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Small Business Gets Big Chance With Angry Birds

Small Business Gets Big Chance With Angry Birds

Small Business Gets Big Chance With Angry Birds

Anyone who has tried playing Angry Birds on their phone or computer knows how difficult it can be to master the wildly popular game.

Yet a small company from Seattle may be well on its way to doing exactly that.

SwaddleDesigns recently picked up the first-ever license with Rovio Entertainment, the creator of Angry Birds, to sell a variety of baby products featuring the familiar Angry Bird characters.

Swaddle was created in 2002 by Jeff and Lynette Damir. The married couple has a successful family company that puts out high-end baby products. With 20 employees, Swaddle brought in about $5 million in revenue last year.

That figure could easily double this year because of the popularity of the Angry Birds. The addictive game was developed in 2009 and has been downloaded more than 500 million times since then. Swaddle will make baby body suits, swaddle and burping clothes and blankets.

“The enthusiasm from retailers has been tremendous,” Jeff Damir told www.money.cnn.com.

So far, Angry Birds also is seen on backpacks, toys and T-shirts. Experts have estimated the Angry Birds franchise could be worth more than $1 billion, not including the new foray into the baby market.

The Damirs say their good luck is due to a combination of inspiration from their 10-year-old daughter and old-fashion luck.

The couple was one of the few people in the country not familiar with Angry Birds, Jeff Damir said. But after watching their daughter play the game on her iPad in 2010, they decided to see if Rovio officials, based in Finland, were interested in a foray into the baby market.

It just so happened that Rovio executives were thinking about baby products at the same time, Jeff Damir said.

Ville Heijari, vice president of franchise development, said the company considered proposals from a number of interested suitors, but SwaddleDesigns – in the right place at the right time – won the license.

“SwaddleDesigns showed us some really good quality products over other candidates,” Heijari said. “We like ideas that aren’t gimmicky but are high quality and have longevity.”

With Angry Birds set to be introduced soon to Facebook, the Damirs know the year ahead could be truly remarkable.

“This is a huge opportunity for us,” he said. “How huge it becomes is a little hard to predict because fans of the game may not intuitively think about Angry Birds baby products.”

Swaddledesigns Angry Birds

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