Nominations Now Open for WIT’s 2015 Wonder Women Awards

WIT.logoWomen in Toys (WIT) is now accepting nominations for the 11th Annual Wonder Women in Toys, Licensing & Entertainment Awards. Winners in the eight categories will be announced at an awards dinner, scheduled to take place on February 15 during North American International Toy Fair week in New York City. For the first time, the annual awards dinner will be held at Pier 60 at Chelsea Piers.

Industry stakeholders are invited to nominate a co-worker, client, associate, family member, or acquaintance for consideration in one or more of the following categories: Lifetime Achievement, Rising Star, PR or Social Media, Manufacturer, Designer or Inventor, Licensing or Entertainment, Social Responsibility, and Marketing or Advertising. With the exception of the Lifetime Achievement category, which must be submitted by December 1, all nominations are due by January 15.

Nominations may be submitted online. The Award Selection Committee and WIT Board of Directors will review all nominees and select the winners for each category. All nominees must be WIT members in order to be eligible to win; however, WIT members and non-members are invited to submit nominations.

WIT to Host Networking Breakfast, Sponsor PlayCHIC, and More at ChiTAG

WIT.logoWomen in Toys, Licensing, and Entertainment (WIT), will be celebrating the power of play at the Chicago Toy & Game Week from November 20 through 23.

WIT is a premier sponsor of PlayCHIC, the industry’s annual play-inspired fashion show. The event pairs couture fashion designers with toy and games brands to create runway looks, and this year’s show will feature a WIT-inspired look.

On November 21, WIT will celebrate the Rising Star Award nomination of organization president and Brandberry Inc. founder, Ashley Mady, at the 7th annual TAGIE Awards. The celebration honors toy and game inventors worldwide, and will be held in the Grand Ballroom at Chicago’s Navy Pier. Mady is nominated for her work with the Wicked Cool Toys brand, Crashlings, which she co-invented.

WIT’s Wake Up With WIT breakfast networking event will be held on November 22. Building product for today’s market, going for a TV licensed property, the power of mentorship, and business empowering girls are some of the topics to be discussed. The breakfast is open to WIT members and non-members, aimed at professional men and women in the toy, games, licensing, and entertainment industries. [Read more...]

Women in Toys (WIT) Kicks Off New Initiatives in Dallas on October 6

WITWinningMovesWomen in Toys (WIT) has launched its new Empowerment Program with three exciting initiatives that provide members with opportunities for professional support, career development, and a roadmap to success.

The Winning Moves Empowerment Workshop gives entrepreneurs, inventors, and manufacturers the opportunity to pitch products to retail giant Wal-Mart as well as top toy and game companies including Hasbro, Spin Master, and Winning Moves Games. The event takes place on October 6 at Dallas Market Center at 1:00 pm, the day before the Toy Industry Association‘s Fall Toy Preview begins. It also features panel discussions, one-on-one speed mentoring, and networking opportunities such as a cocktail party open to women, men, members, and non-members.

One-on-One Mentoring pairs industry expert mentors with up-and-coming WIT members as well as those looking to change their career path. Volunteer mentors include manufacturers, retailers, marketing/PR agencies, and licensors. Members interested in becoming a mentor or mentee can sign up at www.womenintoys.com or contact Nancy Zwiers at nancy@funosophy.com

Learn-the-Ropes Webinars are hosted by industry experts and will provide information, insights, education, and support on a wide variety of topics. These are designed to help members with their career goals and professional development. Webinars will begin in December on Wednesdays from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Anyone looking for more information can visit www.womenintoys.com or contact Deb de Sherbinin at deb@kidsmartusa.com.

WIT Unveils Details for Its Winning Moves Empowerment Workshop

WITWinningMovesWomen in Toys’ (WIT) Winning Moves Empowerment Workshop will take place at the Dallas Market Center on October 6, the day before the start of Fall Toy Preview. The event will provide attendees with the opportunity to pitch to Wal-Mart, share their inventions with toy companies including Hasbro, and learn through speed mentoring sessions.

The workshop schedule includes panel discussions on topics such as selling to Wal-Mart and approaches to raising capital. There will also be an evening cocktail party with appetizers on the 15th floor of the Dallas Market Center.

The deadline for applications has been extended until September 12, and the event is open to women, men, and WIT members and non-members. The ticket price is $40 for WIT members and $55 for non-WIT members. More information about the workshop can be found at the WIT homepage.

WIT Announces Winning Moves Event for Female Entrepreneurs, Inventors, and Manufacturers

Women in Toys, Licensing & Entertainment (WIT) is hosting its first Winning Moves workshop, which will provide WIT members with an opportunity to develop their careers and grow their businesses.

Women-owned businesses can pitch their products to Wal-Mart, inventors can present their product concepts to toy companies, and members seeking professional development advice can meet with toy experts for a speed mentoring session. [Read more...]

New Opportunities for Toy Companies at Fall Toy Preview 2014

The Toy Industry Association (TIA) has made several changes to its Fall Toy Preview to widen the show’s attendee base and provide added value for members of the global toy industry. According to the TIA, the updates were developed by the Trade Show Committee and were based on feedback received from buyers and sellers who responded to TIA post-show surveys.

As part of the changes, Fall Toy Preview is no longer strictly a “by-appointment-only” event allowing exhibitors onsite opportunities to do business. The TIA will now offer new booth packages that provide exhibiting companies with both open or combination—closed with and open display area—booths.

In addition, specialty buyers who are ready to show product for the 2015 holiday season and have an interest in previewing are invited to attend. Traditionally, only toy companies that sold product to mass market were allowed to exhibit. Also, the show will introduce new educational programming and a Woman’s Empowerment Initiative co-hosted by Women in Toys and Wal-Mart. Additional events will be announced in the coming weeks.

Fall Toy Preview will take place on October 7 to 9.

WIT Restructures, Unveils New Committees

Women in Toys (WIT), which recognizes and promotes the achievements of outstanding female leaders within the toy industry, recently underwent an organizational change and restructuring. Along with appointing Ashley Mady, president of Brandberry Inc., as its new board president, WIT’s other board appointments are as follows: Stephanie Barone, vice president of product development for Innovative Designs, as treasurer; Caitlin Gutekunst, senior manager, content acquisition and business development at LeapFrog, as regional chapter chair; Jennifer Quattrock, independent design contractor, as design chair; and Mali Baum, CEO of Beezeebee, as chair of international chapters.

WIT also has a new committee-based structure to support the organization’s goals and mission. These committees will focus on such topics as community involvement, empowerment initiatives, public relations, scholarships, and more.

Anyone seeking information about WIT should contact Heidi Schwartz at hschwartz14@gmail.com, or visit the WIT homepage.

WIT Honors Outstanding Business Leaders with 10th Annual Wonder Women in Toys, Licensing & Entertainment Awards

At a February 18 dinner attended by more than 400 executives, Women in Toys (WIT) celebrated 10 visionary women business leaders with the 2014 Wonder Women in Toys, Licensing & Entertainment Awards. The award recipients are: Kiyomi Haverly of Mattel, Global Brands; Naz Cuevas of Rovio Entertainment Inc. and Donna Tobin of Hasbro Inc.; Rita Raiffe, design director at Gund; Stefanie Barone of M.Z. Berger & Co.; Susie Lecker of Fisher Price; Michele Litzky of Litzky Public Relations; Joan Packard Luks of The Seranata Group; Christina Jansa of Target; and Debra Sterling of GoldieBlox.

With support from major sponsors including Nickelodeon and Bandai, WIT also granted six scholarships to future toy industry leaders at toy design programs in universities worldwide.

Women in Toys Collaborates with Walmart at Toy Fair 2014

WIT.WalmartWomen in Toys (WIT) and Walmart will once again collaborate to help women-owned businesses pitch children’s products and brands to Walmart buyers at the 111th annual American International Toy Fair in New York City in February.

Scheduled for February 18, the Second Annual WIT-Walmart Women’s Global Economic Empowerment Initiative will kick off with a morning panel discussion featuring Raquel Taylor and Kelly Deimel of Bobo Buddy. Immediately following the panel presentation, by-appointment-only pitch meetings between women-owned toy companies and Walmart buyers will take place in Room 1C01 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.

Companies that would like to apply for Walmart pitch meetings must complete the online application form by December 30. Accepted applicants will be notified by February 1. More information is available through Patti Becker at PBecker@BeckerAssoc.com or at (203) 321-6813.

UPDATE: Women in Toys says it has “received an anonymous offer from a mentor who has promised to consider an investment in a company whose products are accepted by Walmart.”

WIT Accepts Nominations for 2014 Wonder Women Awards

WITAwardsWomen in Toys (WIT) is accepting nominations for the 10th Annual Wonder Women in Toys, Licensing, and Entertainment Awards. Winners will be announced at an awards dinner scheduled for February 17 during Toy Fair Week. The awards program recognizes and celebrates leaders, innovators, and other powerful women who have made lasting contributions to the toy and entertainment industries.

Industry stakeholders are invited to nominate a co-worker, client, associate, family member, or acquaintance for consideration in one or more of the following categories: designer/inventor, licensing and entertainment, manufacturer, rising star, marketing PR, and retailer. Nominations may be submitted online, and tickets are currently available for purchase at the WIT site.

The awards dinner will take place at Pier Sixty and The Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers in New York City.