MY LIFE IN LICENSING: Jane Evans

By Managing Director, Jane Evans Li

September 22nd 2008 at 2:08PM
MY LIFE IN LICENSING: Jane Evans

A 21-year veteran of the licensing business, Evans talks us through her career highlights...

Time spent in licensing industry:
21 years - it seems like a lifetime.

First job in licensing:
I joined CPL in April 1987 as licensing executive for toys and games.

What were your responsibilities?
I was part of the team that included Caroline Mickler, Maria Romanelli and Charles Day. I was expected to find new licensees and renew where appropriate existing licensees for our portfolio of entertainment properties such as Mr Men, Pink Panther, Tom & Jerry, etc.

Current job in licensing?
Managing director of Jane Evans Licensing.

What are your responsibilities?
Building the business I started in June 2003 following 11 years managing the Beanstalk Group, European division. We are a boutique agency dedicated to giving the best possible service to our growing list of clients through our broad experience of working in the UK and across Europe.

What is your greatest achievement so far?
While at Beanstalk we licensed Replay Jeans to develop a range of credible jeanswear for the Coca Cola Company. This was a worldwide initiative from our client which Europe was the only territory to achieve.

What licence would you most like to have in your portfolio?
Vin Diesel, as he is definitely a hunk that we would all like to meet on a regular basis and it would make me very popular with the team at JELC.

What is the best licence you have worked on in your career and why?
I have three, all of which I have gained immeasurable experience from. Coca Cola enabled us to open any door and speak to any company at a very high level. Their professionalism and strategic thinking grew not only our business, but our team involved in their business.
Mary-Kate and Ashley, for the drive and belief that 'we could do anything if we tried hard enough'. We tool Mary-Kate and Ashley from being almost complete unknownes to having licensed programmes in major retailers across Europe.
Withit, because their were my first client at JELC and I was able to take all my learnings from my previous career and mould the programme to its current success in the UK and Europe.

What is your most embarrassing moment so far?
Attending a meeting with a major apparel company with my US client who asked whether she could place her expressed breast milk in their fridge.

What would you most like to change about the licensing business?
For it to be recognised as the profession it is. This is coming and shows like Brand Licensing Europe and features in Retail Week help to build awareness in the UK, but other European countries need to raise the profile of licensing.

If you weren't working in licensing, what would you be doing?
I can't imagine doing anything else - after 21 years it still makes me want to get up in the morning and see what challenges and opportunities confront me each day.