Greetings Today magazine, giving you the bigger picture

Birds fly to new nest

It’s goodbye from Stuart and Alison as The Art File take on greetings licence for feathered friends


I LIKE Birds are delighted to announce they’ve found a new nest at The Art File in a greetings and wrap deal brokered by their licensing agents JELC – and sad it means saying goodbye to working in the industry.

The multi-year international licensing deal will see the bird-based designs from Stuart Cox and Alison Blair feature on a range of greetings cards, giftbags and giftwrap available exclusively through the Queen’s Award for Export-winning Nottingham-based publishers.
The Art File MD Ged Mace (pictured above top) said: “We’re delighted to welcome Stuart and the I Like Birds collection to The Art File portfolio. We are very excited about launching the new collection at Top Drawer Spring in January introducing this unique look to our customers worldwide.”
It’s the latest in a series of licensing deals following I Like Birds’ success at being one of just four finalists in the License This! competition run at Brand Licensing Europe, with BrownTrout, Quadrille Publishing and My Gifts Trade the first to sign up.
Stuart (pictured above bottom) – who is about to return to BLE next month to speak on what it’s like to be a fledgling brand owner, the role of the agent and the strategies behind their successful licensing programme – added: “With the deals already signed for calendars, stationery, kitchen textiles and ceramics, it became apparent we needed to up the game in terms of our greetings cards.
“To start with I had some serious reservations about the idea of handing over the card business to anyone else but, having met Ged, Karen and James at Home & Gift in Harrogate it took all of 20 seconds to feel a huge sense of relief that this was exactly the right thing to do.
“They really couldn’t be going to a better home, and The Art File have been incredibly understanding about any misgivings we might have had about handing over a business in which we’ve been so engaged for the past three years.
“We’ve always tried to be people-first in business and The Art File have been a yardstick of how a modern design-led business should operate – alongside their undoubted business acumen they’ve a personable, encouraging, open and friendly approach, and we’re hugely appreciative to Ged and the team for having such faith in us and in being so welcoming to the fold.
“We’re also hugely indebted to Jane and Julie at JELC for yet again finding us such an exciting best in class licensing partner.
“We’re delighted to have found this new home, and that our designs will soon be available in the UK and internationally through such a perfect partner. Naturally it’s tinged with the tiniest bit of sadness, as this effectively signals us reverting to being designers – which is great! – and saying a fond farewell to the greetings industry.
“There’s a huge relief in thinking that we won’t be packing boxes every evening or attempting to unscramble logistical problems and instead can concentrate again on those twin passions for nature and design that got us into this in the first place.
“But this industry has been amazing in how it has welcomed us with open arms and I think it’s testament to the people in it that I don’t think there’s been a single moment where it has felt overly competitive.
“Fellow publishers, suppliers, stockists, and an army of social media followers have shown us nothing but encouragement and advice and I can’t imagine that there is a more honest and open or happier industry to have been part of.
“And, as this is us pretty much saying goodbye, we should just say a special thank you to Tracey and Simon at Greetings Today for always being there when we’ve needed you, for pushing us in the right direction and for keeping mum when need be!”

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