The Ring

Staffer’s bird has a beak for business

Thu, 2012-10-04 09:32

McQueen at Hallmark card launch Photo: Heidi Bada
McQueen at Hallmark card launch Photo: Heidi Bada

Success is in the cards for UVic law librarian’s assistant Mary McQueen. She secured a $10,000 investment, for a 25-per cent stake in her business, through the popular CBC television program the Dragons’ Den. An episode featuring McQueen and her lovebird Luigi, whose passion for shredding paper provides the raw material for his owner’s Hand and Beak greeting-card creations, was taped in Toronto last spring and aired Sept. 26.

The pitch hit turbulence early when Luigi flew to the studio rafters almost immediately, but McQueen remained calm even with her primary asset absent and other dragons dropping out. She ultimately accepted the investment from David Chilton, author of The Wealthy Barber. It resulted in a national distribution deal through Hallmark Canada, which unveiled a six-card collection by McQueen the same day the TV episode aired.
Even better: proceeds from sales of McQueen’s cards will benefit the non-profit organization Make-A-Wish Canada.

More photos by Heidi Bada (UVic BA '09, psychology/sociology, and current political science major):