Sandee Elash shows the dragons her family’s product

‘Wrappin’ family’ survives their dragon tale

After appearance on CBC's Dragon's Den, Cloverdale entrepreneurs focus on local support for their all-in-one gift wrapper

A Cloverdale family has ventured to the dragon’s den and escaped – albeit not completely unscathed.

CBC’s entrepreneur-based reality show Dragons’ Den left the the Elash family slightly burned after debuting their product, dressed in Santa garb, on Dec. 14.

Although they did not persuade the panel to give them the $25,000 for their invention – the All-In-One Gift Wrapper, which comes with all the tools needed to wrap a present in a cylinder-shaped package – Sandee, the family matriarch said there is no reason to give up.

In fact, the only thing she finds regretful about the journey to marketing their product is that she didn’t focus on the community support the family had been receiving for years.

“Everything we needed was right here in our backyard,” Sandee said. “We’ve received such an outpouring of support, it’s amazing.”

The gift-wrapper is the second invention produced by the self-proclaimed “wrappin’ family.”

Seven years ago, after seeing his wife struggle with plastic wrap, Hank created Wraptor Teeth, a plastic device that sits on the side of a drawer, with jagged teeth for cutting food wrap.

“One day he just went out in the shed, came back later and popped it in and told me to try it,” Sandee said. “We always had company ask us about it, but we never really thought anything of it.”

The decision to market the item came from the their daughter, Amanda.

After many struggles, both financially and emotionally, the family was able to get Wraptor Teeth in stores in South Surrey, White Rock and Cloverdale.

Despite the rocky road with their first product, Hank says he has not been dissuaded from venturing on with their second.

“I know people will want this, and if we can just get it on track, I know that it will be purchased,” he said.

Just hours after their less-than-ideal debut on Dragons’ Den, Sandee said she received emails, messages and comments about the product, with people asking where they could get it.

“Even though we’re losers on the show, we’re feeling very inspired right now. I think something good is going to happen,” she said.

 

Surrey North Delta Leader

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