MHS Licensing recently signed new representation agreements with two artists and will be showcasing their talents at Surtex and the Licensing International Expo.
One artist the company is featuring is Audrey Jeanne Roberts, an artist and product designer whose combinations of vibrant watercolors and gouache with original sentiment have brought her national recognition. Roberts mixes sophisticated patterns and backgrounds, intricate borders and bold central images, to create a wide variety of collections ranging from contemporary to seaside. Her designs have been licensed in product categories from stationery to apparel in both the specialty and mass markets.
Roberts' ability to keep pace with changing trends is an important selling point for licensees, says MHS president Marty Segelbaum. "As more and more companies are cutting staff, they depend on us to bring them designs that are fresh and interesting," says Segelbaum. "Our ability to do that through our relationships with artists is very important." MHS recently signed a licensing deal with Franco Manufacturing Co. for a line of kitchen textiles featuring Roberts' images. The line will include aprons, oven mitts, placemats and tea towels. MHS will be exploring additional partnerships in greeting cards, fabrics, home textiles and?tabletop.
MHS recently added Pamela Luer to its list of artists. Luer's creations celebrate the rhythm and beauty of the natural world by emphasizing its unique colors, textures and patterns. Her licensed products have been sold at Target, Joanne Fabrics, Michaels, JCPenney, Crate & Barrel and T.J. Maxx. "Pam's florals and tropical looks have already sparked a lot of interest with licensees," says Segelbaum. Luer closely follows color and trend forecasts so she can collaborate with manufacturers and art directors on product design.
The company also is developing a style guide for Sheree Burlington. Burlington is a New England-based potter known for her ceramics with sassy sayings. MHS will take her work to the Licensing International Expo, as well.
In another development designed to assist clients with image selection, MHS recently launched a new keyword search feature on its Web site. With more than 15,000 images on the site, the company wanted to make it as efficient as possible for manufacturers to search for the image that best suits their needs. Keyword search boxes are now found on every page of the site, making quick redirection easier.
"In today's economy, companies are doing more with less," says Segelbaum. "The Web site's keyword search feature should help cut down on the time needed to find that perfect image, saving manufacturers valuable time and money. We are always looking for better ways to partner with our licensees and provide better exposure for our artists."