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People Profile: Ellie Terveen, Director of Retail Sales for Dr. Seuss Enterprises image

People Profile: Ellie Terveen, Director of Retail Sales for Dr. Seuss Enterprises

The global licensing community is powered by an incredible group of professionals whose diverse backgrounds and creative energy drive innovation and excellence. Each week we’re profiling one of these professionals in this ongoing series.

How did you get into licensing (or how did licensing find you)?
Licensing found me! Throughout my years of experience in the retail industry I have touched different aspects of licensing, including sales, marketing, and operations. Stepping into the Director of Retail Sales role at Dr. Seuss has allowed me to step closer to the industry with a brand and IP that I love.

What’s a “typical” day in your current position?
A typical day is centered around people! Connecting is a large part of the role to bring our strategy to life and build upon our success. Working though deals and building plans with major partners remains a constant that continues to ignite the iconic portfolio of Dr. Seuss IP.

What’s your biggest personal or professional accomplishment?
My biggest personal accomplishment is realizing a childhood dream of working for a large brand internationally in a global role. The exposure to markets around the world has grown my knowledge base and understanding, which I can bring to Dr. Seuss as international continues to be a focus.

What are the most significant trends or changes that you’ve seen in the business in recent years?
The expansion and growth in the licensing arena has been fun to watch, with new players and opportunities that continue to expand the industry. The creativity and use of IPs outside of the traditional consumer goods, soft lines, and hardline categories is a major change that continues to grow—like VRBO partnerships and more.

What keeps you up at night? What’s your biggest challenge these days?
The tech landscape continues to evolve, and new and expanded capabilities continue to hit the market. Navigating the evolution of the likes of AI and ChatGPT are among some of the things that keep me up at night while ensuring we protect our IP and more.

In your opinion, what is the top skill every licensing executive should have in order to succeed?
Strategic thinking and negotiation skills. The ability to build forward-thinking plans that factor in the needs of the organization is paramount to ensure future success.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received, or what’s your favorite quote?
“Quit hanging on to the handrails. Let Go. Surrender. Go for the ride of your life. Do it every day.” — Melody Beattie

I love this and have tried to let go of controlling the next to see what opportunities present themselves and lead to the next adventure.

What is your favorite licensing deal of all time? (It doesn’t have to be one that was signed by you.)
I don’t have one favorite as there are so many. I love when an unexpected moment or pairing comes together in a unique way, creating a disruption in the marketplace. The deals I am always so impressed by are the ones that are outside the box and make me say, “Why didn’t we think of that?”

If you weren’t in licensing, what would you be doing now?
I have spent the last 20+ years connected to retail on the DTC and wholesale side and have a deep passion for the industry, so would pick a role tied to that capacity.

The last licensed product I bought was…
An LOL stainless steel water bottle.

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