People Awards 2017: Jane Maxey on why Smiley is going from strength to strength

Congratulations on receiving the award! What are your thoughts on winning?

Thank you! I am really honoured, I was shocked but really pleased to have been recognised in the field.

What has 2017 been like so far for you? ?

2017 has been extremely exciting working for Smiley; it’s the brand’s 45th anniversary so we have had some super cool collaborations launching, as well as some big marketing activations throughout the year. With so many incredible launches with the likes of Palladium launching at Isle of Wight last month and new collections with the likes of Pretty Green, Zara and Joshua Sanders x colette, it’s a great time to be at Smiley.

Are there any achievements in particular you’d like to share?

As the company continues to go from strength to strength, I was delighted to see Smiley named Best Licensed Lifestyle Brand this year. It’s a huge team effort at Smiley to get where we are today and there was a real sense of achievement when we received the award.

I have also just returned from Glastonbury, where we did a major guerrilla marketing activation at Castle Cary Station. With thousands of Smiley festival flags, ponchos, badges and stickers distributed, Smiley is the only brand to do a large scale marketing activation at Glastonbury’s largest gateway to the festival, so we were delighted to see great results and coverage at the event.

What are your thoughts on awards such as the People Awards? Do you feel it is important to shine the light on people in the industry? 

I think the awards are such great recognition for people working in the licensing industry. It’s a brilliant event and a good way to get licensing professionals together.

Why do you think it is important to recognise the rising stars in the industry? 

I think it’s a great way of motivating and encouraging young people working in the industry, to take a step back and look at your achievements of the year is great.

How long have you worked with Smiley? What is it about the company you enjoy so much? 

I have worked for Smiley for nearly two years now and have seen the company continue to grow its profile. The company is completely unique in terms of the marking support that it offers licensing and retail partners and I think the beauty with Smiley is the way in which it has the ability to transcend across such a broad spectrum of product categories.

From a marketing perspective it keeps the job role extremely interesting. From writing about our latest catwalk collection with Anya Hindmarch to festival activations and travelling to Nuremberg for a major badging activation, the opportunities are endless with a brand like Smiley.

I am also extremely lucky to be surrounded by fantastic teams that work really hard to ensure constant growth and new opportunities within the business. 

What are your thoughts on the licensing industry? What do you enjoy the most about working in this sector? 

It’s an extremely interesting industry to work in; I am constantly learning and developing skills in a fast paced environment.

About Robert Hutchins

Robert Hutchins is the editor of and ToyNews. Hutchins has worked his way up from Staff Writer to the position of Editor across the two titles, having spent almost eight years with both ToyNews and, and what now seems like a lifetime surrounded by toys. You can contact him by emailing or calling him on 0203 143 8780 You can even follow him on Twitter @RobGHutchins if ranting is your thing...

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