Nicole1The evolution of Nicole Richie has taken place in full view of the prying public eye. The fashion icon has come a long way since she burst onto the scene in the reality TV show “The Simple Life” in 2003. Over the past decade, Richie has grown from a tabloid staple into the driving force behind several fashion labels, and she has served as a mentor on NBC’s “Fashion Star” since the show debuted in March 2012.

Today, Richie’s fashion labels continue to grow. Launched in 2008, House of Harlow 1960 is her accessories line and includes jewelry, shoes, eyewear and bags. Winter Kate is her mid-priced bohemian casualwear brand, and it debuted in 2010. Each is designed to appeal to women with fashion sense that is both vintage and modern, and they can be worn in any environment and still convey confidence and style.

Jessica1More than a hands-on designer, each new stage of Jessica Simpson’s life is reflected in her fashion collection, and during the past year, her experiences have been truly life-changing. These milestones have included motherhood to daughter Maxwell Drew, born in May, and a second child due this summer, the growth of her eponymous fashion collection and a second season as a fashion mentor for up-and-coming designers on NBC/Universal’s hit reality show, “Fashion Star.”

Tmnt1Ever since their first appearance in a comic book created by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird in 1984, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT) have become a worldwide phenomenon seen in practically every available medium and product form. After more than 350 half-hours of television, four live-action and animated films and one of the top 10 bestselling action figure and toy lines of all time, the Turtles show no signs of slowing down even as tastes and technology have changed greatly during their 29 years.

Smc1Great stories live forever. Anyone who doubts that needs to look no further than the classic tales of “The Jungle Book.” A collection of stories featuring Mowgli’s adventures with his jungle animal friends – written in the 1890s by Rudyard Kipling and famously retold through Disney’s eyes in 1967 – has been resurrected once again in a new 3-D CGI animated television series airing in more than 165 countries. The first season of 52 11-minute episodes and a 60-minute made-for-TV movie, “Rumble in the Jungle,” were developed by India-based DQ Entertainment (DQE) and began airing in 2010. It was brought to North America in 2011 at the hands of North American brand rights owner, SMC Entertainment Group Inc. (SMC).

Pauladeen1“I don’t want to spend my life not having good food going into my pie hole. That hole was made for pies,” stated Paula Deen, cook, cooking show host, restaurateur, entrepreneur and author. Deen is known for her love of home-cooked, Southern-style foods, and taste always plays the primary role in whether she deems a recipe to be successful. But Deen is much more than a creator of recipes, and regardless of which of her businesses she is focused on, quality rules supreme.

“The most important thing is everything has to have quality and the food has to taste good,” says her agent, Barry Weiner, owner of Artist’s Agency. “Paula wants to offer the best products for the money, and never take advantage of the public.”

Kitchenaid1 After more than 90 years, KitchenAid stays successful by keeping focused on its end-users, Global Business Unit Director Michael Huie says. “No one knows our consumer like we do,” he says.

The Saint Joseph, Mich.-based KitchenAid is a brand of Whirlpool Corp. and specializes in products for the kitchen. These include small appliances like its stand mixer; major appliances, such as dishwashers; kitchenwares; cookware; bakeware; tools; and gadgets. KitchenAid’s history goes back to 1919, when an executive for a commercial appliance company created the Model H-5, the first stand mixer for use in homes.

Electrolux1Some companies are resistant to change, but not AB Electrolux. Instead, the Stockholm-based company has found success by evolving along with the business environment, according to Head of Electrolux Global Brand Licensing Matthew Young.

To the point, in the last few years, Electrolux started focusing on licensing its brands, for selected categories and with the right partners. The brands include Electrolux, Eureka, Frigidaire, Tappan, AEG, Zanussi and Kelvinator. Young says it is searching the United States and Canada for licensing opportunities.

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