Sarah Novati explains the enduring appeal of FLATOUTbears.
Visitors to the upcoming AGHA Sydney Gift Fair will have the opportunity to get their claws upon the charming plush toy bears adored by A-List celebrities such as Kourtney Kardashian, Roger Federer, Sarah Jessica Parker and Hugh Jackman.
Luxuriously soft, FLATOUTbears are unisex toys handcrafted from 100% Australian sheepskin that meets both Australian and International safety standards. The bears come in a flat shape that is easy for babies and children to hold, and are available in two different sizes with eight colour variants to choose from.
The family-owned business was co-founded in 2002 by Sydney-based sisters Sarah Novati and Prue Trollope.
After experiencing success in the local market, the well-travelled bears have expanded their shop presence to stores across the USA, UK, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, France, Hong Kong, Italy, Belgium, The Netherlands and Japan.
Speaking to the Australian Gift and Homewares Association (AGHA), Novati said the FLATOUTbears brand can attribute its runaway success to having a unique toy product that can generate a conversation and consumers are drawn to.
"We have been operating our business for close to 17 years now, so we are lucky enough to have a great brand name out there,” she said. “They are just gorgeous and primarily used as a baby comforter. Our range is very tight and we are told it’s the bread and butter for a lot of our stockists."
With the Kardashian sisters commanding huge fees that hover around the $500,000 mark for a single product endorsement on Instagram, Novati and Trollope have managed to gain free publicity and traction for their brand many years ahead of the widespread shift to social media influencers -- with the Kardashian seal of approval to boot.
"Initially we sent some FLATOUTbears to different celebrities and the response was overwhelming. Sarah Jessica Parker still travels with her 14-year-old FLATOUTbear," Novati said.
"Our followers also alert us to other people talking about our products such as Kourtney Kardashian, who recently had FLATOUTbears on her blog. Followers reached out via Instagram to alert us to this. She has featured FLATOUTbears not just once but three times already!"
FLATOUTbears are currently stocked in a large range of online shops, children’s boutiques, gift stores, newsagents, post offices and pharmacies. As an exhibitor at the AGHA Sydney Gift Fair in February, Novati is excited to sign on with even more stockists and achieve great exposure.
"We still feel that we need to have a presence and be seen at the AGHA Gift Fairs, which gives us the opportunity to meet new customers face-to-face as well as our current stockists from all over Australia and other exhibitors," Novati said.
"We are fortunate in that our business works in with our lifestyle. Both of us with young families with another baby on the way – our business must be flexible and fit in with our lives. We know there is a great potential for our brand to expand...we are just waiting on the timing in our lives to be right."
Register now to see Flatout Bear at stand 3R18, Sydney Showground, Sydney Olympic Park during the AGHA Sydney Gift Fair, 24-27 February 2018.