MY LIFE IN LICENSING: Kirsty Guthrie

The MD of licensing agency KJG talks Barbie and socks, Tiger Woods and the beauty of being her own boss...
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Name:
Kirsty Guthrie

Time spent in licensing industry:
12 years.

First job in licensing:
Licensing executive at Link Licensing representing Barbie, Goosebumps, The Magic Roundabout, Camberwick Green and The Natural History Museum to name a few.

What were your responsibilities?
Predominantly working on Barbie seeking, negotiating and concluding licences, renewals and maintaining account management. First licence I granted was a Barbie sock licence!

Current job in licensing:
Managing Director of KJG Ltd (and I’m not telling what the J stands for). A licensing agency representing a diverse range of properties from TV characters (Little Princess), design-based clients (the Fun Crew Ltd – Lucky Cookie, Spooky Skaters), Teen / Tween clients (Crush Licensing, Absolutely Cuckoo) to stylised photographic properties (Molly & Macy).

What are your responsibilities?
My job is to develop licensing programmes for the clients and properties I represent, as well as finding, appointing and managing suitable international agents to represent the properties in their given territory. This, as well as new business acquisitions and seeking new exciting opportunities for KJG.

What is your greatest achievement so far?
It has to be setting up KJG. The company has been running for nearly three years in September and in that time I have managed to develop some great licensing programmes for properties that were once unheard of. I thrive on taking on a new challenge and seeing the rewards come to fruition after hard work and effort. All well worth it.

What is the best licence you have worked on so far in your career?
That’s a tricky one as each and everyone I have worked on and continue to work on are very different in appeal, scope and target audience. From Star Wars Episode 1 to Mr Men, Scarface, and now more recently Little Princess, Lucky Cookie, Spooky Skaters, The Greetlings and Molly & Macy. All of them have been very diverse while some being more fulfilling and profitable than others I can’t categorically say which one was or is best. That’s the thing about licensing, not one rule fits all!

What licence would you most like to have in your portfolio?

The kind of properties I look after all have long-term appeal and are not a quick fad. On a personal level I’d love to represent a sports personality – Tiger Woods would be fab.

If you could choose your dream job in licensing, what would it be and why?
I’ve got my dream job – running a successful licensing agency that is professional, efficient and hardworking.

What’s the best thing about working in the licensing business?
It’s a fun, entertaining and exciting industry and long may it continue! I am learning new things everyday and I have met some truly wonderful people that have also become friends. That’s what I call having a great job and working in a great industry.

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