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Licensing International UK Rising Star 2023 Nominees: Gemma Fitzgibbon finds out more about this year’s UK Rising Star nominees. Today, Funko EMEA’s licensing manager, Gemma Fitzgibbon.

Gemma Fitzgibbon, licensing manager, Funko EMEA


My route into licensing went something like this…

I was studying for my masters when I heard through a friend about an opportunity to work as a stand assistant with Ian Downes and Karen Addison at Brand Licensing Europe. I only had a vague idea of what licensing was at that point, but thought it would be an interesting few days so jumped at the chance and ended up meeting my now manager, Lucy Salisbury, who was looking for a licensing assistant.

How long in the industry?

It’s coming up to five years now.

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

I wanted to be a barrister, inspired partly by my dad who works in the legal world and mostly by Elle Woods who remains my icon even though we no longer have the same career aspirations.

Biggest inspiration in the licensing industry?

I’m always inspired by the end result, thinking about the people who will see a display in a shop and get really excited about finding that character they’ve been searching for to add to their collection – I love knowing that I’ve played a small part in that moment.

Best thing about your current role?

Easily the people I get to work with, both my colleagues at Funko and our licensors make this role a real pleasure.

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

I’m really proud of the work I’ve done this year in developing new joint business planning processes with some of our key licensors, and the results we’ve seen from this increased level of collaboration.

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

It’s got to be Elle Woods. We’re both Geminis who love dogs and anything pink, and live by the phrase ‘what, like it’s hard?’

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

I was so surprised, and really proud to be among such an amazing group of nominees.

The Licensing Awards 2023 takes place on Tuesday 12 September at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London.

Tickets and tables can be reserved quickly and securely online by visiting or by contacting Clare Hollick at Create Events: or +44 (0)1183 340085.

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