The BLE Blog

A Deer Little success story…

Deer Little Forest logo 1

Every year we hear  BLE success stories; the deals signed, the contacts made and the outcomes for exhibitors (and visitors) who spend three days at the show. We chatted to Lisa Hryniewicz from Koko Media Consulting who found herself a little gem at BLE 2013 with Jo Rose and Deer Little Forest. 

Tell us how you met
Jo and I met after BLE 2013 – where I first saw and fell in love with her very unique illustrations. At the time I was busy with a few PR clients and wasn’t looking for any new clients…but something about Deer Little Forest made me keep coming back to the stand over and over again, just to stare at Jo’s beautiful drawings. At that point there was only a collection of greeting cards, some framed pictures, wrapping paper and a few other items, but I immediately imagined the characters Jo created in a book or a TV show (not to mention across every possible licensing category!) So I left my business card with Jo’s very proud and supportive husband Stu, who was manning the stand that day, mentioning that I had some contacts in TV and publishing that I would be happy to share.

Jo asked to meet after the show, having read up on my background in kids media, and convinced me to help her bring her (many) ideas for Deer Little Forest to life. Turns out, she had much more in store than just greeting cards!  I laugh now at how reluctant I was because of my workload – but luckily instinct and fate prevailed, and we have been working together ever since! We now are partners in a 50/50 joint venture, Koko Rose Media, which holds and manages all rights to the brand. Jo is the Creative Director and I am the Managing Director.

What happened next? Deer Little Forest pic
Over the next year we worked on developing a style guide, illustrating a book, developing the character designs and personalities, preparing a TV pitch, going to Bologna Book Fair, and signing on a few licensees and an agent in the US.

What happened at BLE 2014?
We met a number of very important companies that really pushed the brand to another level including:

  • King Rollo Films: with whom we entered a TV development deal.
  • Burda Merchandising: who is now our CP Agent for Germany and GST.
  • Kennedy Publishing: which whom we developed activity pages in GET BUSY and BUSY TIME.

What are the future plans for the brand?
High priorities are securing a TV deal for the preschool series, and a publishing deal for the new story book, illustrated by Jo and written by Alison Green (award-winning publisher and commissioning editor of THE GRUFFALO and writer of THE FOX IN THE DARK). However, we will equally continue developing the illustration-based, lifestyle oriented aspect of the brand, outside of any TV potential. Jo’s completely unique, distinct style has tremendous appeal and scope, independent from media platforms, and is also fundamental to the ethos of the brand: we want to conserve not only the high-end value of the property, but also firmly establish this as an illustration-led property (versus a TV show that turned into a licensing brand). Deer Little Forest is a concept that started as greeting cards, not a licensing brand that emerged from a TV series.

new_flo_9 with rowan merged layersWhat do you hope to achieve from BLE 2015?
We are really looking forward to establishing long-term, foundational partnerships with licensees who share our vision – and would like to see Deer Little Forest become the UK’s next big thing! Too much to ask? We sure hope not! or google DLF in License Global and, for more info.

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