How long have you been in business and how did you come to be an agent?
We started in 1990 as a poster publisher. While Laurie and I were at art shows we kept getting asked by manufacturers (including company after company claiming to be the #1 puzzle company in Japan) how they could get the art for their products. At the same time, our artists kept asking us to take care of all the “business stuff” when manufacturers approached them directly. Finally, we followed the demand and became a licensing agent. It's been a wonderful decision that has helped us grow Wild Apple and the careers of many artists.
Who are the manufacturers you work with - how did you establish those relationships?
We work with manufacturers across home decor, bath, kitchen, gift and stationery. Our relationships go back decades with many, and almost all of our business is with repeat buyers. Each relationship started small, with just a few images and grew over time. We are continually reaching out and looking for new partnerships to grow our market base and "make the world more beautiful with art".
Do you have employees/help?
Currently, we have 35 employees.
How do you market artists?
- We exhibit at Trade shows: Surtex, Licensing Expo, West Coast Art & Frame, FamaArt
- Our new and improved website: www.wildapple.com
- Videos like our 1-minute Artists Videos and new "in The Artist Studio" on YouTube
- Bi-monthly email newsletters packed with trends and our monthly lookbooks that introduce new art and artists
- Social media: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn
- Print ads in Li©ense and Art of Licensing
- We attend the Atlanta and Vegas Markets to meet with customers
- Sales visits to customers
- Trend Reports
What do you look for in an Artist?
Our artist base is diverse. We work with fine art painters, illustrators, and photographers. We are always on the lookout for artists creating fresh, trend-forward art with broad decorative appeal that is marketable into global home decor markets. We also love working with artists who love the challenge of an assignment and aren't afraid to expand their body of work into new and exciting directions.
How much work do you expect artists to create?
Each artist is different. We have some artists who create a steady stream of art and send us over 20 new pieces a month to chose from. Others send less. Our customers are looking for a steady stream of new art and patterns, so the more to work from the better.
Any great news you would like to share?
We were thrilled to launch a new website this past Spring that gives our customers better ways to search for art, a more powerful portfolio tool and better access to our Lookbooks, trend magazines, trend blogs and more.
We have introduced a number of new, amazing artists over the past year and a half including Phyllis Adams, Melissa Averinos, Felicity Bradley, Kellie Day, Patsy Ducklow, Jan Griggs, Piper Rhue, Miranda Thomas and Farida Zaman.
We recently hired a new National Licensing Accounts Manager - Tiffani Price! With over 25 years of sales, marketing, management and product development experience, she has first-hand experience delivering successful programs to retailers.
A new project we are very excited about is our collaboration with Rustic Wedding Chic www.rusticweddingchic.com to develop a new line of wedding-themed stationery - look for it at retail soon!
As one of the founders of the Art Copyright Coalition (http://www.artcopyright.net/), we are continuing our fight to protect art and creativity. Copyright infringement is still a huge problem globally. Working with other publishers and licensors we take action against infringers, raise awareness and educate retailers on the importance of copyright. We travel to China 2 to 3 times per year to walk the major shows, take down infringing products and work with overseas manufacturers to legitimately license art for their products. This work has led to a marked decrease in the number of illegal products we see at shows and new, productive partnerships.
You can find Wild Apple's amazing art/artists, newsletter and more go to https://wildapple.com/