When gaging interest in her business idea at a LIMA Spring Fling seminar, Angela Salt was told by one delegate ‘Don’t even bother. There are far too many characters out there already.’
Despite this negative feedback, however, Salt and her business partner, Stuart Harrison decided to launch Fun Crew at BLE 2006. Salt says: “Fun Crew likes a challenge and undeterred, we set about developing our intellectual properties, which were showcased in the art and design zone at Brand Licensing.”
The response to the company’s launch was very positive and Mr Lucky Bags immediately signed up Lucky Cookie. Scholastic also commissioned the first Spooky Skaters book, which was published in time for the exhibition in the following year.
By BLE 2007, the firm had also designed and developed two official entertainment websites www.luckycookie.co.uk and www.spookyskaters.com and secured the services of Canadian agent, George Gross of G Squared.
In January 2008, Belgian apparel company, Van der Erve signed up as apparel licensee for Lucky Cookie and Scholastic signed up for a second Spooky Skaters book, The Graffiti Ghost, due to be published in January 2009.
Kirsty Guthrie of KJG was appointed as agent for the UK and Europe earlier this year and since then, the list of licensees has grown with three magazine publishers and a new gifts and accessories agreement for Lucky Cookie with Think Pink.
Inspired by the 'lucky' sentiments of the brand, the Think Pink collection will include a Lucky Cookie money box, secret diary with lock, rucksack, baking set and apron, hat and tea towel and purse with a novel feature and will launch at Spring Fair 2009.
Currently finishing up a busy year establishing its brands and gaining a foothold in the licensing industry, Fun Crew is eagerly anticipating 2009 and a planned move into the entertainment sector.
Salt comments: “We are hoping to find co production partners in animation for both Spooky Skaters and Lucky Cookie. We’ve already received some serious interest and are currently working on pilots.”
Over the next 12 months, Salt and Harrison are looking to expand Fun Crew further into Europe. Having recently signed a new sub-agent for Spooky Skaters, ART ASK Agency, the firm is currently finalising contract with another for Lucky Cookie in Spain and Portugal.
Salt explains: “Our existing licensee, Van der Erve, has designed a charming range of kids’ Lucky Cookie apparel for France and Benelux and we’ve had lots of interest from European book and magazine publishers.”
Globally, Fun Crew will continue to work with George Gross of G Squared, who is currently finalizing a contract with a Brazilian agent for Lucky Cookie. Salt explains: “Apparently the luck concept is very prevalent in Brazil, so we are hoping for an auspicious liaison.”
Overall, the firm is pleased with the progress of the licensing programme so far and Salt concludes: “It’s so exciting to see brands we’ve created, developed, drawn and written ourselves take their place in the market.
“Working on our own intellectual properties has brought immense creative satisfaction and we are passionate brand owners intent on high quality design and originality. We hope this shines through and many more prestigious licensees come on board to join the fun.”