Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Seattle Times Showcases A Crowded Coop (from Star Trek to Elvis and Brands in Between) in Article

Thank you to the Seattle Times' Coral Garnick for the feature story on Pacific Northwest company, A Crowded Coop.  "Elvis, ‘Star Trek’ pet projects inspire marketing duo. When they started A Crowded Coop in 2010, Mary Olson and Brandy Tanner resolved to work only on brand marketing projects they would enjoy. The outcome has been whopping growth for their Monroe business...

Olson, 51, and Brandy Tanner, 31, went into business together in 2010, forming A Crowded Coop, a company that creates consumer products, such as backpacks, phone cases and dog leashes, with licensed brand names, photos and characters.

They resolved to work only on projects they enjoy — animals, cartoons, video games, “Star Trek” and the king of rock ’n’ roll. The team has been successful, with quadruple-digit growth over three years, most of which can be attributed to their work in pet products. They declined to disclose the company’s current revenue...

Once their noncompete agreements with BDA expired in 2011, they started snatching up licenses to make and sell branded products, starting with the rapidly growing Kirkland gaming company Valve Software.

The pet line for Dickies, a U.S. company that historically made uniforms and workwear, came next and was followed quickly by pet lines for “Star Trek” and Elvis.

After the “Star Trek” pet line came out, the women had decided not to accept any other licenses and to focus on the ones they already had.

“But when Elvis calls, you better listen,” Olson said.

The creative team is finalizing the Elvis line, which will be launched in early summer.

The designs include a blue-suede-shoe chew toy, a “Jailhouse Rock” ball-and-chain knotted rope, and classic Elvis outfits from “Viva Las Vegas” and “Blue Hawaii.” There is, of course, a poop-bag dispenser for the Elvis line. It is in the shape of an old microphone and says “TCB,” for Takin’ Care of Business — a catchphrase Elvis took on shortly before he died.

“Anytime you can weave in a poop joke, I consider it a win,” Tanner said laughing.

The company also holds pet-product licenses for Justin Boots and “Adventure Time,” as well as other nonpet pop-culture licenses for “Halo 4” and “Bravest Warriors.”"

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