In the Stars

Inventor Sheila Kalisher is hoping to expand the reach of her Ladies of the Zodiac collection through new relationships with licensing partners and manufacturers.?Kalisher has been working on her Zodiac collection for 22 years.

The Zodiac is a perennial licensing theme. "It's been people's fascination with the Zodiac that has made it a proven category at retail for years," she says.

Kalisher feels that women who love astrology would be drawn to a unique astrological style of art they could "call their own," celebrate and collect. She served this niche with the Ladies of the Zodiac collection—astrological signs expressed as individual women.

With names like "Charismatic Cancer," "Scintillating Scorpio" and "Tantalizing Taurus," the Zodiac women celebrate that "women are individual, but collectively, they can be great. This collection serves as reminder to women of the beauty, strength, and intelligence that reside within themselves," says Kalisher.

The Ladies first appeared on a greeting card line in 1997 but were recreated by Kalisher and two Russian artists in 2004 to include environmental art and a Zodiac flower for each month. "The individual flower in each panel gives us an opportunity to move into fragrances—something I have been interested in doing," says Kalisher.

Kalisher's Web site, www.cafepress.com, offers consumers an array of Zodiac merchandise, including T-shirts, magnets, mugs and mouse pads. The site also allows manufacturers to create samples of various products featuring Ladies of the Zodiac art and to view a gallery of images.

Ladies and their elements can be used separately or combined for tailoring to specific surface design and 3-D products and packaging. Kalisher would like to see her ladies appear on products mass produced for retail. "I'd like to work with someone with vision who can take the collection further," she says. "Party goods are a natural direction, but stationery, magnets and giftware are all categories that could be a good fit for the collection."

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