When Nadiya Hussain won “The Great British Bake Off” in 2015, she could not have imagined that three years later she’d be a global star.
Tuesday, Oct. 9, Hussain spoke at Brand Licensing Europe in a seminar hosted by Jessica Blue, senior vice president, global licensing group, UBM, about her meteoric rise, the importance of her platform and the future of her personal brand. Represented by Start Licensing in the U.K., Hussain has spent the last two years shaping a program that includes kitchenware and kitchen accessories from Bliss Home and has written seven books and a novel via deals with Penguin Books, Hodder Children’s Books and more. She also appears as a television presenter and has a contract with BBC for a series of cooking documentaries.
“For me, I understand the importance of what I do,” says Hussain. “It’s more than just cooking; it’s about family, food, living, eating and the idea of home. To go into the world of licensing with products that I’ve designed myself is amazing. I’m hoping that when people see the products, they understand the hard work that has gone into creating them and that my products become a little piece of each customer when they go home.” Hussain, who says a bout with panic attacks led her to try out for “The Great British Bake Off,” can now feel at ease. In the time since her win, she has become a household name and has inspired a generation of young Brits, who aren’t used to seeing a woman like her on television. Hussain and her team have enjoyed their success in the U.K. market but also see potential beyond her backyard.
“What encourages us about expanding outside of the U.K. is that Nadiya works on TV, and there has been progress for international sales,” says Ian Downes, Start Licensing. “She also works with global players in the publishing world. As those get more established, it will only make sense for the consumer products program to follow.”
Hussain’s authenticity has made her a household name and is the foundation on which she builds her consumer products line.
“The process has been very slow, but that’s what I love about it,” Hussain says. “It isn’t just, ‘here you go.’ We’ve taken our time, and I think about every element, down to color and finish, to make sure it says something about me.”