Generous guests at this week’s Brand & Lifestyle Licensing Awards helped to raise some £5,000 for industry charity The Light Fund through the traditional raffle.
Prizes included a stunning four-seater sofa and chair in mustard velvet from the Grand Designs Edinburgh range, worth over £2,000, available exclusively at DFS – which was won by Claire Potter, md of Metrostar.
This year, half of the funds raised from the raffle will be donated to UNICEF, going towards its work supporting children in Ukraine.
Dan Frugtniet (pictured with Licensing International president, Maura Regan with whom he drew the raffle) from Big Picture Licensing gave an emotional speech on behalf of the team at Glowberry, the creators of the only kids property to ever come from Ukraine, Brave Bunnies.
“Olga, the creator of Brave Bunnies was supposed to record you all a personal video, but she told me its all too emotional for her and she kept breaking down to cry as she is so worried about her family still in Ukraine and she cannot think straight,” Dan said. “We have all been shocked and surprised at what is happening in Ukraine, in the modern world we thought we had seen the last of this in Europe.
“Over the last 16 years I have been fortunate in my licensing career to have managed the emerging markets for different global licensors and travelled frequently to both Russia and Ukraine during this time and set up licensing businesses there for companies like Viacom. Visiting these countries was always an experience, both good and bad and I have witnessed a fundamental change in how both markets operate within the licensing industry and how they have transitioned from territories rife with counterfeit product (which was even sold in retail chains) to the modern licensing markets they are or were until this year.”
Dan continued: “What I will say is how amazing its been to see how the licensing industry is like a big international family of like-minded people and it has brought us together all over the world and I consider many people friends in both Russia and Ukraine. This is what makes it all so sad.
“While our sympathies are of course with our Ukrainian licensing family, I also want to support our Russian licensing family as they have now had their livelihoods and businesses likely destroyed for the next five to ten years as licensors pull their brands out of Russia and embargo the territory.
“Glowberry, which is based in Kyiv, has worked tirelessly to develop Brave Bunnies and I have had the honour and pleasure of working with them very closely as master agent for the last three years. The team are now spread to the winds with the women as refugees all over Europe and the men still in Ukraine to fight or volunteer.
“So on behalf of the team, I would like to thank all our international partners for their ongoing support during this crazy time; they have all really stepped up and its shown how amazing the licensing family really is. We would also like to thank all of you for your kind donations towards their chosen good cause of UNICEFs Ukrainian Children’s Charity, lets be honest the kids will need all the help they can get. So on behalf of Glowberry and Brave Bunnies thank you again for your support – it’s not business as usual, and please don’t forget us. Dyakuyu!”