairies? Maybe they have gone so far as to dream up a fairy story or even left notes for an imaginary fairy friend. Well, this week's spotlight mom, along with her daughter's friend's mom took their daughters' fairy tale house ideas and turned it into a new business, called Dreamland Fairy.
Dreamland Fairy was created by two moms, Ami Van Dine and Cassie Slane, whose six-year old daughters came up with the idea of a fairy house that they could keep in their rooms. Ami and Cassie believed it could be something bigger and set off to find manufacturers who could build the fairy house. Together, they wrote a book about the Dreamland Fairy and found an amazing and talented illustrator, Yvette Ruzicka.
Dreamland Fairy House is a magical wooden fairy house that children decorate and set by their beds at night.
While the child is sleeping, the Dreamland Fairy flies from fairyland into the house where they can be close enough to hear the child's dreams and return the dreams and stories back to Fairyland. Each morning when the child wakes up, they will discover that their fairy visited as the front door of the house will be left open. Any notes or treats they may have left for the fairy, will have magically disappeared back to fairyland!
The Dreamland Fairy House is sold along with a book telling the story of the Dreamland Fairy who ran out of stories to share with its fairy friends. A paint set and magical fairy dust is also included to help the child get started on creating their own Dreamland Fairy House!
What a great idea, huh? I stumbled across this website while looking for fairy doors, as my girls are starting to show interest in things like fairies. After watching all the different fairy movies and shows on television, Savannah asked me recently if fairies were real and if so, where did they leave. I could have told her an elaborate story that I made up about fairies, or I could have said they were just pretend. Instead, I told her I would investigate this further online and get back to her. My hope was to pick up a fairy door to put on one of the trees next door, or in the corner of the girls' bedroom. I had seen and heard about these fairy type doors in the past, but never really looked for them or needed a reason to...until now.
As I searched, I couldn't believe the crazy prices some people were asking for fairy doors. Not wanting to pay $40+ on a little door, I continued to search all things fairy and this is when I stumbled across Dreamland Fairy. I was excited not only find these cute Dreamland Fairy kits, but also that this company and product was created by two moms. I reached out to Cassie Slane, and she agreed to take time out of her busy schedule to answer Spotlight Mom questions.
While I haven't seen the Dreamland Fairy kits and book up close yet, Cassie will be sending one along for the girls and I to decorate and put by their bedside. In addition, Cassie has also agreed to offer one lucky reader a chance to win a Dreamland Fairy kit for their child. So, stay tuned for this giveaway, which will start this Friday and run through the month of April. The Dreamland Fairy kit would make for the perfect birthday gift or rainy day craft idea, as you share quality time decorating your child's very own fairy house and follow it up by reading the cute story Cassie and Ami created. Note: Right now Cassie is taking pre-orders of the Dreamland Fairy house and book. Orders will start being shipped in early May.
Please enjoy my Spotlight on Mom interview with Cassie Slane, co-founder of Slane Van Dine LLC and the Dreamland Fairy.
Name: Cassie Slane
Company Name/Product/Service: Slane Van Dine/Dreamland Fairy
Company Location: Merion, PA
Company Website: www.dreamlandfairy.com
Facebook URL: https://www.facebook.com/dreamlandfairykit
Twitter Handle: @dreamland_fairy
Age of Company: Less than one year
Favorite Inspirational Quotes: “The only thing worse than starting something and failing… is not starting something.” —Seth Godin, Squidoo founder
Favorite Book: 1984
Tell us a little bit about yourself. How many children do you have? What are their ages? Your hobbies? Etc.
I'm a mom, writer, blogger, entrepreneur, television personality and wife. I have three daughters ages 6, 4 and 2. Hobbies? Well, if I had time to have a hobby it would be reading and cooking, but unfortunately, most of my time is spent chasing around a 2 year old.
Briefly explain your business. How did it come about?
My six-year old daughter, Sophia, was at her friend Addi's house when they started building their own fairy houses. They painted them and spread glitter on them and starting carrying them around the house. They positioned them in front of the window to lure fairies and set them by their bed at night. They started leaving notes in the fairy house before they went to bed for their night fairy to read them. This game became an obsession and soon they were asking their friends if they had a fairy house like theirs. Obviously, they didn't because they invented it. Addi's mom, Ami, and I decided to make a fairy house that kids could place by their beds at night. We crafted a story about a fairy that ran out of stories to share in fairyland and the Dreamland Fairy was born.
The house has a special secret flower door on top that lures the fairy in at night and by morning, if the front doors are open (wink wink mom and dad) then the fairy came to listen to their dreams and brought them back to fairy land. The house comes with the Dreamland Fairy book, paint and glitter (fairy dust).
What is a typical work day like?
I talk to people a lot. I have found out that the best way to find something out is not hire a consultant, just talk to people, Ask questions to everyone. Most of the time people will help you. I am frequently talking to Wicked Cool Toys, which is a toy company that is mentoring us, and asking every them every question under the sun, from importing, testing, retailers, etc. This business is new to me so for every path I take, a few questions pop up.
What has been a struggle while starting up your company?
The fear of failure is probably the biggest struggle and not knowing what I am doing at all times. It makes me nervous. Not to mention the learning curve. I didn't know you needed a surety bond to import goods. I didn't know what a freight forwarder was a few weeks ago. It's all a process.
What did you do in your past work life?
I have been an auditor, writer and producer at Bloomberg News, on-air personality and tech expert at QVC. I still love to write and still contribute to BestTechie.com and the Huffington Post. I also frequently make appearances on Fox News and Fox29 in Philly for tech segments.
What have been some of your major successes?
My biggest success is my family. They come first. The work stuff is all secondary.
What have been some of your major challenges?
When I fainted on QVC and it went viral, I was all over the news. I had to stay focused and reevaluate my career path. It all worked out in the end.
On those impossible days, what motivates you to keep going?
My family- especially my kids.
What is your balancing secret in managing a business and family?
Set aside times where you do no work. If I can set aside specific times for work and with the kids, it helps me stay calm and focused. Sometimes one bleeds into the next, but I try to do the best I can.
What is next for your business?
We have gotten so much interest in Dreamland Fairy that we are focused on getting this into as many children's hands as possible, then next? We have a ton of ideas…we are starting on extensions of the line to be unveiled next year.
Do you have any advice for other mom entrepreneurs that are starting out and struggling, or are on the fence about starting a business?
I would suggest they find a mentor that is doing what they are doing and find out everything that is involved before jumping into a business. It is more work than I imagined and it would be almost impossible if I didn't have mentors in the business guiding me. And start out slow. You don't need to make a million pieces of your product. Just ease into it and find out if people like your product.