Donegal Toy Company Arklu meet Prince of Wales and have the opportunity to show His Royal Highness their initial Royal Wedding Dolls, as well as their award winning Lottie Dolls during the Royal Visit visit to Letterkenny Institute of Technology, Wednesday 25th of May.
Arklu MD Ian Harkin explaining Stargazer 'the first doll in space' to the Prince of Wales.
His Royal Highness Prince Charles visited LYIT and met with Arklu, the toy company which started their business with a doll to celebrate the Royal Wedding and went on to create their own brand of wholesome, childhood inspired dolls called Lottie.
Arklu's Royal Wedding Dolls (2011)
Arklu's Lottie Dolls - focused on childhood.
Arklu MD, Ian Harkin explained to Prince Charles how he and his business partner Lucie Follett’s business started when they developed the Royal dolls, Ian explained how they donated a percentage of sales to the Royal National Lifeboats Institution.
During the conversation with Prince Charles, Ian further explained how whilst developing the royal dolls Arklu were approached by a number of parents who suggested developing a wholesome alternative doll for children. After 18 months of research Arklu developed their now award-winning Lottie dolls, building in childhood focused attributes in collaboration with British scientists.
The Stargazer Lottie doll was shown to the Prince of Wales during his visit to the Letterkenny Institute of Technology, Harkin explained that Stargazer Lottie is part of ESA British Astronaut Tim Peak’s Principa Mission and is currently on the International space station, the Prince of Wales said he had not been aware of this, but found the British astronomy link very interesting.
Harkin explained that Lottie doll designs are now being submitted by children from around the world, including a five-year-old girl from Warrington, UK who submitted a Fossil Hunter doll idea, created in partnership with a group of female only palaeontologists that work in the national history museum in London called TrowelBlazers.
Fossil Hunter Lottie - Credit Trowelblazers.
Ian Harkin offered gifts of Lottie and Finn dolls to the Prince of Wales for his grandchildren Princess Charlotte and Prince George of Cambridge, Harkin also offered a set of the limited edition Royal Wedding dolls upon which the Prince remarked that he hope the children recognise their parents!
Lottie and Finn Dolls as gifts for Princess Charlotte and Prince George.
The Royal Wedding Dolls led to the start-up toy company developing Lottie, a childlike doll created to champion childhood values which was launched in 2012, Lottie has since won 31 international awards and is now on sale in over 30 countries.
Arklu, the company behind Lottie Dolls are based in the Letterkenny CoLab Science Park, and in 2016 have doubled their staff and office space and have to date sold over 500k Lottie dolls and 300k accessories worldwide.
Arklu Office Letterkenny, Co Donegal CoLab Science Park.
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