Back in 2014 we started as a humble - and entirely accidental - independent greeting card publisher. But we always had our eye on other products. In 2016 we were finalists in the License This! competition that takes place as part of Brand Licensing Europe at Olympia. Days later we'd signed with licensing industry legend Jane Evans as our licensing agent and, from 2017 onwards, all of "our" products have been licensed, and produced by our partners. Since then we've made quite a dent in the world of licensing and in 2018 we were back at Brand Licensing Europe, this time helping to judge License This, and being named on "The Powerlist" of the 50 top influencers in brand licensing.
For an overview of our current licenses click here.
Since 2017 we have been entirely focussed on licensing. But what does that mean? For us licensing is made up of three parts - the licensee, the licensing agent and the licensor.
The Licensor: That's us. We hold the rights to what we've produced, be those images, text, our name or general brand "stuff" that goes to make up Intellectual Property. Both us and our loyal followers want to get products made. So we go to our licensing agent…
The Licensing Agent: Our's is the wonderful JELC, headed up by the even more wonderful Jane Evans. What Jane and her team do is talk to us about the various product ideas we have and then find the right partnerships to make our product dreams into product realities. The partners they find are our licensees.
The Licensees: These are the companies we work with. We each do what we're good at: We work with them on product designs and they do the production, sales and distribution. We take a percentage of sales for our involvement and for the brand awareness and equity we bring with us. The results are some exquisite products.
For us the benefits are that we get to work with some amazing companies on beautiful products that we wouldn't otherwise be able to produce. For our licensees the benefits are that they get to work with us! Licensees get the benefit of our design, our incredibly loyal and hugely supportive fanbase, and the opportunity to work alongside our existing partners on co-ordinated ranges. Our ranges have gone on to be best sellers for our licensees. We love our licensees and work closely with them to ensure everyone - us, them and our avid customers -benefit from the work that we're all doing and that we all stay true to the authentic ethos of I Like Birds: A love of nature, a love of design and a love of combining the two in fun ways.
Other benefits include increased press coverage - our licensed products have appeared in a range of magazines including BBC Wildlife Magazine, Stylist and even Peoples Friend - and our joint products have been shortlisted for Gift of the Year, Highly Commended at The Stationery Awards and finalists at the Henries for "Best Licensed Range"
High quality, innovation, distribution and a willingness to work within our existing licensing program. We look for partners who are a good fit, not just with us but also our existing partners.
“Our paths crossed at Home & Gift Buyers’ Festival in Harrogate last year. After meeting Stuart, seeing his designs and realising how passionate he was about the creation of I Like Birds, it was something we wanted to be involved with. We are delighted with how the collection has turned out, and we very much look forward to continuing to work together in 2019.”
James, The Art File
“The I Like Birds design collection is incredibly bold and distinctive which means the licensed merchandise is unmistakable and really leaps out at you. It also has that uniquely quirky element so characteristic of great British design, which enhances the strong generic appeal it naturally has for fans of our beautiful native birds. It makes a perfect collection for countryside outlets and garden centres, while the unusual colourways and eccentricities are similarly appealing to trendy urban dwellers. I Like Birds has created something truly unique with this collection.”
Nikki, My Gifts Trade
“Unique is a frequently misused term but, in the case of I Like Birds, it’s entirely justified. From the very first time we met Stuart at the London Stationery Show in 2017, the I Like Birds brand clearly had the originality, high quality and commercial potential to become a leading light in the world of licensed stationery. The wonderfully fresh, yet deceptively simple, use of colour, shapes and forms within the bird-themed designs distil the natural world into something beautiful and immediately accessible, and offer stationery buyers a breath of fresh air for their customers.
Stuart is a delight to work with and the wonderfully collaborative design process has produced some really exciting, contemporary stationery items ranging from a jotter pad and diary through to a family organiser. We are thrilled to be publishing more products in spring/summer 2019.”
"I’m told that I have a good eye for great design and have throughout my years in the industry championed many designers whose patterns can be perfectly applied to a wide portfolio of product. It is exciting to hear that ‘I like birds’ is expanding into Licensing and I would urge our Gift companies to take a look at their portfolio and take the time to meet with Stuart as I truly believe a great business partnership could be formed"
Sarah Ward, CEO The Giftware Association
…and finally this, from Licensing Source, reviewing Top Drawer
"I Like Birds has made rapid progress in licensing and a range of its products were showcased on My Gifts Trade stand. The product was really well presented and a key feature of the stand, underpinning the commercial potential of the designs. Again this emphasises how important creativity is to the licensing business and in this context how a creator can really help the commercial side of licensing by being tuned into consumer trends, retail developments and bespoke opportunities. Creatives in licensing need to be market savvy"
All of our licensing is conducted through JELC. They look after us, The National Gallery, Help for Heroes and House of Turnowsky, and have over thirty years experience in licensing. If you're interested in exploring the possibility of working together on some beautiful product the first point of contact should be:
Any enquiries specific to France, Benelux and Switzerland should be directed towards Aline Gondoin of Homemade Licensing, who works closely with JELC