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The Licensing Q&A… with Claire Shaw

We delve into the licensing life of Zodiak Kids’ vp of licensing.

Claire Shaw,

VP Licensing, Zodiak Kids

My route into the licensing industry went something like this…

Bombed ‘A’ levels – was due to study Pharmacy but ended up doing Textile and Knitwear Technology as a desperate attempt to leave home. I spent the first half of my career as a buyer at M&S, Sainsbury’s and Mothercare before joining Disney as apparel category manager.

How many years in the industry?

16 years so far.

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

A pharmacist – I had a lucky escape!

The deal I am most proud of is…

The Specsavers Postman Pat TV advert. What makes it particularly memorable is that I got the chance to be involved in the actual animation of the advert which was great fun.

My most interesting experience in licensing has been…

Spending time on the ‘other side’ as licensing manager for Gemma International. A great opportunity to see what it’s like selecting rather than selling licences.

The best piece of advice I’ve ever received is…

Perseverance pays.

If I wasn’t in licensing, I would be…

Owning and running a deli/café somewhere in Northumberland.

Who do you admire most in the industry (and why)?

Tim Dawson – it’s kind of down to Tim that I ended up in the industry. Thanks Tim!

In a film of your life, which licensed character would play you?

Elastigirl from The Incredibles.

If I could change anything about the industry, it would be…

To persuade more retailers that it’s not always necessary to have a master toy partner to drive a successful retail programme. Fortunately some have realised the potential of Mister Maker in other categories. The newly rebranded arts and crafts range has a significant retail exclusive launch next month which the whole team at Zodiak Kids is very proud of.

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