North Texas lady turns into enterprise proprietor with assist of TikTok
DALLAS – A recent study of what’s on people’s bucket lists after a pandemic shows more Americans are looking to start their own businesses.
In a survey by Fenetic Wellbeing, more than 100 bucket list ideas and the comparison of search terms were examined online from March 2020 to March 2021. The search volume for “found a company” increased by 50%.
At the height of the pandemic, Watauga, Texas-based Krysti Burton first hit on the idea of starting her own business after quitting a job she’d had for more than three years. She always liked the idea of being her own boss, but she hadn’t taken the time to really think about it.
A mix of pandemic circumstances, TikTok-inspired curiosity, and the tenacity to try makes her phone ring for new prospects on a daily basis.
When her boss shared the news that the store wouldn’t close in March 2020, she was nervous about going to work every day as COVID-19 numbers skyrocketed in north Texas.
“I have grandchildren. The thought of catching the virus and passing it on to them was terrifying, ”said Burton. “When I was working in a hardware store, I was considered an important worker and didn’t have the option to work from home. I stopped because I didn’t want to take this risk. “
Then unemployed, she enjoyed babysitting her grandchildren and spent a lot of time reading to them.
“They love dinosaur books,” said Burton. “They are crazy about dinosaurs and watch a lot of dinosaur-themed shows.”
When she wasn’t busy looking after the kids and spending more time with her husband, like many during the pandemic, she watched tons of video uploads on TikTok.
Pictured is Norman the Dinosaur entertaining a group of children at a birthday party. (Image credit: Krysti Burton)
One day, while swiping the screen, she came across a video of a person in a dinosaur costume entertaining children at a birthday party.
“I was like, ‘Wow, that’s pretty cool!'” Burton said.
The curiosity to be an entrepreneur, her dino-loving grandchildren and TikTok sparked what she calls dinosaur adventures today.
After months of searching online, Burton spent most of her savings and bought a eight-foot-tall dinosaur costume that she affectionately named Norman. Made in China, the $ 5,000 costume has an opening mouth, winking eyes, an operator’s camera, and sound effects.
“This is no ordinary dinosaur costume,” said Burton. “There’s the inflatable dinosaur that looks really cheesy, but there’s no Norman up here.”
Inspired by the TikTok video she saw months earlier, she started a new business and rented Norman out for birthday parties and events. When she first posted on the Facebook marketplace, she knew she was on to something.
“My phone didn’t stop for four hours because people called because they were interested,” said Burton. “I booked my first party that first night.”
Pictured are the Bird family and their friends after a prank with Norman, the dinosaur, who frightens / surprises a 17-year-old Sophie Bird who has ornithoscelidaphobia (the fear of dinosaurs). (Spectrum News 1 / Lupe Zapata))
She mostly serves children’s birthday parties, but some of her favorite appearances include a friend surprising his girlfriend in a busy restaurant on her birthday and a mother playing prank on her daughter who is afraid of dinosaurs.
Burton said she was nervous about taking the financial risk of starting her own business, but the decision made her more confident.
“Every time I show it to someone and they just marvel, my chest swells even more,” Burton said with a big smile on his face. “It wasn’t an original idea, but I implemented it on my own and I’m really proud of that.”
Norman the Dinosaur is pictured entertaining children at a birthday party. (Image credit: Krysti Burton)
Now, with multiple bookings a week, she has no plans to slow down and buy more costumes anytime soon, as Norman is paying for himself.
“My next dinosaur is going to be a large triceratops. It is great. It takes two people to go in, ”said Burton.
Burton brags that she has the only service offering dinosaur visits in North Texas. Your closest competition is in Houston. For more information, find Norman on Facebook with the handle @dinoadventurentx.
Pictured is Spectrum News 1 Texas Human Interest reporter Lupe Zapata and Watauga, Texas, resident Krysti Burton with Norman, the eight-foot-tall dinosaur. Burton is the owner of Dino-Adventure and offers the realistic, human-operated, walking dinosaur for parties and events. (Spectrum News 1 / Lupe Zapata)