Social media influencers specializing in handmade crafting and inspiration have, not surprisingly, had a growing presence in the licensing business. They mostly maintain a tight focus on crafting supplies, although some have extended into a few adjacent categories as well.
- Lauren Riihimaki, or LaurDIY. Key licensees, brokered by The Brand Liaison, include Plaid Enterprises, Mattel/Rose Art, Cousin, and C.R. Gibson. Customized assortments are sold through retailers including Target (craft kits), Amazon (fashion crafting and jewelry), Hobby Lobby (fashion crafting), Walmart (jewelry), Ardene (fashion), and Walmart Canada (stationery, fashion crafting, jewelry, and craft kits). The LaurDIY website also offers an exclusive range of products. LaurDIY maintains the broadest program of all the celebrity crafters to date.
- Karina Garcia, known as “the Slime Queen.” Garcia launched Craft City by Karina Garcia, a brand that encompasses slime-, cosmetics-, and squishy collectible-making kits, with Brandable. Products were introduced exclusively at Target in 2017 before expanding to chains such as Jo-Ann, Michael’s, and Ross Stores. Craft City by Karina Garcia drove $3 million worth of slime products in its first six months on the market, according to Brandable. Stationery is reportedly in development, as are KoolAid by Craft City co-branded craft kits. Separately, Garcia has a line of four books published with BuzzPop (distributed by Simon & Schuster); one is offered in a Spanish edition as well.
- Madison Greenspan of Slime by Maddie Rae. A teenage slime expert, she is known for her Maddie Rae’s Slime Glue, introduced in 2017. She has since expanded into other slime-making products, such as colors, glitter, scents, and miniature toy additives, as well as crafting items beyond slime, such as puffy fabric paint and patterned duct tape. SCS Direct is her partner; the company happens to be owned by Maddie’s father, Howard Greenspan.
- Kathy Cano-Murilla, the Crafty Chica. Known for a “Mexi-boho” style that reflects her Mexican heritage, Cano-Murilla’s primary and longtime licensing partner is Sizzix, which offers a line of Crafty Chica DIY supplies available through outlets such as Amazon and Jo-Ann. She has also written nine books, published by the likes of Potter Craft and Quarry. Titles include two novels with crafty protagonists, as well as how-to books and other non-fiction formats.
- Jessie Paege. This crafting influencer/actress/musician offers a message of empowerment through crafting, and her licensing deals, with BuzzPop for books and with Hot Topic for t-shirts, focus as much or more on the empowerment angle as on the crafting side of the equation. Her first book, Hey, It’s Okay to Be You, came out in 2017, followed by Think Beyond Pink in 2018; both are activity books with themes of self-confidence and positivity. Her Hot Topic range, featuring phrases such as “It’s Trash Can, Not Trash Can’t,” launched in August of last year.
While these celebrities’ programs are narrow in terms of categories, their expertise and strong follower base make them attractive to licensees who covet their audience of loyal fans and avid crafters.
Watch for Raugust Communications’ next newsletter, which will be distributed via e-mail on Tuesday, May 21, 2019. The Licensing Trend of the Month examines current developments in the world of licensing-based IP holding companies, while the Datapoint research spotlight centers on crowdfunding. If you’re not yet a subscriber, you can sign up here. Speaking of crowdfunding, join us at our Licensing University panel, “Using Crowdfunding for Products and Properties,” on June 4 during Licensing Expo in Las Vegas. Other speakers include Jerry Bennington, VP new product development at IDW Publishing, and Isabel Baudrey, founder and CEO of Bag Bug.