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People Profile: Leyla Mojtahedi, Senior Licensing Associate at Mattel Canada image

People Profile: Leyla Mojtahedi, Senior Licensing Associate at Mattel Canada

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 profile one of these professionals in this ongoing series.

How did you get into licensing (or how did licensing find you)?
I started working as a Digital Marketing Intern at a children’s entertainment company working very closely with our licensing team, so my passion and ambition for the licensing industry grew from there. Now I’m working my dream job at Mattel as a Senior Licensing Associate.

What’s a “typical” day in your current position?
I manage a portfolio of brands at Mattel under multiple categories, including softlines, HBA, and publishing. A typical day will consist of working closely with our partners to fully maximize the license for launches, programs, new product development, etc.

What’s your biggest personal or professional accomplishment?
My biggest accomplishments would be running a marathon; working and living on three different continents; successfully launching a Hot Wheels and Barbie program with Peace Collective, a Canadian apparel company; and becoming a part of Licensing International’s Young Professionals Network.

What are the most significant trends or changes that you’ve seen in the business in recent years?
It’s become essential to capture and chase consumer trends. For example, sporting goods was a category that grew substantially during the pandemic due to the lockdowns, selling out bikes across all channels!

In your opinion, what is the top skill every licensing executive should have in order to succeed?
Strong interpersonal skills will go a long way. Its very important to build relationships with colleagues and external partners.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received, or what’s your favorite quote?
My favorite quote is the fourth rule from Jordan Peterson’s book 12 Rules for Life. “Compare yourself to who you were yesterday, not to who someone else is today.”

What is your favorite licensing deal of all time? (It doesn’t have to be one that was signed by you.)
I grew up eating Barbie Heinz Spaghetti Shapes as a young child and this one item holds a deep nostalgic memory that I will never forget. It’s my favorite licensing deal of all time and has inspired many business opportunities within the FMCG category whilst working at Mattel.

If you weren’t in licensing, what would you be doing now?
I studied BA Fine Art at university, so I naturally have a creative eye. If I didn’t work in licensing, I would still somehow collaborate via creative development or advertisement.

The last licensed product I bought was…
The UNO x Province of Canada half-zip fleece.

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