Dragons get to Squibble over Karen

Karen Chapman with her game Squibble
Karen Chapman with her game Squibble
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IT’S a brave entrepreneur who would enter the Dragons’ Den with an idea for a game made out of straws.

But that’s exactly what viewers will see mum-of-three Karen Chapman do as she takes her Squibble invention – which has been developed to help players resolve minor family disputes and dilemmas – to the hit TV show.

Karen, 43, from Gullane, will aim to secure an investment for her Family Fixes firm in the last episode of the series on Monday.

“It’s a programme I love and I have watched it since the first series,” said Karen. “All my friends, every time I came up with something, would say I should go on it.”

And as luck would have it, Karen was invited to go on the show by show executives after she was spotted at a toy fair in Birmingham.

The entrepreneur, who is married to recruitment consultant Paul, 44, has sold 5000 of the £9.99 games to stores including Amazon, Lakeland and department store Beales and there are another 100,000 in the pipeline.

She came up with the idea in 2009 after her daughters, Emma, seven, Molly, six and Maddy, five, brought home a hedgehog they made at a kids’ workshop.

“I had been having a bad day and it seemed to me that drawing the straws would be the perfect way to end squabbling. I looked to see if I could buy something like that in the shops and when I couldn’t, I thought I will make one myself.”

The game contains ten individually sized straws numbered one to ten.

Whoever picks the shortest straw is the one assigned the task in question – whether it’s deciding which film to watch, where to go on holiday, or who’s doing the washing up.

“Squibble helps to defuse awkward situations by adding a bit of humour,” she said.

“We are gearing up to target Squibble towards the Christmas market, traditionally a time when families and siblings squabble, often failing to work out a fair and simple way to resolve minor decisions and dilemmas.”

Karen is also ready to launch Chew Chew – a battery-operated train that travels around the family dinner table, with bowls in the carriages carrying different foods to choose from.

The aim of the product is to encourage children to try eating different things.

Karen, who worked in financial services before becoming a stay-at-home mum, remains tight-lipped about whether her bid on Dragons’ Den is successful.

But she admitted: “Appearing on the show was probably one of the most difficult things I have ever done – but nothing ventured, nothing gained.

“If you get an opportunity like that you would be foolish not to go for it.”