BLE NEW EXHIBITOR SPOTLIGHT: Wild Rose Studio

Husband and wife duo look to licence their brands outside the craft sector.
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Wild Rose Studio (E142) was set up in 2008. Co-founder Dulcie Jackson was working in craft magazine, where it was her job to know about new products and trends.

She explains: "I gained a huge knowledge of the industry and what images the crafters liked. I was also doing illustration commissions in my spare time, designing exclusive stamps and papers to be used as free gifts in magazines. This was something I wanted to do more of."

Meanwhile, Jackson's then partner (now husband) Matthew, wanted to start up his own business, but didn't know what sector he wanted to work in. Jackson continues: "So it felt quite natural when he suggested that we could combine our skills to launch our own craft company, with me designing the products, packaging, etc, plus directing the marketing side, while he would run the manufacturing and management areas."

And so it began. The company grew quickly and already has 250 stockists worldwide, in countries as diverse as Russia, US, Netherlands and Peru. Jackson comments: "We've expanded our product range hugely, as crafters are insatiable for new products all the time. So we're always looking ahead to create new styles and ranges for the next season."

The firm's attendance at BLE will mark the first time it has offered its properties for licensing outside the craft industry. There is a large range of designs to choose from, and the duo will be looking into what potential there might be for branching out its design operation into new areas.

Wild Rose has already worked in the licensing arena by licensing other artists' work within its business. Jackson explains: "This was essentially because we wanted to expand our range of products to include different styles and ranges. We were expanding the company at a huge rate, while crafters demand new products on a regular basis. So it was more practical to have a greater number of designers on board rather than just one (me)."

The first of these was some anime style designs from an American artist for licensed stamp designs. The first licensed paper pattern designer was Kate Knight, who the company met at Brand Licensing Europe 2010.

In order to start off the other side of the licensing business, Wild Rose Studio will have a number of brands on display at BLE 2011, including Milton & Co, a cute bear and friends; Cherry Cupcake, which is a girly range; Fergus the Dragon and the latest creation, Pickle the Penguin.

Jackson explains: "The are all designed to be genuinely cute with mass-market appeal, particularly within more feminine markets. We have a library of over 300 images in total including 132 character designs and 180 pretty surface patterns."

Having attended BLE last year as visitors, the firm is hoping to make new contacts at the show and is looking to licence out its designs into greetings cards, the children's market, fabrics, home decor and furnishings.

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