Having created several successful greeting card ranges over her years in the industry, Tracey Colliston now has another claim to fame – her Owl’s Nest concept has triumphed in the License This! competition. The Owl’s Nest brand, which combines delightful woodland animal illustrations with sensitive editorial, won over the judging panel of industry experts in the national competition run this year as part of The Festival of Licensing, the digital replacement for Brand Licensing Europe.
Tracey, who has been running her own card company, Ginger Betty, for a few years, has also created some notable ranges for other publishers – Eliott & Buttons, Lots of Woof (both for UKG) and Barley Bear (for IC&G) among them.
Having reached the finals in the Design & Brand category, Tracey then had to make a ‘live’ pitch to the judges, during which she explained the essence of the brand’s unique appeal. “It conveys feelings and emotions through beautiful illustrations and little words,” said Tracey sharing her passion for Owl’s Nest. While the designs already feature on greeting cards through Ginger Betty, and a range of ‘log slice’ keepsakes have proved popular, Tracey showed the judges mock-ups of how the designs would lend themselves to being translated onto all manner of other products, from clocks to babywear.
The judging panel for the Design and Brand category, hosted by Kelvyn Gardner (founder of Asgard Media) included Sonia Amrar (trademark attorney, Wynne-Jones); Kirsty Barr (Grapevine PR); Stuart Cox (owner, I Like Birds); Vicki Thomas (owner Vicki Thomas Associates; Sarah Lawrence (director, This is Iris); Jehane Boden Spiers (founder, Jehane); Will Stewart, (founder and managing director, The Point.1888) and Sarah Ward (ceo, Giftware Association)
“Winning License This! feels fantastic!” exclaimed Tracey. “I absolutely love what I do, and it means so much to me that the hard work developing Owl’s Nest into a brand has been recognised.
I’m very excited about the opportunities this may bring, The versatility of Owl’s Nest, and its collectability will hopefully open up many avenues.”
George Mackay, from Caithness in Scotland, took ‘home’ the Character & Animation award of License This! for his ‘eejits’ concept, based on a menagerie of misfortunate misfits born in the Highlands of Scotland.
During his pitch to the judging panel for the Character & Animation category (which included Dan Grant, licensing director Danilo), George explained how eejits had already proved popular on the Bahoochie card game that he produced through crowdfunding and how he has high hopes for the books that have just been published. He also offers a few greeting cards that sell via the eejits’ own webshop.
“eejits could be the next Mr Men and Little Miss,” said George enthusiastically.
As winners, both Tracey and George will receive a free exhibition stand at Brand Licensing Europe 2021, one year’s membership of industry trade association Licensing International, PR support, and invaluable advice from the panel of industry experts. In addition, all finalists will receive legal consultation from competition sponsor Wynne-Jones.
Top: Tracey Colliston with examples of her Owl’s Nest brand.