Here's some advice to new entrepreneurs from the twin sisters who make The Elf on the Shelf: Never give up.
"A big lesson ... is that 'no' doesn't mean no," said Christa Pitts, the co-CEO of Creatively Classic Activities and Books who takes care of the business end of the company.
"We were told it was destined for the damaged goods bin," Pitts told CNBC's "Squawk Box" in December. "[Banks] weren't going to lend on elves."
"A lot people didn't want it. They didn't know what to do with it," said twin sister Chanda Bell, co-CEO on the creative side of their company.
But that didn't stop Pitts and Bell from turning The Elf on the Shelf into a holiday phenomenon that's now 10 years old.