This week on the blog, we're taking you behind the scenes at Roald Dahl HQ to see how partnerships like ours grow into something marvellous. We chatted with Stephanie Griggs, Licensing and Design Director at the Roald Dahl Story Company (a.k.a Job of Dreams) about the process from start to finish, as well as how you might also be able to bag yourself said Job of Dreams.
What is your role within the Roald Dahl Story Company?
My job title here at Roald Dahl HQ is Licensing and Design Director, which falls across two areas:
Brand licensing (in the case of Roald Dahl this is largely merchandise and product) which means managing the entire process of getting a Roald Dahl product on to shelf. This includes working with licensees and partners to create an item that everyone is happy with, then helping to sell it in to retailers and the shops that will carry the product, then once it’s out helping it where possible to sell as well as it can through press and marketing.
I also manage the in-house design team here at Roald Dahl, which includes setting our brand guidelines, and creating/ briefing new art work for our various departments to use.
It sounds like a dream come true - how did you get your job?
I fell into the world of licensing after graduating with a degree in Design and Art Direction and working for a year or so as a freelance designer. I then got a job at Sanrio (home of Hello Kitty) as Brand Manager for the well-loved Mr Men Little Miss. I started life here at Roald Dahl as Licensing Manager in 2015.
How would you describe your job?
My job is a perfect mix of creative and commercial responsibilities, which suits me perfectly. My design background means that I thrive off the creative-ness of product development, but I also really enjoy the business side of licensing, and working to create the best possible concept and launch for a Roald Dahl product.
Day to day, my job sways between a huge number of tasks. I could be art directing a new product concept, briefing in the creation of a new style guide or art concept, or meeting one of our product licensees to discuss a new or current Roald Dahl product range. Managing two areas of the business means no day is ever the same!
What is a typical day like for you?
A typical day begins with me commuting from Hackney where I live, to the office in Marble Arch. I’ll grab a coffee and check my emails on the way to make sure I’m dealing with anything urgent before I arrive. I love listening to podcasts, so will also most likely be catching up on my favourites such as Radiolab, 99% Invisible or Casefile. When I get into the office I check my daily to do list, to make sure I am getting through my priorities first.
Often, I will have a meeting at some point in the day, either inside or outside of the office – but I try to limit to the absolute necessary as they can be a time sap!
During the day at my desk, I might be doing anything from coordinating partners, licensees and agents, giving creative feedback on a product concept that’s been submitted, or working with retailers to get product in store.
When choosing brands like Bloom and Blossom to partner with, what helps you make that decision?
Bloom and Blossom are a dream partner (literally). Their products are already loved by parents, and we totally love their bath, book and bedtime message. The BFG slotted in perfectly with all of those key areas, and we are delighted to be able to help children embrace their night time sleep-inducing routine through the stories of Roald Dahl.
In brand partnerships, we look for a product that’s excellent quality, with a team behind it that are truly passionate about what they do. We’re always looking for brands or product concepts that we feel Roald Dahl’s stories and characters can really enrich, and vice versa.
Partners such as Bloom and Blossom tick all those boxes for us. We’ve had such a great response from the BFG Bath, Book & Bedtime range, by consumers and retailers alike – and I’m so pleased they love the collaboration as much as I do!
What is the best part of your job?
Hands down, the fact that I am working every day with stories that I adored growing up with. It still seems surreal to me that I am in an industry where I can create products that I would have adored interacting with myself when I was younger, for a new generation of children. Day to day, I love the creative side of my job - working with the team to think outside of the box to bring Roald Dahl’s stories to life in an exciting and inventive way.
Who or what is your favourite Roald Dahl book and character?
I move between favourites, but if I’m staying true to my younger self then it would have to be George’s Marvellous Medicine – I always found George’s Grandma absolutely hilarious. I was also a real fan of mixing my own potions, with anything I could get my hands on. Maybe that’s why the Bloom and Blossom partnership has been a particular joy to work on!
Discover our BFG Bath, Book and Bedtime Range here.