BLE NEW EXHIBITOR SPOTLIGHT: Tato Designs

Company to exhibit five new brands during its first time at the show.
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Tamsyn Gregory and Tony Thatcher have been working in collaboration under the Tato Designs name for the last five years, combining their design and retail businesses.

Gregory has run a number of shops in the west country, with an emphasis on arts and crafts and Thatcher works as a designer and illustrator.

The pair began their licensing programme last year following a visit to the 2010 Brand Licensing show. Thatcher says: "We realised we have too many ideas to try to develop and market them ourselves."

All of the company's ranges are available to licence as it's a relatively new area for the firm. Gregory and Thatcher do, however, have experience in the field, as Gregory used to run a T-shirt printing business featuring her own designs and Thatcher has designed a number of products, including toys, for major international companies.

Tato hopes that BLE will be more effective than cold calling or blind product submissions. Thatcher comments: "We would like to leave BLE with all of our new ranges licensed and discussions under way for new product development.

"We would also like to make new contacts and develop partnerships that complement our skills. We are particularly hoping to meet people that we can work with to create and expand new ranges."

The ranges on display at BLE this year, will include Loverlies - heart characters; Stitched Up - collection using the traditional skills of knitting, crochet and embroidery in a contemporary style; Tamsyns Flowers - a new look at the traditional favourite floral decoration; Jellied Wheels - based on the drawings of the duo's five year-old child and Happy Days - also drawn by five year-old Arthur, including colours and patterns for furnishings, apparel and gifts.

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