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Inspired by Characters

Inspired by Characters

Eileen Toohey has always been inspired by fairy tales. "As a kid I loved the idea of the characters in their own world," says Toohey. "I got inspired to sew costumes for my doll to portray the themes of the

Eileen Toohey has always been inspired by fairy tales.

"As a kid I loved the idea of the characters in their own world," says Toohey. "I got inspired to sew costumes for my doll to portray the themes of the stories."

The creative play led Toohey to study fashion at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. Upon graduation, her first job was at a sportswear company that held the Disney license.

As Toohey's career evolved, she became inspired to create her own characters. When she took her artwork to the Surtex, she met Lindy Bowman and her career in licensing began.

"Lindy was the first person to license my artwork, and I want to say a special thank you to him for his friendship and his support in business," Toohey says.

Bowman used Toohey's characters on gift bags, gift boxes and tins. Toohey has been drawing and licensing art and characters ever since.

"My primary licensed designs are theme occasions such as Christmas, Valentine's Day, Easter, Halloween and birthday," says Toohey. "My artwork is graphic with an eye toward simple bold design. My characters have sunny dispositions and are colorful, playful and cheerful. Clients often tell me that my characters seem alive."

Last year, Toohey opened her very own studio–the Spring Street Studio. With a fresh focus on her company, Toohey signed 10 new licensing agreements last year. New partners include Pet Goods Manufacturing, Design Design, Unique Industries, ThemeNaps and Toland.

Toohey is having a lot of fun with Pet Goods Manufacturing's Pet Couture line. She plans to develop it into a boy's property featuring a dog, named "Digger."

Toohey will debut several new character lines in 2012.

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