A Comox Valley dad is buzzing after his big pitch on the latest episode of CBC’s Dragon’s Den that could change his family’s future. James Flawith has invented a new line of safety gear for children – similar to what is seen on flaggers – in an effort to make kids more visible and safer especially near roads.
Being hoisted into mid-air with a power saw really doesn't faze James Flawith. What gets him is the thought of his three little boys under five being around cars and busy parks.
"It's crazy," said James Flawith. "So we are looking for whatever we can do to like make our lives easier and survive day-to-day."
So the arborist and Comox Valley dad, came up with reflective pint-sized gear that lets his kids play dress up like dad and keep safe outside, especially at this time of year as days grow shorter.
"And my wife and I realized hey this is making life a lot easier," said Flawith. "We can see our kids and it's making us feel a lot safer."
He developed Lil Worker Safety Gear and it has already become a hit in the Comox Valley.
"It's awesome to just have them out there and seen you see them from so far away," says Lucy Schoendfelder, a mom of three.
All of the children at Courtenay's Kids Campus ChildCare wear Lil Worker Gear on outings.
"If someone tries to take them away we can always spot (them) because they're wearing something bright coloured," said Kids Campus' Andy Daugherty.
Now Flawith's just had the big break he's been waiting for.
He appeared on CBC's Dragons' Den Canada-wide show on Oct. 12 where he made a pitch for investment that will grow his tiny company.
"And it turned out pretty good," said Flawith back home in the Comox Valley.
"I am so proud of him, you did good," said Flawith's grandmother Doreen Gould.
One of the "Dragons," Manjit Minhas, gave Flawith $75,000 in exchange for a third of Lil Worker Safety Gear.
Flawith says he was in shock that he was getting this vote of approval.
"Oh oh wow," he said recalling the moment, "I was like shocked."
Flawith says he won't be quitting his day job but is grateful his idea and gear can now reach a bigger audience of kids that will ultimately be safer because of it.