We chat to Happy Ink about how the feelgood brand is making in-roads in the UK.
Licensing already has a firm global footprint, but with the growth of platforms such as YouTube and social media, there isn’t any country that a property feasibly can’t reach.
The Source today kicks off a series of highlights featuring five brands from different territories and sectors of the licensing business which are busy making an impact on UK consumers.
Today: Hamsta World (Holland)
The burgeoning Hamsta World brand all started in Holland when creator Saskia Keiser bought a dwarf hamster for her children.
It apparently made the family laugh so much with its personality, the midnight runs on the wheel and looking to find out what the family cat was up to, that it inspired Saskia to create a brand which has now started to attract attention across the globe.
In Benelux, Hamsta World has a wide range of licensees across apparel, toys, bags, stationery, partyware and accessories. There is also a meet and greet costume, while an official web shop is due to launch shortly.
Allsorts Licensing is the brand’s UK agent and has, so far, secured deals with Blue Sky Designs, Bioworld International, Ghost Licensing, Posh Paws and Whitehouse Leisure. Product will begin hitting stores from July, with the first retailer of note due to be announced shortly.
Jacqueline Hofman, director of international licensing at brand owner Happy Ink, says: “We introduced Hamsta at BLE in 2016, leaving everything open; we wanted to see what it did without being pushed in a certain territory. The first interest came from UK partners, with Italy, the US and Spain following directly after that.”
A steady stream of content on YouTube and social media has helped to build awareness, with Jacqueline believing that Hamsta’s bold statements are a key attraction. “In colouring and in tone, Hamsta’s perkiness combined with its bright colours leaves an inevitable smile on people’s faces,” she says.
By the end of 2018, Jacqueline would love to see a steady shelf presence with its selected partners. “We do not aim to sign as many licensees as fast as we can, rather we try and find the best partners for the longer term,” she says. “I would be happy with a total of eight wonderful licensees by the end of 2018, but knowing Allsorts Licensing, their approach brings lots of surprises.”