Niamh Sherwin Barry explains the mantra behind The Irish Fairy Door Company and reveals why the product has been a hit with children and adults alike
When we spotted the recent news story about a Somerset council planning to tear down some of the 400 plus fairy doors that had appeared in their local woods, we didn’t just see this as the perfect time to launch in the UK.
Yes, it was an ideal platform for us to offer to re-home evicted fairies and to engage with outraged fairy-fans.
More than that, we saw it as a great opener to a much-needed wider discussion on the power of belief and magic in play.
It is this which is central to everything we do here at The Irish Fairy Door Company.
The imagination is an extremely powerful and wonderful thing. In recent times, imagination use by our children has been on the decline. We’re all for embracing technology at fairy HQ but seeing that the rise in popularity of ‘digital babysitters’ means it becomes more challenging to get kids to ‘just play’.
Our concept and product brings the child right back to basics, making independent decisions from the moment our interactive item arrives.
From ‘where’ (will I put my door?), ‘what’ (will I call my fairy?), ‘who’ (do I want my fairy to be, boy or girl?) – instantly the connection begins to form with this magical little being and gives a child the responsibility of making decisions, which we think is both very powerful and super-important.
Once these decisions are made, the key in the bottle is left out beside the fairy’s door. The next morning when the child sees that the key is gone and that their fairy has arrived, picked it up and moved in, the imagination explodes.
From that moment on, they know that there’s a magical little fairy living behind that door. Communicating with the fairy becomes part of daily life, creating play patterns, imagining adventures, creating stories – it’s truly quite magical what these fairy doors can achieve.
There’s always a new story to tell or activity to do. With the help of the creative team and of course Queen Kate and her Council, the magic continues to flow.
We have online content and supply updated materials via our iOS and Android app for that added touch of technology, which we realise forms a small yet important part of the entire play pattern.
We knew when we started to develop our concept that children would love it. What we didn’t bank on was that the adults would love it too.
We get constant feedback from many a grown-up that the magic of our little doors have brought back so many lovely memories they had of their own childhood. Bringing it back to basics and letting the imagination take over.
We don’t believe there’s any other product on the market at the moment that replicates the magical moment when that key disappears and the child’s imagination ignites instantly. All of a sudden memories are being made that will last forever.
It’s far from a little piece of wood we are selling. We are selling a magical journey. A journey that not only the child can go on, but where the whole family can come too.