What were you doing when you were eight years old? Lyla Black has set up her first business – a successful line of stuffed animals called Lyla Tov Monsters.
Earlier this year Lyla won the Young Inventor Award at the Toy & Game Inventor of the Year Awards held in Chicago. Lyla is in fact from New York. She got her “start” in the business at age 3, when she told her mother, Erin, that she wanted to give her dad, Eric, a monster to protect him against under-the-bed monsters.
Erin is a wardrobe designer for the Muppets so she has experience and a workshop full of materials. She allowed Lyla to use them and helped her out. The first stuffed monster was so good, the family thought about if someone will want to buy such a toy.
It turned out that the answer was more than positive. So the family started making more monster and selling them for 20 dollars a pop. “Momma would do all the cutting and sewing, me and Daddy would do all the stuffing,” explains Lyla.
Then the interest started to grow, so the family ran a Kickstarter campaign. It allowed it to raise 20 000 dollars with which to move the production from their home to a rented factory in China. Now the family is working on getting the toys in the stores and Lyla is honing her craft to be able to design even more monsters.
Here is a video from the award ceremony:
So what are the Lyla Tov Monsters? The cute looking stuffed monsters will protect you from the big scary monsters that lurk in the night. They are happy and friendly, always by your side offering support. Kids can even rely on them on trips to unknown places.
Currently there are four Lyla Tov Monsters in the line: Squonk, Madeline, Forrest and Charlotte. The company also has an illustrated book called Billy & Dak which tells the story of, you guessed it, Billy & Dak – a young boy and his stuffed monster friend.