BLE NEW EXHIBITOR SPOTLIGHT: The Art Rooms

Firm to embark on a licensing programme for the first time.
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The Art Rooms, founded by Jacky Al-Samarraie was established in 2007 and is now looking to expand the business by licensing its designs.

Al-Samarraie explains: "I have decided to exhibit at BLE this year for the first time as I feel the business is in the right place to expand and develop in new areas."

The business was set up after Al-Samarraie had completed an art degree and decided to change the direction of her life and start a business.

She says: "I began designing and making cards for friends and family, but then people began to buy them. So the business was a natural progression, albeit in a very small way."

The artist had always been interested in creative pursuits and as a child, 'spent many hours on my own, making things.'

When The Art Rooms was set up in 2007, Al-Samarraie was still working in her 21-year role in Social Services and maintained that job as she grew the business until May this year.

Despite this, the company has been recognised with a number of awards during its first few years, including highly commended awards in the Gift of the Year for the past two years. The firm also reached the finals of The Henries for the past three years.

Licensing is the next period of growth and Al-Samarraie comments: "The simplicity of the silhouetted image and the bold block colours lend themselves to many applications and it's for this reason I have decided to introduce them into the licensing arena."

On display at the show will be the Landscape range, which has proved popular and is the range that tends to draw people to The Art Rooms' stand at trade shows.

"The Landscape images are an obvious choice as they are quite well established now in both the card and gift markets and there is so much scope for the range to develop and grow," explains Al-Samarraie.

"The designs have proved their appeal to both male and females of mixed ages and fit well in both traditional and contemporary settings."

Alongside these, there will be a variety of floral and foliage images in various styles, cupcakes and a range of lifestyle images.

Al-Samarraie concludes: "Licensing is a completely new area for me and although I have some insight, attending Brand Licensing Europe will be a new learning experience but hopefully one that will open up new opportunities.

"I would love to see the Landscapes emerge from a new to an established brand with a wide range of available products.

"I have a fairly large collection of individual designs that have licensign potential for anything from fabric and paper products, to china and outdoor products."

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