Two former Dalmatian Press and Bendon Publishing executives, Beth Peters and Chad Wiggins, have started a new publishing company, Retail Centric Marketing, and a new children’s imprint, Dreamtivity. The Franklin, Tenn.-based press is rolling out two initial product lines – a series of book-plus-craft-supply kits and a range of color-and-create canvases – under license from Crayola. Both are focused on the tween market.
Retail Centric Marketing was formed after Wiggins, who had launched a rep services business, came into contact with a Canadian publishing company, Flowerpot Press, which had a design office in the Franklin area. He suggested that Peters get in touch with Flowerpot co-founder Patrick Hayes.
“It was this little publishing company with an awesome design office 10 minutes away,” said Peters, who served as director of licensing for Dalmatian, and then in a similar role at Bendon after its acquisition of Dalmatian in 2013. “Immediately the creative juices started to flow, and we dreamed up an incremental arts and crafts product line that’s could be licensed. The essence of Crayola makes so much sense with the product we’re doing, and the tween space is an area Crayola has never played in in a big way.”
Each kit in the inaugural book-plus series, branded under the My Style name, features a book that teaches craft skills through activities, along with relevant art supplies, including some Crayola products. The first four titles are My Writing Style, with a focus on fonts; My Party Style, for invitations and party planning; My Deskorate Style, to inspire desk and personal space decor; and My Selfie Style, centered on creating backdrops and props for selfie-taking. The kits are priced at $17.99.
The company and its products came together quickly, from the concept in November 2015 to having achieved vendor status with retailers including Target, Books-a-Million, Toys ‘R’ Us, and Five Below as of this summer. Toys ‘R’ Us and Target will introduce some canvases this fall, and the full line will debut in spring 2017. “I think we’ve hit on a unique product line that has taken us pretty far, pretty fast,” Peters said.
Retail Centric partnered with Flowerpot Press to provide creative and production services; in turn, Retail Centric is handling some sales functions for Flowerpot.