Jennifer Adams is ready to hit the big-time this year. The lifestyle and design guru already has found big success with her collections of home products through major retailers like Costco, and in 2014 she looks to expand the Jennifer Adams Home brand even further with the debut of several new product lines that capture the essence of her coordinated timeless style. As Adams takes a hands-on approach to developing these products and working closely with the industry-leading partners – including PEM America, Jaipur, Covington, FCP Brands, Fizzion, JLA, Creative Bath and Rich Brands – who bring her ideas to life, she is also aided by the expertise and experience of a dedicated group of top executives and a veteran licensing agency – All American Licensing & Management Group (AALMG) - all helping her build a brand that has experienced a meteoric growth with her fans and consumers.
However, it hasn't always been this way for Adams. She grew up in a rural area outside of Portland, Ore., where she learned to sew, helped her mother build furniture, made draperies and painted. Although her family of six lived in less than a thousand square feet, they relied on their own creativity and resourcefulness to turn the tiny house into a comfortable home.
Adams has been a highly sought-after and award-winning interior designer for years, and her tips on design have made her a regular correspondent on Hallmark Channel’s “The Better Show” as well as a syndicated columnist in major newspapers from the Philadelphia Inquirer to the San Diego Union Tribune, reaching 1.2 million homes a week and creating millions of impressions. Adams also signed on to produce and star in news packages that will air on the national airport news network ClearVision TV, which is seen in major airports across the country and watched by more than 25 million travelers annually.
Several years ago, Adams introduced her Eternal Collection, a basic line of bedding products. Based on the success of the line’s simple but elegant looks and wrinkle-free fabrics, the bedding line became a success right away. This prompted Adams to create a successful line of furniture, which can be found on Costco.com and is the site’s highest-end brand of furniture.. Today, the Jennifer Adams Home special events of pop-up stores could be found in Costco stores across the U.S., Canada and the United Kingdom. In fact, Adams’ special events are so popular that last year, the Jennifer Adams Home brand was featured in hundreds of such events.
Adams believes a key facet of what makes the Jennifer Adams Home brand successful is that fact that she takes a very hands-on approach when working with licensees. The majority of the products Adams designs for her collections are inspired by designs she’s implemented in her own home as well as the various homes she’s designed over the years. She says she considers her own home to be a prototyping ground for many of her products, and there isn’t a single fabric, pattern or design that she does not review personally before approval.
That level of hands-on involvement is unique in the industry, according to Jennifer Adams Home Chief Strategy Officer Robb Dalton. Recently, Adams invited all of her licensing partners to a summit at her headquarters in Arizona. Dalton says many of the licensees commented that they receive an unparalleled level of service from Adams. “She really has a strong work ethic,” Dalton adds.
“One of the primary strategies that we stressed at the summit was a collaboration with all of the licensees, which is unique in our industry,” All-American Licensing & Management Group (AALMG) co-founding partner Michael Gottsegen says. “More importantly, when we roll to retail, all the licensees will participate in that same collaborative manner,” Gottsegen stated.
AALMG partner Tim Rothwell added that by bringing Jennifer Adams’ licensees to retailers, with Jennifer herself, as a team, to discuss what the brand can bring to each store makes a statement that “the Jennifer Adams Home brand is willing to become important and significant at each retailer,” he says.
Making an Entrance
Adams’ unique combination of sophistication and comfort has been her trademark as she has become a media franchise in the model of Martha Stewart. According to Adams, growing up in a small home under humble circumstances taught her how to “do much with little,” and the time she spent cleaning homes with her sister starting at an early age gave her an understanding and appreciation for interior design. Her firm, Jennifer Adams Design Group, has designed projects for more than $1 billion in real estate, with an international client list including exclusive hotels, resorts and homes from modest to ultra-high-end.
That experience made her a sought-after voice in media outlets like HGTV and “The Better Show,” which currently airs on the Hallmark Channel in the time slot formerly occupied by “At Home With Martha Stewart.” In addition to her television appearances and successful syndicated newspaper column, Adams recently launched a new book, entitled “Bedrooms That Inspire,” dedicated to her interior design philosophy. Combined with the expansion of her Jennifer Adams Home lifestyle brand into products from bedding and apparel to cleaning products and pet accessories, Adams is ready to make an even bigger impact in 2014.
A major component of what has made Jennifer Adams Home a growing brand in the home and lifestyle categories is Adams’ design philosophy. Adams says her products strive for an “effortless style” with fine details and European influences. Even though a lot of detail goes into each product, Adams says she designs with an eye toward making each piece part of a larger whole.
“It’s important to me that the products have great style, but they are also versatile enough that they could fit into any home style,” she says. “We’re definitely into comfortable living.”
A key element to Jennifer’s success has been the corresponding increase in the media and television exposure Jennifer has garnered last year. Combined with her ongoing publicity, TV appearances, book tour, weekly newspaper columns, magazine and social media articles, Adams’ generated more than a 100 million impressions last year. Her columns in several of the 20 largest papers in the country now reach over 1.2 million subscribers a week.
Jennifer's commitment to providing practical information, DIY tips and solutions on design, decor and lifestyle to the public is a big part of the Jennifer Adams appeal. Most important, is her promise to help the customers that buy her products or the people that read her columns or watch her TV shows, to combine timeless sophistication with ease and comfort in all her products so they’ll "love coming home” to them.
Adams says the partnership she has developed with AALMG has been crucial to the success of the Jennifer Adams Home brand over the past several years, and she says it would not be where it is today without the California-based firm’s knowledge and insight into the licensing and marketing arena. “They’ve introduced me to the majority of my partners, and they vet all the different partners out there,” she says.
Adams was introduced to AALMG through Dalton, who had worked with Rothwell and Gottsegen when they were senior executives at IMG, one of the world’s leading agencies for sports, entertainment and media. The connections that AALMG’s principals have with industry-leading licensees allow the agency to connect its clients to manufacturers who can design and create products that exemplify the best qualities of the clients’ brands.
Jennifer Adams says that Gottsegen and Rothwell often act as sounding boards for her ideas, and provide her with essential advice for managing the next phases of her brand. She says the firm also does an excellent job of ensuring that all of her licensees practice full compliance with quality and safety standards.
Jennifer Adams Home is launching a number of new product lines this year that Adams is excited about. She says a new line of fashion bedding manufactured by PEM America Bedding will be shown at the New York Textile Market in April. The brand has also formed a licensing relationship with one of the largest rug manufacturers in the industry, Jaipur Rugs, and introductions will be scheduled for the next High Point Market Show. Using high-quality fibers including wool and silk, the rugs will be handmade. Jaipur is committed to helping artisan women in disadvantaged communities start their own businesses to support themselves and their families.
The brand also has formed a unique, licensee partnership with Covington Fabrics & Designs to create that company’s first-ever licensed products, which will be launching in June.
“Now with a designer fabric line, I can help other people be DIY enthusiasts, just like my mom taught me to be,” Adams says, adding that the fabric line will be available on Costco.com and other major retailers.
Jennifer Adams Home also launched a collection of coordinated bath accessories this year from Creative Bath. In keeping with the brand’s philosophy of connected designs, all the bath elements will complement each other as well as all other Jennifer Adams Home products.
Another new development for the brand is the pet collection coming out this year from JLA Pets, which includes pet beds, travel blankets and other pet accessories. “We run the gamut in that product collection,” Adams says. But, at the end of the day, it’s all about “Love Coming Home,” which is Adams’ trademarked mission statement.
Also making their debuts this year are a collection of cleaning products made with safe and eco-friendly ingredients, including stain and odor removers for pets from Fizzion.
Another exciting brand extension from the new portfolio of Jennifer Adams brands will be a beautiful line of bath gels and lotions from Vitabath as well as scented home accessories from licensee partner Rich Brands also makes its entrance into the market this year.
In the lifestyle category, Jennifer Adams’ Essentials Collection apparel launched last year has been a successful licensee partnership with FCP Brands. The comfortable, stylish and elegant apparel is available at Costco Special Events and online. “It fits so well and looks so great, I wear it everywhere,” Adams says of the apparel line.
Although Adams is bringing a lot of products to the market featuring her name and brand this year, she says the cooperation she has received from her team and licensee partners has gone a long way to making Jennifer Adams Home a force to be reckoned with in the home and lifestyle sectors.
“As much as I would love to design everyone’s houses for them, I can’t,” Adams says. “But by providing information and high-quality products, anyone can also create a home they love, and be a lot happier for it.”