SalesOne Using the Force: Star Wars Licensing

By IvyLee Rosario

Star Wars JewelryAs a small privately owned company that started off with only twenty-two employees, SalesOne International continues to be in business after fifteen years and has grown with over eighty-eight employees filling up a 45,000 square foot building. Starting off with its Body Vibe and INOX body jewelry brand and expanding into the industry of licensed products, SalesOne can do it all. From NFL and NBA brands to big motion pictures, the company is excited for the direction they are heading and hope to have continued success with their licensed products. SalesOne now has licenses for the brands DC Comics, Marvel, Sons of Anarchy, Dr. Who, Transformers and their biggest seller yet, Star Wars.

The company did a soft launch of the Star Wars brand in October of last year and ran it through the last quarter. After the successful response they received, SalesOne decided to do a hard launch in January 2015 where they attended conventions and showed off the brand. “The response has been tremendous. We knew it was big because of the new movie coming out this year, the brand is backed by Disney, which is always a home run,” said Dennis Moreno, Vice President of Sales for SalesOne International. “Then we found out the director of the movie J.J. Abrams was going to do three of them within the next five years and we would be contracted out for all three, so the president of the company, Mark Hollis decided Star Wars would be our next license and the decision was spot on.”

Star Wars JewelrySalesOne believes that with the work they do in jewelry, branding is the future. In the marketplace, the company learned that everything is now more than ever about branding; everything is about a name or a designer. This is what peaked SalesOne’s interest in the licensing business, said Moreno. “Star Wars is our biggest key to worldwide company recognition and branding. To partner with Disney is probably the greatest relationship to have in the world.” Although licensing is a successful business for a company to be a part of, there is a lot of work that comes with having a partner that massive. At SalesOne, the process of producing merchandise is a thorough one, with making sure all items pass through inspection from the licensor. “We have a product development team that comes up with designs then we send them to our licensor at Star Wars for approval. After that, we send the product off to our plant for casting and molding for first run samples. Those samples are then sent back to the licensor for final approval,” said Moreno. “Then we go into packaging. It may not sound like much, but the key marketplace today is the brand and the packaging.”

Moreno says SalesOne spends hours coming up with appropriate packaging that is sent again to the licensor to approve then back to the warehouse. The Star Wars line has everything from pendants, chains and rings, to earrings and bracelets; SalesOne does all of the development for the line. “If our team designs one hundred pieces, there are ten to fifteen chosen for approval for us to put in line for Star Wars.” The most popular designs in the Star Wars line are the Storm Troopers, Darth Vader and the Rebel Alliance. In addition to offering different types of jewelry, the company also goes out of their way to make sure these pieces are unique. “These are intricate, finely produced and manufactured jewelry items,” said Moreno. “When you look at a Storm Trooper you are looking at his helmet, which is entirely 3-D. If you are looking at a Starship Millennium Falcon, you are seeing the entire ship, not just a picture.”

The Star Wars line will continue to grow as SalesOne hopes to get the line up to 300 SKU’s.  The company has received licenses for not only steel but also sterling silver and 14 karat gold. “In the future we will be doing collections that will be limited numbered pieces,” said Moreno, “make several hundred pieces, then the mold is broken. They will be 14 karat gold exclusive collectors items.” With the tremendous success SalesOne is seeing from their Star Wars licensing, it is intriguing to think about what this company will do next in the business. “It has been the biggest response to any licensing we have ever had.”