Curious Universe CEO John Styring tells Sam Giltrow how the company has found its feet during the pandemic and about its plans to increase its presence in the toy arena.
It’s hard to believe that Curious Universe has only been in existence for five years. The company’s meteoric rise has seen it grow from a team of 30 employees to 80 in the last 18 months alone, with product selling to over 43 countries and over 500 new products created each year.
However, while global expansion is a key focus for the company’s growth strategy, co-founder and CEO John Styring maintains that it’s the smaller, yet perfectly formed, size of the business which enables Curious Universe to be so nimble and react quickly to the developing marketplace. “We can listen to what customers want and get ranges into production quickly,” he tells Toy World.
Curious Universe has four sectors: toys, arts & crafts, books and stationery, with arts & crafts currently making up around half of the revenue. However, the company is taking bigger steps into the toy arena moving forward, as John explains. “Toys is forecast to be our biggest growth area by far, and we are forecasting a quadrupling of revenue over the next two years,” he states.
Curious Universe has set its sights on launching a new games division in Q4 2023 and moving into licensed product. The company has also secured a number of licences and is just finalising agreements with Moose Toys’ Magic Mixies and Hasbro’s My Little Pony with a view to launching new products in May 2023, with further licences to be announced in due course. “Previously, we have focused very much on our own IP, so this will be a nice new growth area,” John says.
Global expansion is also on the cards: John says the Nordics and the US are particular targets. He adds: “We have a lot of work to do but are very excited about building our international presence. It’s a major objective for the next year to grow our international toy sales and find the right partners to work with.”
To find out more about Curious Universe, including the company’s commitment to sustainability and its focus on ‘Product, People and Production’, read the full interview published in the November issue of Toy World.