(NC) -- In the current age of recession and high unemployment, it's rare to come across a business whose biggest problem is finding enough talented people to hire because sales keep doubling every year.
But this has been the case for Kevin Richer ever since 2007, when, at the age of 27 he first launched his Wooky Entertainment toy company. Now, with the release of new product lines like Mathable—a numerical variation of the board game Scrabble—2012 is shaping up to be the biggest year yet for this creative Montrealer.
Success, however, has been anything but pure luck. Richer was born into a long line of toy manufacturers and he had been developing new products and managing his parents' toy company for a full decade before starting up Wooky. “ I just couldn't imagine my parents' business, as it was then structured, being able to follow the vision I had for a company like Wooky,” Richer says today.
The all-Canadian company now produces top quality toys exclusively conceived by an in-house R&D team. Wooky employs more than 30 people and its innovative approach to marketing, drives the strikingly youthful company. With the bulk of employees young enough to have only stopped playing with toys themselves recently, it's not surprising Wooky has been able to develop lines kids can relate to. Most notably is StyleMeUp, a fashion design series for young girls that's taken off in more than 45 countries so far.
“It's true,” says Richer, “to successfully develop new toys you need to go back to when you were the age of the consumers you're selling to. And with our marketing we realized early on that toys are just one element of a much larger business—the entertainment industry.
“You see, it's all about building entertainment brands now, creating products that have far wider horizons, be that through television, movies, or the internet. The toys getting those coveted places on the shelves of the big retailers all have strong brands rooted in entertainment. So before we develop a toy we first develop the brand. That's one reason why almost all our products have their own dedicated interactive websites.”
Under Richer's careful supervision, the Wooky R&D department has created over 200 toy products in the past three years alone. Whatever the case, with sales doubling every year, there's no doubt that this enterprise is on to something big.