A SPELLBINDING new board game designed by a Portsmouth mum has hit the shelves just in time to tie in with the new Harry Potter film.
Entrepreneur Rachel Lowe is hoping Destination Hogwarts will work its magic to get her back on her feet after a tough few years.
The 33-year-old shot to fame on the BBC’s Dragons’ Den after launching the Destination series of board games six years ago.
They were inspired by her part-time job as a taxi driver, which she had while studying law at the University of Portsmouth.
Destination London was followed by Destination Portsmouth and a further 19 editions of the game. Then a deal was struck for Rachel to launch Destination Hogwarts in 2008.
But at the time of launching the Harry Potter game the recession hit, and Rachel ended up losing her house, her car and even her health.
She said: ‘It was totally devastating. I’d worked incredibly hard for six years trying to do it, from winning the university’s enterprise challenge award when I was 25.’
The business problems resulted in Rachel having a breakdown, and unable to leave her house apart from doing the school run.
During that time she was made an MBE for her work in promoting business in schools. She is now enjoying being back in business with a line-up of new projects.
Rachel’s new business partner acquired the rights for the Destination brand from the administrators, enabling a licensing deal to relaunch Destination Hogwarts and continue with a new range of board games under that brand.
The game’s launch took place at the London Film Museum as part of a Harry Potter event which attracted 3,000 fans.
The new film opens tomorrow.
Players win house points by travelling around Harry Potter’s school of witchcraft and wizardry and avoiding pitfalls.
This time Rachel, whose new company is called She Who Dares UK, has financial backing from entrepreneur and multi-millionaire Simon Dolan.
Rachel, who works out of 1000 Lakeside in Northarbour, now has the rights to produce Destination London 2012, an official product of next year’s Olympic and Paralympic games.
‘I just feel like a new woman – nothing is impossible,’ she said.
To find out more about the game, see destinationhogwarts.co.uk.