Ashley Mady-Founder and President of Brandberry
Ashley Mady, founder and President of Brandberry, is a brand builder with a proven track record in design, licensing, and merchandising. Ashley is a creative hybrid who blends innovation with business. She began her career at one of the largest toy companies in the business, working on hit properties including Hannah Montana. As an agent, she has succeeded in reinvigorating established brands, such as The Wiggles, and building/launching new IP from the ground up. Proprietary brands that Ashley and her team have created include Crashlings, Scanimalz, Beary Sweet, POP! Fortune, Rock Candy Girl, Poopeez, Deviled Eggz, and Moonicornz. Ashley is also the President of the global organization Women in Toys, Licensing, and Entertainment.
Q: What is your current job?
A: I run a branding and licensing industry called Brandberry. We do many different things, licensing other brands, building brands, and building our own brands from the ground up. It is great to own something and be in control. I am also the President of Women in Toys. My role includes running the global organization, overseeing all of the committees and events, formulating top line strategy, aligning sponsors, listening to members to develop programs, and working with the rest of the board to make it happen.
Q: What led you to start your own business?
A: I always thought that I would do it one day. I was pushed into starting it. I worked for a toy company and they relocated to California, but I opted not to move. I wanted to stay in the industry and believed that starting my own business would provide me with flexibility and unlimited growth potential.
Q: What is licensing?
A: Licensing is everywhere. When you buy a product it is often not made by the company whose name is on the label. For example, when you buy a Disney product, it is not usually made by Disney. Disney works with licensing agencies to identify the partners needed to design and produce certain product lines. They create such a strong brand that they can move it to other categories in a way that you do not even notice. Let the experts do what they do best. Successful companies develop dynamic brands and utilize licensing to expand across several different categories.
Q: What prevents women from taking the risk of starting their own business?
A: It is easy to get comfortable. Women are generally good at their jobs and they excel in the corporate world. If they are doing well and getting benefits, they will stay at their jobs. There are not enough leaders encouraging them to take the leap.
Q: What advice would you give to young women as they explore different career options?
A: Follow your passion, do what you love, and get going. You do not have to do everything at once. You just have to get going.