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Expanding the Miniature Garden Category

Article from Garden Center Magazine March 2018

Expanding the miniature gardening category

Bringing innovation and classic characters to life

March 21, 2018

Joyce Sprau, creator of the Flower Fairies and Peter Rabbit Secret Garden Collections
Joyce Sprau, vice president of CreataDream, is the creator of the Flower Fairies and Peter Rabbit Secret Garden Collections, two lines of miniature gardening figurines and products specifically developed for children based on characters and stories from Cicely Mary Barker of Flower Fairies and Beatrix Potter, known for her classic Peter Rabbit tales. Sprau, who has been designing toys for two decades, discusses the development of the products and why they are unique to the market.

Q: You recently celebrated your first anniversary of the launch of the Flower Fairies line. What inspired you to develop the Flower Fairies Secret Garden Collection?
A: I design toys for a living, and I saw an opportunity in the growing trend of miniature gardening. In the lawn and garden market, there were really no specific miniature gardening products for kids. It’s really focused on adults and product that is made of very fragile polystone material.
When designing products for kids, play value was our No .1 focus. In order to design a new product line, you have to bring innovation, and we decided to make the product out of durable plastic so kids can spend hours playing. Our figurines and accessories are made with beautiful, fabulous bright colors, affordable for kids and moms and grandparents to buy and of course, safety tested for kids. Our company, Ultimate Source, has experience in designing and producing these type of products, so it was a perfect match for us.
Q: There are many popular, iconic children’s book characters. What was the process of your partnership with the publishers of Barker and Potter’s work, and how did you select Flower Fairies and Peter Rabbit characters?
A: When you design products for kids, they need a story behind it. They need a character’s name, and they want to know who it is and what they are about. I found the Flower Fairies book in a store and read all about it. Cicely Mary Barker wrote these publications in the 1920s, and she wrote about fairies that really made you believe they were real. She designed 170 different characters, and it was just the perfect story and the perfect simple character names, like Rose and Buttercup and Strawberry. Barker was a fantastic artist, and she wrote a poem for each individual fairy. We are partnering with Penguin Books on both licenses, and it worked out to be a great partnership that promotes stories and reading for kids. After we did Flower Fairies, it was just the perfect opportunity to expand the line even further with the Beatrix Potter characters and the Peter Rabbit storyline.

The Flower Fairies Secret Garden Collection was inspired by the works of author Cicely Mary Barker and developed specifically for children.
Q: Did you read any of these books as a child?
A: Oh yes, I did read them as a kid. I remember my parents reading them over and over. I was really familiar with the story and what Peter Rabbit does in the garden, and I really wanted to take the designs and take them to a new level with kids. [In one of the stories,] We have Peter with his wheelbarrow and his jacket on. We have nine different vegetables that you can select to create a little vegetable garden. It was really fun to look at all of the characters and imagine the kids creating an entire Peter Rabbit scene.
Q: When you first decided to develop the Peter Rabbit line, what did you do that gave the product play value?
A: We wanted to create characters based on Beatrix Potter’s original artwork and story line. We choose the top 10 characters and gave each character its own special garden accessory. Some characters can hang or plug into different areas to give kids options to explore different ways to create their scene.
Q: The Peter Rabbit children’s books are classics and well-known, but has recent interest in the movie correlated with retailers’ interest in the collection?
A: Oh, absolutely. The Peter Rabbit line is a classic story that everyone, young or old, knows about. It’s just a plus that we were able to get our production and design out there and in the hands of kids at the same time as the movie. And of course, it’s springtime and there’s hype around starting your new gardens, and it was the perfect time to go shopping for spring and new flowers and plants. And of course, Easter. The movie was great and we are happy that our launch timing worked out so well. Peter Rabbit will be top of mind with consumers this spring.

The Peter Rabbit characters come with key accessories portrayed in the stories.
Q: What feedback are you getting from retailers on the Flower Fairies Secret Garden Collection?
A: It’s been fantastic. Retailers are loving the fact that we design our product with play value and help them expand their customer base by specializing in miniature gardening for kids. Many are designing new spaces and having special areas for kids to play. We’ve received great feedback on the durability and the packaging. Our packaging offers a new way for the lawn and garden industry to display fairies and miniature gardening products. The packaging ties the brand together, and it also saves on some theft and that they’ve been concerned about. Many retailers also love our new moss and silk flowers that customers can use to design imaginary garden scenes. Overall, miniature gardening is not just a fad, but an actual growing category of its own now.

Flower Fairies feature iridescent wings that glow in the sun.
Q: How did you come up with the CreataDream brand?
A: When we launched Flower Fairies, we really wanted to focus on the Flower Fairies name. Once we designed the Peter Rabbit collection, we wanted to create a brand that encompassed both licenses and products together, thus we came up with the word CreataDream. It really gives a sense of what we were about and helping kids recreate a scene in miniature gardening. Our company that produces these items is called Ultimate Source, and our company that distributes the items in the U.S. is called Creata.
Q: Congratulations again on winning the Rising Star Innovator of the Year Award at the 2017 Chicago Toy and Game Show. What was going through your mind when you were on the stage?
A: I was very nervous, but I was really very honored to receive such a prestigious award. This award is not just about me winning, but the full team involved behind the scenes to make it all happen and bring products to life. I think what really helped me win was that the product really had the opportunity to expand the shelf space for kids into an untapped market in the lawn and garden and gifting areas. We’re all about creating new destinations that kids and families can go, beyond a toy aisle and fast food market. We really want to bring kids into other areas that promote reading and imaginary creative play.
Kids, when they create their miniature gardens, they like to touch and feel and actually play with the characters and accessories and move them around without being afraid to break them. It’s a great activity for moms, dads and grandparents to craft these miniature gardens together. And we’re really trying to provide an option for kids and a new destination for them to go and be able to purchase and create their ideas.
Follow CreataDream on social media and visit creatadream.com.

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Flower Fairies Press Release – March 2017

The Flower Fairies™ Secret Garden Collection

Now Available in Garden & Nursery Centers Nationwide visit our site for nearest where to find retail partners.

CHICAGO, IL –  If you’re looking for a way to engage your children in gardening, sprinkle some pixie dust with the Flower Fairies™ Secret Garden Collection from Ultimate Source. Inc. The first miniature garden products designed for ages 6 and older. Bringing Cicely Mary Barker’s charming 1920s Flower Fairies artwork and stories to life through a partnership with the Estate of Cicely Mary Barker and Penguin Random House, LLC, the 23-piece collection features eight Flower Fairy figurines, accessories ranging from a tiny tea set to a fairy door, and planter kits for assembling real or imaginary gardens that instantly whisk children into a world of make-believe.

From Daisy to Rose and beyond, each Flower Fairy in the Secret Garden Collection replicates its namesake from the classic illustrations in Barker’s beloved books, down to the leaves and plants in which the fairy is dressed. Each fairy has unique wings that glow purple when exposed to sunlight adding to the sense of wonder evoked by the fairies themselves.

The fairies can be combined with stepping stones, teeter totters, bird baths and other accessories in the collection as well as live or artificial plants to create garden scenes straight out of each child’s imagination, instilling an appreciation for gardening and nature as well as nurturing their creativity and gift for storytelling. All items are made of durable plastic that can withstand children’s handling, suitable for both indoor and outdoor use, and safety-tested for children 6 and older. MSRPs range from $5.50 to $19.99.

For more information, to order online or to find the retailer nearest you, visit www.creatadream . Be sure to follow CreataDream Secret Garden on Instagram @creatadream_secretgarden, on Facebook at CreataDream Secret Garden, and on Twitter @creatadream.

About the Flower Fairies ™ and Cicely Mary Barker:
The Flower Fairies were created by illustrator and author Cicely Mary Barker and first published by Frederick Warne & Co. (an imprint of Penguin Random House) in 1923.  The Flower Fairies collection was based on real children and comprises of 170 exquisite and botanically accurate illustrations.  The books have since been translated into 20 languages with over 7 million books sold in the last ten years alone.   A global consumer products licensing program, managed by Penguin Ventures at Penguin Random House UK, includes apparel, accessories, textiles, homewares and gifting.  More information is available at www.creatadream.com.

About Ultimate Source and CreataDream:

Ultimate Source is the retail arm of Creata, a global ideas and product company that encourages play and fun. For over 40 years, we have figured out how to bring synergy to the way we create meaningful products that build brands to make customers happy. Our commitment to high quality products comes through in everything we create.  Distribution by Creata, USA, Inc.

CreataDream is the new brand name for the Secret Garden product line committed to growing the miniature garden world with new durable products for both kids and adults.

Flower Fairies™ Copyright © The Estate of Cicely Mary Barker, 2018.

Used under license from Frederick Warne & Co.

© 2018 Ultimate Source, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Creata/Ultimate Source, Inc. Contact:  Joyce Sprau – (630) 861-2268

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Peter Rabbit Press Release – March 2018

Introducing the Peter Rabbit™ Secret Garden Miniatures Line!

CHICAGO, IL – Ultimate Source, Inc. The new CreataDream™ brand is excited to announce an addition to their miniature garden line in partnership with Silvergate Media and Frederick Warne & Co. Ltd.  Introducing the NEW Peter Rabbit™ Secret Garden Collection featuring 10 classic characters and multiple accessories.

These adorable Peter Rabbit™ figures are the perfect miniature garden collectible, they are made from durable plastic and are safety tested for ages 6 and over, ensuring fans of Peter Rabbit, young and old can enjoy them!  Anyone can choose to create their real miniature garden using live plants or create an imaginary garden with the CreataDream planter, foam moss and silk plants designed perfectly for the miniature gardening world.

Peter Rabbit’s Secret Garden and all his vegetables are coming in Spring 2018 to specialty Lawn & Garden and Gift Retailers! Now anyone can re-create their favorite scenes from The Tale of Peter Rabbit.  It’s easy for everyone to collect, create, and imagine their own Peter Rabbit Secret Garden.

  • Since its first publication in 1902, Beatrix Potter’s The Tale of Peter Rabbit has enchanted both adults and children around the world.
  • Product line is ready just in time after the Peter Rabbit movie hopped onto the big screen on February 9th in a 3D live-action CGI animation. PETER RABBIT is a global movie release by Sony Pictures from director Will Gluck. 
  • Digital release of the movie will be available on April 20th on Amazon and iTunes.
  • Blu-Ray DVD launch is May 1st, 2018

For more information on all of the designs available, visit www.creatadream.com.

About Peter Rabbit™ and Beatrix Potter

The Tale of Peter Rabbit is one of the world’s best-loved children’s books and was created by author and illustrator, Beatrix Potter in 1902.  The story has never been out of print since it was first published by Frederick Warne & Co.(today an imprint of Penguin Random House) and has sold in excess of 45 million copies globally.  Beatrix Potter personally oversaw the launch of subsequent products, making Peter Rabbit the oldest licensed character in history.  Today over 2 million of her ‘little books’ are sold globally every year, whilst Peter Rabbit has appeared in books and products in more than 110 countries throughout the world. 

Penguin Ventures (part of the Penguin Random House Group) is committed to growing and protecting The Peter Rabbit™ brand and together with licensing agency, Silvergate Media, manages The World of Beatrix Potter™, one of the world’s longest running and largest international literature-based licensing programmes.

www.peterrabbit.com

PETER RABBIT™ © Frederick Warne & Co. Limited and Silvergate PPL Limited 2018. Based on the works of Beatrix Potter. PETER RABBIT and BEATRIX POTTER are trademarks of Frederick Warne & Co., a Penguin Random House Company. All rights reserved.

For more information, to find the retailer nearest you, visit www.creatadream . Be sure to follow Creatadream on Instagram @creatadream_secretgarden, on Facebook at CreataDream Secret Garden, and on Twitter @creatadream.

About Ultimate Source and CreataDream

Ultimate Source is the retail arm of Creata, a global ideas and product company that encourages play and fun. For over 40 years, we have figured out how to bring synergy to the way we create meaningful products that build brands to make customers happy. Our commitment to high quality products comes through in everything we create.

CreataDream is the new brand name for the Secret Garden product line committed to growing the miniature garden world with new durable products for both kids and adults.

© 2017 Ultimate Source, Inc. All Right Reserved
1801 S. Meyers Road
Suite 400
Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois 60181

Creata USA, Inc. Press Contact:
Joyce Sprau, 630-861-2268
[email protected]

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