Licensing International UK Rising Star 2021 Nominees: Janna Kirkby

We find out more about Acamar Films’ retail and licensing manager.

Janna Kirkby, retail and licensing manager, Acamar Films

My route into the licensing industry went something like this…

I think like many people, I fell into licensing. I knew very little about it until I started an internship at Hasbro. The more I learnt, the more I grew to love the industry and the people in it. Now I work at Acamar Films on the hit preschool show Bing, managing a number of UK partners.

How long in the industry?

Five years and counting.

When I was growing up, I had no idea that ‘licensing’ was an industry, so I wanted to be…

A dancer. Dancing has always been a great joy of mine. These days I do social Latin dancing to unwind and keep me moving.

Biggest inspiration in the licensing industry?

I’m lucky to have worked with some incredible colleagues and have had brilliant managers. My biggest inspiration has always come from the people I work with every day. Seeing my colleagues work with such passion and integrity inspires me to do the same.

Best thing about your current role?

It’s difficult to pick just one thing, but I really enjoy the collaborative nature of the role. At its core, licensing is about positive partnerships. I enjoy growing strong internal and external relationships to achieve mutual success and finding solutions to challenges along the way.

What are you most proud of within your licensing career to date?

Leading the launch of our e-commerce site, The Bing Bunny Store. It’s the result of a lot of hard work and care from many people and I’m incredibly proud of the success we’ve achieved so far.

Licensed character you can most identify with (and why)?

Probably The Little Mermaid. When I was younger I loved the movie so much I even went through a phase where I would only respond to being called Ariel. I think I identify with her sense of adventure.

What were your first thoughts when you were revealed as a nominee for the Licensing International UK Rising Star Award?

Wow! I just felt incredibly honoured to be considered alongside such fantastic nominees.

Biggest lesson that you’ve learnt this year?

How important it is to be adaptable when faced with ever-changing circumstances. It’s been a strange and challenging year for so many and I’m proud of how we’ve found new ways of communicating and working more closely and effectively with our teams and partners.

The adage goes, once you enter the licensing industry, you never really leave… what are your short-term goals for your career in licensing?

I’m looking forward to taking the lead on some exciting new initiatives, continuing to learn from the people around me and working closely with partners to explore new avenues for growth.

The Licensing International UK Rising Star award will be presented as part of The Licensing Awards 2021, which is taking place on Tuesday 14 September at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London.

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