With regular appearances on TV including an upcoming reality show, a new book slated for this summer and successful launches of bedding and furniture lines, Jennifer Adams is becoming a household name in more ways than one. But the kind of success Adams has experienced doesn’t come without a lot of strong partnerships, and she says All-American Licensing & Marketing Group (AALMG) has been an important one for her.
“All-American has been phenomenal,” Adams says. “It was just an instant connection, I could tell that they just get me.”
With the help of AALMG, Adams has been able to leverage her experience as a highly sought-after interior designer and regular on “Better TV” into her successful product lines. AALMG founding partner Michael Gottsegen says the firm’s key strengths lie in its ability to work with clients and use the connections it has cultivated to develop the best and most marketable products possible.
“We have a close relationship and collaborate with our clients on a very personal level,” Gottsegen says.
“I think what sets us apart is that we are a boutique firm, but we come with massive agency experience and credibility,” founding partner Tim Rothwell adds. The partnership between Adams and AALMG has proven to be a successful one so far, and their plans for the future look even brighter.
‘Basis for Success’
Adams says everything she does is built around the idea of helping people create a home environment that makes them truly comfortable and happy.
“What makes me really happy is helping people who have a little or a lot figure out what they want to do with their home,” she says. “Everything starts at home and the basis for success starts at home every single day.”
When Adams began thinking about how to bring her philosophy and design principles to the mass market, the most logical starting point was where everyone begins and ends their day: the bedroom.
After extensive research that included focus groups and interviewing hospitality experts around the world, Adams introduced the Jennifer Adams Home line of bedding products. Adams says others told her to avoid the bedding market because of the strong competition, but her line’s elegant looks and soft, wrinkle-free fabrics made it a success almost immediately.
It was because of the success of the Jennifer Adams Home bedding line that Costco approached Adams to create a collection of high-end furniture for its stores. Soon, Adams designed a collection of bedroom, living room and dining room furniture that could fit in almost any home’s interior design effortlessly. Adams says the Jennifer Adams Home pop-up stores within Costco have become extremely popular, and are supported by more than 900 special events across the country each year. The popularity of the Jennifer Adams Home brand has made it the No. 1 Roadshow vendor for Costco in 2012, according to Adams.
Adams says being introduced to AALMG was vital to building her brand. Jennifer Adams Home Chief Strategy Officer Rob Dalton had worked with Gottsegen and Rothwell when they were senior executives at IMG, one of the world’s leading agencies for sports, entertainment and media. Before IMG, Gottsegen served as an vice president at NBC Universal, managing brands such as Jurassic Park and The Cat in the Hat. Rothwell also is a veteran of Universal, and before joining IMG was president of Marvel Entertainment’s world wide consumer products division.
Rothwell says AALMG’s goal is to leverage the vast experience of the firm’s principals into serving a select group of clients. He says aligning with Adams made perfect sense for the firm because she is “someone who really pours herself into her brand,” as opposed to other personalities who are looking only for quick cash-in opportunities. According to Rothwell, Adams’ dedication to her brand and her authenticity come through in every product that bears her name.
“Jennifer is just so unique because she’s the real deal,” Rothwell says.
Gottsegen explains that AALMG’s approach is to get involved with clients on a personal level, determining what the firm calls the “merchandisable DNA” of that client’s brand. This involves finding the best qualities of the brand and determining how they can be translated into a successful product no matter what type of product it is.
From there, AALMG calls upon the connections its principals have with top-quality, best-in-class manufacturers to develop product lines that make sense for the brand, and then uses its relationships with retailers to find the distribution channels that will ensure those product lines reach the right markets.
Gottsegen says the understanding that AALMG gains through its one-on-one interactions with clients results in highly successful connections with manufacturers to design and create products that exemplify the best qualities of the clients’ brands.
Since starting AALMG a few years ago, Gottsegen and Rothwell have built a list of clients that includes Las Vegas’ Mandalay Bay Resort, The Getty Museum, the Schleich toy company, and TV personalities Phil Keoghan of “The Amazing Race” and supermodel Kim Alexis. Although the firm continues to add clients, Rothwell says AALMG prefers to remain small and concentrate on clients who are fully committed to building their brands.
AALMG helped Adams develop a road map for expanding her brand, and Jennifer Adams Home will branch into home accent pieces later this year. Adams says her new licensee partner, PEM America, will be a huge asset in further building her business in the bedding and home space.
Adams says she also is preparing for the launch of her clothing line with licensee Garment Line for Costco in April. She says the clothing line will follow the same philosophy of simple, effortless elegance as her home lines. Adams also is particularly excited about moving into the pet category with JLA Pets as her licensee.
“JLA’s commitment to innovation and fashion in the pet industry was foremost in teaming up with Jennifer’s brand,” Gottsegen says.
Rothwell says the firm looks forward to a long and fruitful partnership with all licensees’ working with the Jennifer Adams brand. Adams says she will continue to expand her franchise by adding licensing partners in furniture, home accessories, rugs, kitchen, tabletop, bath and beauty products. No matter where the Jennifer Adams brand appears next, Gottsegen says AALMG will be proud to help make that happen. With an emphasis on versatility and simple elegance, Gottsegen says Adams represents a brand that can be successful in numerous ways.
“We look at Jennifer’s designer brand as the combo package between Vera Wang and Martha Stewart,” Gottsegen says of Adams.