Harry Potter Studios – My Proudest Business Moment
Running your own business can be an incredible personal journey and 99% of the time it is fairy run of the mill, just the day to day grind of loading and unloading boxes, ordering stock and answering emails. But sometimes, just sometimes something comes along that makes you think ‘Yup. I’ve made it!’
People measure success in lots of different ways. To some it could be hitting a sales target or landing a big contract but for me it was something much smaller and to some it may seem insignificant. I have always sold lots of toys to small independent retailers, schools and internet sellers but this was the first time a large, famous organisation had contacted me. It was back in 2012 and an email suddenly turned up in my inbox and I thought nothing of it at first as the email address meant nothing. They wanted to buy a range of stretchy animals and slime tubs which I presumed were for a children’s party and the buyer was just having them delivered to work for convenience as it didn’t look like a residential address. After a couple of emails back and forth the buyer then revealed that they were going to be used as props to decorate Diagon Alley at the new Harry Potter Studios just north of London. Being a fan of medium proportions I was understandably proud and a little shocked that little old me had stood out from the crowds of suppliers on the internet for them to find me. It was proof that my hard work promoting the business was paying off. Many hours I had spent doing SEO work and using forums to try and boost my website up the Google rankings was suddenly all worth it.
A few months later we did the obvious and booked tickets to take the children, who were to be honest a bit young to really appreciate Harry Potter but it was a good excuse to go and visit our toys. We proudly stood in front of the Apothecary window telling passing tourists that they were our snakes and bugs in the window, most thought we were slightly unhinged I think but we didn’t mind. Just seeing something that I had sold for a profit sitting in that window gave me a strange warm fuzzy feeling. As said previously some may think it a fairly insignificant moment as we didn’t make a huge profit on the deal but it was more the symbolic effect of taking an order from a company that spends tens of millions of pounds on films and merchandise. They could have gone to anyone, but they didn’t. They came to me!
Written by Vicky Walmsley