1st Aug 2012 – RagHeroes launches – a moment in history to celebrate!

I am so thrilled and excited to officially open RagHeroes for business.  It has been both a demanding and enlightening journey into the world of toy making and we are so proud to have made it.

I actually had the idea for RagHeroes back in January 2012 when my two boys wanted a rag doll of their own.

They didn’t like the ‘cute’ ones we saw in the shops and so we made their very own range of Superhero dolls together. When everyone started asking for one was when I decided to turn this idea into a business and so RagHeroes was born.

 

Kai with the Super Mackem football inspired rag doll that he helped to make.

Kai with the Super Mackem football inspired rag doll that he helped to make.

Jacob with the Super Geordie football inspired rag doll that he helped to make.

Jacob with the Super Geordie football inspired rag doll that he helped to make.

Ever since I made the idea public in March 2012 it has gone from strength to strength with more and more pople coming out to support us!   We first had an application for small business funding accepted by Enterprise Nation and we gained more than 500 public votes and were awarded £500 which really allowed us to begin our journey.  The £500 investment meant we could buy our first ever sewing machine and set of materials to start making prototypes of the dolls and we even had some funds left over to get a website up and running too.

Then in May 2012 something magical happened.  I responded to a tweet from Sir Richard Branson about a competition Virgin Media Pioneers were running in which 4 lucky entrepreneurs could win the chance to go to Richard Bransons Oxfordshire family home and pitch their business idea to a panel of judges and live audience.  The judges included Richard Branson, Richard Reed (co-founder of Innocent Drinks), Jamal Edwards (Founder of sb.tv) and Nigel Gildbert (Virgin CEO).  We had to send 500 words on our business idea via email and so I done this.  I didn’t think much more of it until I received a voice mail saying I was one of the chosen 8 people which would go to the public vote.  The 4 people with the most votes would then have the chance to pitch.  It was mad fight to the finishing line and we just scraped through to 4th place with just over 1200 votes.  So a massive thank you to everyone who did vote for us as each vote really did count!  On the day of the pitch we were awarded joint 2nd prize of £750 and the support of Sir Richard Branson.  It was an amazing experience!

Left to right: Nigel Gilbert, Richard Reed, Jamal Edwards, Maria Albertsen and Richard Branson.

 

Vote for RagHeroes to win The Pitch 2012 Social Media Award.

Since then we entered The Pitch 2012 competition and are excited beyond belief to have been chosen as one of the top 80 best UK small business to pitch for a chance to win £50,000 in business support.  We pitch live in Liverpool in October 2012 in front of a live audience of 200 people and some of the UK most successful business men and women, we can’t wait!  You can view our profile and vote for us to win The Pitch Social Media Award by clicking on the picture to the left.

 

We are also extremely happy to have been nominated for a Mumpreneur UK award and have our fingers crossed for the short listing process! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another thing we are very proud to let you know is that 10% of all our profits will be donated to The Forces Children’s Trust.   The Forces Children’s Trust is a charity devoted to helping children whose Father or Mother has died or has sustained life threatening injuries, whilst serving as a member of the British Armed Forces.  They really do an amazing job of supporting the children whose lives have been affected by war.  You can visit their website by clicking on the picture below.

 

 

So it really has been an amazing few months and today we are now able to offer our dolls on sale to everyone.  We really hope you enjoy our products and our website and we welcome any feedback.  We have many more exciting projects happening behind the scenes so please keep checking back for new products and more exciting news to come!

Maria x

Maria with her 2 boys Kai and Jacob.

 

 

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