My heart does a tap dance when good things happen for good people. I get a little excited, in a hands-clapping, jumping-up-and-down, cheering kind of way.
That’s what took place yesterday when I saw my friend, Karyn Climans, on prime time T.V. Karyn is the woman behind Tail Wags Helmet Covers, a fast-growing Canadian business that’s committed to encouraging kids and adults to wear their safety helmets. She appeared on CBC’s The Dragon’s Den as part of a special episode in which entrepreneurs from previous seasons had a second chance to make a deal.
Karyn did. She slayed the dragons — with fun, colourful helmet covers. See it all here: http://www.cbc.ca/dragonsden/episodes.html
Yep. Kevin O’Leary got the devil. Arlene Dickinson donned the bridal number (I want to know the story behind that one), Jim Treliving sported the moose, Bruce Croxon put on the puffer fish and Robert Herjavec happily snagged the shark.
Right from the start, things looked promising when Herjavec said, “By the way, my wife loved the helmets we bought from you,” even before Karyn got into her pitch.
When she told them about her order for Canadian Tire, you could practically see dollar signs in their eyes and hear cash registers ching-ching-chingaling in their profit-driven brains.
Canadian Tire is just the tip of the iceberg, she told them. ”There is clearly a demand for my product in the mass market. People love this product. They love it.”
Just as clearly, the Dragons feel the same way. “I think you’re doing something really innovative and interesting,” said Dickinson as the moguls gnawed on Tail Wags options. When Treliving was chewing over his potential involvement, Herjavec provided his own impromptu Tail Wags sales pitch: “I will tell you that the entire ordering experience from her was fantastic. The stuff arrived on time. It was very high quality…”
Ca-ching. Treliving bit.
By that point, I was twirling around, hooting, grabbing my kid’s arm and hollering, “I know her! YES!” (I swear I could feel my own tail wagging….. It could happen.)
The moose and the blow fish bought into the company.
It was truly inspiring to see Karyn Climans’ success story play out on the screen. There’s also a lesson in it, one I will share with my kids. They’re diehard Dragon’s Den fans and we’ve already scooped up the books by Herjavec and O’Leary, with the one written by Dickinson at the top of their T0 Buy list.
Still, it’s Tail Wags Helmet Covers — and Karen’s business savvy — we’ll be discussing in this household for the next while.
Hard work, perseverance, emotional intelligence, work ethic, ingenuity and a social conscience all contributed to her earning the Dragons’ backing. Not only do her fun, funky products capture the imagination, they also do public good.
That matters. After all, my online friend knows, first-hand, the benefit of protecting your head. Karyn credits a helmet with saving her life when she was in a serious ski accident years ago.
I’m a big proponent of head safety too. As a protective mom and a reporter who has interviewed people living with acquired brain injuries, I’m convinced you can’t be too careful with your noggin. Personally, I’ve crashed in spectacular, flailing style, on skates, skis, rollerblades, sleds, bikes (and quite frequently, but less dangerously, while balancing on high heels — in front of hundreds of people).
Like Karyn, I have had a close call at a ski hill. When volunteering as a monitor on one of my kid’s class ski trips, I unwittingly flew through a gap between two stretches of safety fencing. (Epic Fail.) Whee. Whoosh. The ground disappeared.
Slam. The ground and I reconnected when I rammed, head-first, into it. The outcome could have been a whole lot worse than broken goggles and a bump on my forehead.
That’s why I believe in what Karyn is doing and I urge you to check out Tail Wags — for your kids and yourself.