Designer Spotlight: Clairebella
A peek inside the Clairebella Brand with Designer, Kathy Denness:
Where It Began
I have been working with Jewel Branding since 2008, when I began licensing my brand. At the time, Clairebella was a line of juvenile products. My business model changed in 2009 when I expanded the line to include personalized gifts. One thing another licensor shared with me when I was starting out, was the need for patience and I have found that to be spot on. Licensing is a marathon, not a sprint. Obtaining a license takes time and so does developing a product line with the licensee.
I think the biggest challenge in licensing is balancing the need to stay true to your brand and aesthetic, while satisfying the licensee’s need to fill a particular void or look in their product line. I think being flexible with slight pattern tweaks or color palettes is important. At the same time, you have to stay true to your brand and you should be directing the look of your line. Of course, the more established your brand becomes, the more power you have in this area.
Example of Success
One of my biggest successes with Jewel Branding has been my relationship with Avanquest Software. They own several web-to-print sites and I started as one of their photocard designers. They have been a licensee for several years now and when they expanded into personalized products, Clairebella became a major part of their business. In addition to Clairebella’s presence on www.mycustomcase.com, Avanquest took over all operations and sales for my personalized gift line. They run both the wholesale operations and the retail site, www.clairebella.com. This was a huge win for me, as it allowed me to let go of the part of my business that I didn’t enjoy and focus on design and marketing my brand.
I am excited about the future of the brand and look forward to seeing Clairebella grow in new product categories!
About The Brand
Clairebella products can be found in more than 700 specialty stores around the world and online at www.clairebellastudio.com. Along with her personalized gift line, the Clairebella brand is now available in bedding, bath, rugs and decorative pillows.