After months of product development and trade shows and production/shipping issues, it is just thrilling to see the final products in stores. We spotted some great retail placement with Shell Rummel, Tracy Porter and Izak this past month.
It's working...that is a statement I heard from one of my artists this week! I couldn't agree more. In licensing, we all know it is a long and tortuous road at its best. Some days are great, some are okay and some are just downright ugly and depressing. Let's be honest, we try to survive in a market where in most cases we work for free a majority of the time. How can that not get you down sometimes. To hear the words it's working though does make you feel that hard work can persevere in the end.
Collaboration...Another word I have heard this week. The specific quote is that we want to work collaboratively with creative people. Now that is what I like to hear from licensees. We want to work collaboratively as well. We are not divas! (I can say that as a general rule as most of my artists and designers are women) The bottom line is we want to create great products with great partners. If we are working together and not sending submissions into the abyss, we all will be much more successful. We won't waste our time and can spend energy creating designs that will ultimately sell.
I couldn't help but laugh the other day at my daughter, Addison. We have a new Nanny, Katie, that loves to draw. They both sit at the table after school and have art time. I really thought it was a collaborative effort where they both created art together...So I come downstairs the other day and Addison is sitting at the table telling Katie what to draw and what colors to use, and how her hair should be, etc. I made a mental note that I should really try to work with Addison on being so bossy, and then I couldn't help but think that is how I must sound when I tell my artists; just change up those colors, add a new color way, move this around, it needs something more I don't know what, but something. And then I made a mental note to work on me being so bossy. :-)
I am really excited about Jewel Branding in 2013 and felt the week of Thanksgiving is the perfect time to say thanks to all of the amazingly talented artists, brands and designers that I get to work with. I am so lucky to have such a great group of people that make this agency so much fun to be a part of. We will have our 5 year anniversary in 2013 and I simply cannot believe how fast the time has gone and how many exciting products we have in the market as a result of the positive relationships we have built with our licensees. It truly is an honor to be a part of such a creative group of people in a dynamic industry.
I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving with their friends and families!
I was thrilled to be able to attend Brand Licensing Europe for the first time and was definitely impressed! The show was extremely busy and there were a lot of exhibitors; so many more than I had anticipated. I was able to meet in person with Nel Whatmore and her assistant Helen Wrightson, which was invaluable in planning for future licensing opportunities. I also met Dominique for the first time, which was so wonderful, after speaking on the phone for several months. It is so nice to put faces to voices.
I also met with potential licensees for Jessie Steele and existing licensees for Izak. In addition I met with 2 new artists who I will be working with and I can't wait to share the details once everything is signed!
And I am excited to announce, Jewel Branding will also be exhibiting at Brand Licensing Europe 2013. We are looking forward to expanding our footprint of contacts into Europe.
We are thrilled to have two big collections launch at Textile Market! Millworks LA has partnered with Baltic Linens for a complete line of Bedding and Bath. Shell Rummel has partnered with Bacova for Bath Decor and Rugs!
Millworks LA in the Baltic Showroom
Shell Rummel in the Bacova Show Room
Wow, I can't believe how fast the show season went! We had so much fun seeing all of our licensees and showing them new collections. We also had a great time visiting with other agents and artists that we have become friends with over the past few years.
We are thrilled with response from the new designers we brought on board, Dominique Vari and Shell Rummel. We already have licensing deals in place for greeting cards, wall art, bath and rugs, scrapbooking and stationery. So what an overwhelming response to our new additions!
While at the Licensing show, we also met an energetic woman, Andrea Bernstein with a great brand, Millworks LA. http://www.millworkla.com/.
We love her bold mix of prints and patterns and COLOR! So far we have tabletop and wall art in the works!
We look forward to fun new things being announced soon!
After watching Jerry Maguire over the weekend I got a little sappy about the whole artist/agent relationship and felt the need to write about it.
What is a good agent? Obviously there is no right answer as I am sure it would be in a dictionary somewhere if it was. It's a very personal question as in What makes a good wife, a great husband, a great Mom? There's no right answer, but I felt the need to write more about me and what makes an agent get out of bed every morning. Maybe understanding more about agents will give artists better insight into their business partner.
As an agent, business development is my one true love. I thrive on looking at a brand, a piece of art, a concept and then figuring out what will this work on, which company can I see this with, what end consumer would be interested in this? How can I make it happen? My other true love would be the artists I work with and the designs they create. If one of my artists send me a new collection, I will turn on my computer at 10pm at night to download it if for some reason I can't see the artwork on my phone as I literally can't wait to check it out. I am in awe of what they create on a daily basis.
Being an advisor, a friend, someone to bounce ideas off of, all of these roles are what agents enjoy doing on a daily basis. Artists are celebrated for their crazy side, what inspires them, the lengths they go for the perfect photograph, etc. Agents are celebrated for being the voice of reason, the practical one, the business savvy one.
The best feedback an agent can ever get is: What would I do without you? The best feedback to give an artist is the exact same thing, What would I do without you.
Maybe I should just not watch Jerry Maguire anymore...
We are thrilled to say we had a fantastic show in Atlanta. The traffic was up and the companies we met with indicated how sales are really outpacing last year's market sales. Does this mean there is a glimmer of hope for the economony in 2012 and beyond! Here are some pics of the booth!
Jessie Steele had a great show launching kitchen stationery with CR Gibson, Gift products with Pavilion Gift Company and Tabletop with Magenta.
We were very excited to launch Shell Rummel at the show, an amazing artist on many levels and had a fantastic response with fabrics and wall art coming out later this year.
Betsy Cameron, a new photographer we are working with had many inquiries at the show and rachaelhale continues to be our most successful Licensor!
Happy New Year to everyone! We are so looking forward to seeing you at the upcoming shows. I hope everyone had a relaxing holiday. Below are more sneak peaks of things to come this year.
I am starting to get very excited for the January gift show in Atlanta. We are getting sneak peaks from several of our artists and designers for what will be new next year and we can't wait to share it with you. Every time I am just amazed at what my artists send through and I absolutely love their creativity and crazy ability to come up with new ideas. We also have new artists we have just signed including Shell Rummel and Betsy Cameron!
Be sure to check out the links! In addition, we have so many product launches for January including tabletop, gift and kitchen stationery with Jessie Steele. Robin Pickens is launching a new Christmas collection of ornaments, advent calendars and figurines with 180 degrees! So, be sure to stop by and say hello at the show!