Donegal, Ireland based entrepreneur Ian Harkin ditched a finance career in London to launch a doll company. Ian is the CEO of Lottie Dolls, a toy company creating a diverse range of premium quality small dolls. Since launching his company in 2011, he’s been on a mission to challenge toy industry standards with dolls addressing body image, gender stereotypes, diversity in ability and ethnicity. To date, Lottie Dolls have won 35 international toy awards and partnered with the European Space Agency, sending the Stargazer Doll to the International Space Station. In this episode of the Business Builders Show, Ian shares why he self-funded his company, to the research behind every Lottie Doll as well as why listening to kids (not parents or retailers) was the best product research and some raw insights on the challenges of creating a mission-driven company.f
Kelly Hoey is the author of Build Your Dream Network (January 2017 / Tarcher Perigee). She has been lauded from Forbes (“1 of 5 Women Changing the World of VC/Entrepreneurship”) to Fast Company (“1 of the 25 Smartest Women On Twitter”) to Business Insider (“1 of the 100 Most Influential Tech Women On Twitter”) and Inc. (1 of “10 Most Well-Connected People in New York City's Startup Scene”). Empowering A Billion Women By 2020 included her on their list of the “100 Most Influential Global Leaders Empowering Women Worldwide”. Not bad for a former corporate lawyer. She’s a limited partner in two emerging tech funds (Laconia Capital Group and Lattice Ventures) and can frequently be found on Twitter @jkhoey.