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Create a Castle

create a CastleKevin and Laurie Lane hope to build up a deal for Create a Castle, their better way to make sand (and snow) castles, in Shark Tank episode 1402. Kevin got the idea for his invention while on a beach vacation in California back in 2016. He watched as a frustrated dad and son’s sand castles kept collapsing. One year later, he opened Create a Castle with his wife and began selling online.

The products are a new twist on the old plastic pail and shovel most people use. The “buckets” fill from the top and have molded brick designs embedded in them. Instead of wiggling the “bucket” off the sand, there are hinges that let you open them from the side. They have three models: the basic which has a ten inch tower, the deluxe which has a ten and six inch tower, and the pro which has a ten and six inch tower and a wide corbel base. All kits come with a window cutting tool, a “multi purpose tool,” and a mesh carrying bag. The products are available at Wal Mart, the company website and Amazon.

Kevin and Laurie are no strangers to entrepreneurship. They both own and operate Code Hounds, a web design and production business. Laurie is also a Disney travel consultant. Create a Castle is the third business in the family. The couple likely wants a Shark to help them scale. Do Sharks like sand?

Company Information

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Create a Castle Shark Tank Recap

Kevin and Laurie enter the Shark Tank seeking $350,000 for 10% equity in their business. The couple loves to vacation at the beach. Kevin spends hours building elaborate sand castles. He says it’s impossible to build quality sand castles with the standard “fill and flip bucket.” They pull out their product and show how it works and explains what comes in each kit.

Kendra says she loves this and wants to know if their is anything like this on the market; there isn’t. Mr. Wonderful asks about patents; they have 12 international patents. The couple feels they’re well protected and plan on offering an indoor product. Mr. Wonderful says it’s seasonal and Laurie tells him it works in the snow. Kendra says the snow castle looks like Elsa’s castle.

Let’s Talk Numbers

The small kit is landed at $2 and sells for $10. The Pro Kit costs $9.45 landed and sells for $50.00. 2021 sales were $600,000 and they project $3 million for 2022. Sales jumped because they got into COSTCO Canada and Sam’s Club. Profits were negative $100,000 for 2021. The reason they lost money was shipping costs due to Covid related supply chain issues were 5 times what they budgeted for. Containers were typically $4000-$6000 and in 2021 they were $25,000. In 2022, they’ll make $300,000. Margins at COSTCO and Sam’s run 27%-32%.

Daymond wants to know why they need help because they appear to be scaling well. Laurie says they need capital for inventory and a Shark’s guidance because they’ve made so many mistakes. They also want to do a licensing deal. They’ve had returns and markdowns at COSTCO which effects their margins.

Mark says they’re focused on sales, not profits; he’s out. Mr. Wonderful says the business model isn’t nailed down and they should raise prices and sell only direct to consumer; he’s out. Lori says their pricing is perfect, she likes the product but she doesn’t invest in everything she likes; she’s out. Kendra says she loves the product and the price point. She likes the idea of having multiple sales channels. Kendra offers $350,000 for 20% of the business and she’ll help build multiple sales channels.

After a commercial break, Daymond says “wait, wait, wait.” Daymond says he’s interested in this for the licensing aspect. He offers $350,000 for 25% and licensing is the key. Kendra doesn’t think it’s just a licensing play, she wants them to dream big and she can help them. Kevin and Laurie ask if Kendra and Daymond would work together. Daymond says he’s the most successful licensing guy in the Tank and Kendra says she’s a brand builder. Kevin and Laurie counter Kendra at 15% but Kendra stays at 20%. After some discussion, they accept Kendra’s offer.

Create a Castle Shark Tank Update

The Shark Tank Blog constantly provides updates and follow-ups about entrepreneurs who have appeared on the Shark Tank TV show.  As of the first rerun of this episode in August, 2023 – 10 months after the original air date – there is no evidence the deal with Kendra closed. The castles are available at Wal Mart, Target, Barnes and Noble, Dick’s Sporting Goods and more. Revenue since appearing is just under $2 million.

The Shark Tank Blog will follow-up on Create a Castle & Kevin and Laurie Lane as more details become available.