Changemakers: Jewel Branding and Licensing

Julie Newman, founder, Jewel Licensing, highlights how the company is making change and moving forward in its mission.

McKenna Morgan, Content Editor

May 1, 2024

7 Min Read
Julie Newman, Jewel Branding and Licensing
Jewel Branding and LicensingJewel Branding and Licensing

The licensing industry has global influence; consumers flock to buy the products the industry creates, and the revenue driven at retail is a substantial driver in a brand’s power to implement change. Some executives harness the power of their position to become what License Global is calling a “Changemaker,” meaning they are leveraging licensing’s potential as a catalyst to create change.  

We caught up with Julie Newman, founder, Jewel Branding and Licensing, to discuss how the agency (a Licensing Expo exhibitor) is highlighting women’s empowerment, diversity and inclusion, sustainability and more through its licensing deals.

License Global: Jewel aspires to shine a spotlight on women, cause-related brands and global perspectives that might otherwise not be seen. Why is this mission important to your company?
Julie Newman: When I founded Jewel over 15 years ago, I wanted to support women artists and create beautifully designed products that I would actually want to buy. I saw a void in the market for unique, authentic, trend-forward design in everyday products. 

As our agency has evolved, we have significantly grown our portfolio of cause-related brands, which aligns with our mission to shine a spotlight on brands that might otherwise not be seen. The common thread among all of the clients in our portfolio, whether artists or cause-related brands, is they each have a unique design aesthetic and compelling story to tell. 

Related:The Changemakers: Saphia Maxamed

As a women-owned and operated business, with the majority of our clients being women, we have always been focused on shining a spotlight on brands and voices that might not otherwise be seen. It’s the foundation of our agency, and it is incredibly rewarding to know that we’re helping bring important stories to the forefront while supporting women artists and providing meaningful revenue to nonprofits.

You represent a diverse portfolio of artists and designers from around the world. Tell me about some of these clients and how they are adding to the diverse landscape of art in the licensing industry.

We are proud to represent a diverse portfolio of artists and designers from around the world. In our search to find distinct styles from artists around the globe, we have organically grown our roster into a diverse and multicultural portfolio. We have artists from the U.S., Spain, Mexico, Slovenia, Colombia, the U.K., Australia and more.  With artists based around the world who are inspired by their background, heritage and surroundings, we’ve gathered an incredible portfolio with a global perspective. 

Related:The Changemakers: Licensing Expo

For instance, we’ve recently signed Portugal-based Teresa Rego, who is inspired by nature and urban landscapes in her native Porto. Artist, Jessi Raulet (EttaVee), is U.S. born and living in Strasburg, France. With 30+ licensees around the world, she is inspired by life in France, travel adventures and pop culture. We’ve also had a lot of recent success with the artist duo, Loni Carr and Brett Gramse, of Whiskey Ginger. They’re inspired by the authentic characters who inhabit wildlands in and around the mountain town of Bozeman, Mont., where they’re based. 

Jewel also focuses on representing cause-related brands, like The National Wildlife Federation and the New York Botanical Garden. Tell me about some of these clients and how they are changing the licensing industry. What are their causes?

Now more than ever, consumers are looking for ways to support causes they feel passionate about. We’re proud to represent a range of cause-related brands to develop licensing programs where a portion of the royalty proceeds support their mission and work.

New York Botanical Garden’s (NYBG) licensing program is enriched by the brand’s extraordinary heritage, beautiful living collections and one-of-a-kind archival botanical artwork collection, which offers a unique opportunity to align with NYBG in supporting their mission to educate, study and preserve nature. Licensed in 15 countries across four continents, the program continues to experience significant growth globally. The program bloomed thanks to expansion in Asia, including multiple apparel, accessory and beauty programs in Japan and Korea such as an adorable collab with Kangol Kids, as well as steady growth in the U.S. with high-profile fashion collabs. First with Kith for menswear and kids’ apparel featuring floral-inspired designs, followed by an Earth Day launch with Madewell featuring men’s and women’s apparel. Created with a shared commitment to the environment and championing Earth’s biodiversity, this graphic collection showcases a selection of Madewell’s best-selling styles.

National Wildlife Federation (NWF) is one of the world’s oldest and most trusted wildlife conservation nonprofits focused on protecting America’s natural resources for wildlife, for us and for future generations. Acco Brands introduced a collection of Five Star notebooks and planners in partnership with NWF. The products, which were certified through the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, promoted NWF’s work in helping to restore wildlife habitats.

The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation (FLWF) works to advance Wright’s design legacy and expose new audiences to the innovation it inherently drives. FLWF works closely with licensees to incorporate Wright’s archival materials and design principles. Licensed products demonstrate Wright’s revolutionary American style of architecture, beginning with careful selection of materials down to meticulous construction of every detail. The Foundation’s program has enjoyed steady growth, aligning with high-profile partners, including a home furnishings line with Steelcase, a limited-edition sneaker collaboration with New Balance sold through Kith, an exquisite tea collection by Tea Forte and a jewelry collection with partner, Maya Brenner.  The most recent introduction is a partnership with Surya for two new rug collections celebrating Wright’s work, which launched during April High Point Market. The designs are a testament to Wright’s iconic style, featuring geometric precision, organic motifs and a harmonious fusion of nature and structure. 

We are excited to announce our newest cause-related brand that we just signed – the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. One of the world’s finest museums, the MFA showcases an unparalleled collection of nearly 500,000 works, which range from ancient to contemporary masterpieces and offer a rich source of inspiration. By leveraging the MFA’s iconic brand and artistic legacy, Jewel will expand the licensing program to enable art enthusiasts to experience the museum in their everyday lives.

With your help, The National Wildlife Federation and The Landmark Project have teamed up for sustainable apparel that contributes to the vital work of the NWF. Tell me about this partnership and how it came to be.

The Landmark Project proudly partnered with the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) to launch a sustainable collection of graphic tees, sweatshirts, headwear and accessories that reintroduces a beloved childhood hero, Ranger Rick. This heartwarming collection celebrates a legacy of conservancy and kindles the enduring spirit of wonderment for our natural world. Founded on a shared commitment to environmental preservation, The Landmark Project crafts products that spark appreciation for America's natural wonders. NWF works to ensure all wildlife, people and ecosystems thrive through education and empowerment to champion wildlife conservation and protect our Earth. The Landmark Project captured the sense of wonder and purpose with their new collection, helping NWF to build on its legacy of wildlife and environmental conservation. With each purchase from this collection, The Landmark Project returns a portion of the proceeds to NWF, directly contributing to their vital environmental and conservation initiatives. The collection is sold through

You will be exhibiting at Licensing Expo. Will you be showing off any new sustainable product lines or lines devoted to diversity? Can we expect any additional lines like that in the future? What are you planning for at Expo?

We’re excited to be highlighting our work with the National Wildlife Federation, including the partnership with The Landmark Project for sustainable apparel and with Acco Brands for notebooks and planners which were certified through the Sustainable Forestry Initiative.  There will also be samples of The Landmark Project x NWF apparel at the Products of Change booth. We have large vignettes at our booth dedicated to the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and the New York Botanical Garden showcasing their beautiful products and will also be premiering the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston for the first time.

We will be highlighting our global collective of artists throughout our booth. Attendees can see the beautiful works of our talented artists and we welcome visitors to stop by booth C134 to learn more about their stories and capabilities. Over the past year, Jewel has launched many Artist Series programs, where manufacturers and retailers highlight an assortment of diverse artists with different viewpoints. Berkshire Blanket and Home continues to expand with their Artist Series collection of throws and robes highlighting EttaVee, Creative Ingrid and Mia Charro. The colorful collection of warm, cozy throws has been strong sellers at a wide range of retailers. Crayola introduced an artist series coloring book featuring the art of Mia Charro, CatCoq, Tania Garcia and Alja Horvat.

Want to attend the event? Register for Licensing Expo 2024.

About the Author(s)

McKenna Morgan

Content Editor, License Global

McKenna Morgan is Content Editor for License Global. Based in the Santa Monica office, McKenna specializes in coverage involving non-profits, beauty and cosmetics, health and wellness, new and social media and entertainment licensing.

When McKenna isn’t covering the latest licensing news, she spends her time attending live music shows and finding her next travel destination.

Subscribe and receive the latest news from the industry Article
Join 62,000+ members. Yes, it's completely free.

You May Also Like