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Founder turning Oh! Bear into stylish logo

Napat: I would like to expand our product portfolio with the Oh! Bear

Napat: I would like to expand our product portfolio with the Oh! Bear

Wants trademark to appear on personal goods, accessories

Six years after creating her own dolls business, Napat Pukavanatch is turning her beloved Oh! Bear teddy-bear trademark into a stylish icon and logo that is placed on personal goods and accessories.

"My dream is to make the Oh! Bear trademark like Muji in Japan, which has been applied to a variety of goods from household to fashion and personal gadgets," said Napat, 45, who is also managing director of the I-Nine event-organising agency, which has been in business for 18 years.

Fond of cuddly toys from childhood, she was inspired to create her own line of products during a trip to Tokyo Disneyland's souvenir shop, where she saw the range of Mickey Mouse and Winnie the Pooh dolls on display.

Back in Bangkok, she started to design a new icon, though more as a hobby than a second career. In 2007, Napat set up her own label and launched a selection of lovely cotton teddy bears with different motifs and vivid colours.

"I like collecting dolls and toys. Seeing the selection of Disney cartoon characters made me think it would be nice to develop my own 'stars' and introduce them to the local market," she said.

She earned Bt15 million in teddy-bear dolls sales in the first year, and Oh! Bear posted sales of Bt22 million last year - with Bt25 million targeted for this year.

"Of the sales target, about 60 per cent will be from exports and 20 per cent from online shopping. About 10 per cent each will be from physical retail channels and corporate clients," said Napat.

The company, which distributes its products through King Power duty-free stores at Soi Rangnam and Suvarnabhumi Airport, also started exporting its teddy bears to Japan about six years ago.

Oh! Bear now exports to many markets via exclusive local distributors, with its main markets being Japan, Taiwan, Russia, Austria and Germany.

The company also distributes its products through local traders in Laos and Cambodia.

"From now on, I would like to expand our product portfolio with the Oh! Bear' icon and logo attached to other personal products, fashion products and accessories such as bags, backpacks, and iPhone and iPad mobile cases, bedding and shower equipment," said Napat.

She added that her company would by mid-year expand its sales channels to online shopping via its own www.ohbear.com website and on Facebook, as well as via other sites, such as Etsy.com, Amazon.com and eBay.com.

The move is aimed at cashing in on the rising trend of online shopping in Thailand and other markets around the world.

"I expect the sales contribution from the online channel will increase to 50 per cent within the next two to three years," said Napat.






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