- 20 Years
Jason Knights, Blue Kangaroo & Hayley Smith,Craft Yourself Silly
30 November 2017, 18:00 - 20:30
The Centre for Professional and Executive Development Teesside University, Vicarage Road, Darlington DL1 1JW
These two British businesses are united by a fearless determination to succeed and an unrelenting ambition to discover new opportunities that drive their business forward.
Co-founder of Blue Kangaroo - one of the world’s leading character licensing creative companies - Jason Knights’ firm stayed relatively small until it began to export.
Spotting the UK market was shrinking, Jason took a leap of faith and, with support from the Department for International Trade, managed to seal a meeting with Disney in LA.
Despite wondering ‘what they were doing there’, Blue Kangaroo not only won the pitch, but have gone on to work regularly with Walt Disney, as well as Warner Bros, Pixar, Lucasfilm and a host of other global brands.
After running a small craft business in North Shields with her Mum, Pots and Pancakes, Hayley saw demand for craft classes alongside products.
Focusing on traditional ‘Proggy mat making’ classes at first, this evolved into kits, then shopping channels, which opened up a massive opportunity to break into the US craft market, worth $32bn dollars a year.
Still based in North Shields, Craft Yourself Silly has experienced rapid growth, takes pride in manufacturing all of their products in the UK and was recently crowned New North East Exporter of the Year.
EXPLORE how a 'just do it' attitude has helped make these North East businesses a global success
LEARN about rapid growth through multi-channel routes to market.
GAIN an insight into exporting both products and services around the world