REALLY OUT OF MY COMFORT ZONE HERE - BUT I AM GOING TO DO THIS...ASK FOR HELP. MY DAD ALWAYS TOLD ME TO STAY HUMBLE...SO THIS ONE IS FOR YOU DAD - THANKS FOR WATCHING OVER ME IN HEAVEN!
Almost 3 years ago, I started this little company called GiGGo Toys. I had the help and support of many family and friends for whom I will be forever grateful. The journey has been tough, navigating through unfamiliar toy industry waters. I made a lot of mistakes, specifically signing a deal with predatory investors and working with an unethical factory in China. But I learn and I keep going.
Now, this same factory in China is holding hostage some important cargo that I need for my client. I have already paid the factory in full for this merchandise, but they refuse to release the Original Bill of Lading (OBL- which allows customs and the ports to accept the cargo into the USA) unless I pay them an additional $30,000. The number was a lot higher (over $150K) but they have finally agreed to $30K. The goods are HERE! But, they are sitting in a port in Canada and I am paying daily storage and demurrage fees until this BOZO releases the paperwork.
This week I met with an attorney who informed me that we could go into litigation and have a judge "make" them release these papers since I have proof of payment. However, due to the fact that we are dealing with China, it could take up to 6 months. I do not have that kind of time and cannot afford to pay for these 3 cargo containers to sit in storage for 6 months. Not to mention that my client in the US, will sue me for non delivery of goods. It is a MESS!!!
I need to raise $30K over the next 48-60 hours or else I have to close my doors and possibly file bankruptcy. NEVER, had I expected to be in this situation after working so hard to build this company to where it is today.
It kills me to resort to asking for money, but that is how desperate I am to keep my integrity to my US client and keep my business afloat. Whatever you can give, even $5 helps. If all our FaceBook fans donated $5 we would hit our goal.
Over the past 15 years, I have worked with many major corporations, Celebs and Delebs (dead + celebs) building their brand equity and recognition through product licensing and strategic marketing. These companies, such as Harley-Davidson and Ford Motor Company now have a home collection and kids line (Harley) and the #1 fragrance for the mass market Mustang (Ford) largely due to the partnerships I made for them and the deals I negotiated.
Working with the estates of Steve McQueen, Johnny Cash and Albert Einstein to resurrect' their names and create a market for their products at retail that would resonate with a younger demographic was no easy task. However, today, some of the most successful licensing products in the market today are a result of my expertise in building a brand. I successfully partnered the name, likeness and image of Steve McQueen with Dolce & Gabbana, Persol Sunglasses and Barbour to name a few. The Einstein University products are still in the marketplace today and the signature writing instruments created by Montblanc are in retail stores around the world.
When I started my own brand licensing and new business development company in 2011, Global Inception Group (GIG), we had the foundation needed to be rainmakers. Our first client, Conde Nast allowed us to work with branded content to deliver revenue based on archival images. We were lucky to have rubbed elbows with some great intellectual properties of Vogue, The New Yorker and Golf Digest.
However, the turning point came when we picked up a new client, Indian Motorcycle Company (IMC), in 2012. IMC had just been purchased by Polaris Industries in 2011. This bike company has a longer heritage than Harley-Davidson as it was started in 1901. It did, however, have a rough life going through many different owners, bankruptcies, receiverships, etc. over the span of its 130 years. Polaris Industries is a vehicular powerhouse and purchased IMC with the intent of revival and to re-introduce it into the world. They fully envisioned and planned on claiming a major stake in motorcycle industry. Global Inception Group (GIG) was hired to work on the brand building and product licensing. It was during this time, that I met with many of IMC's previous licensees and infringers and converted them to bona fide new partners with the new IMC!
Enter Mr. Terry, a 32 year toy industry veteran with war wounds from his days at TOMY, Playskool and Fisher Price. His company held the license to produce and distribute the 6 volt battery operated Little Vintage Indian Motorcycle ride-on toy. After GIG's contract with Polaris Industries ended, Terry mentioned to both IMC and me that he was seriously considering retiring.
After conducting substantial due diligence about the ride-on toy industry (the competition, the retailers, the licenses) I saw the opportunity to develop Mr. Terry's toy rep business into a full-fledged toy company. 2 weeks later, Terry and I flew to China, met with the factory owner and discussed a plan of action.
Upon my return, GiGGo Toys ("˜GIG' from Global Inception Group and "˜Go' because ride-ons, well, go) was quickly registered as an 'S Corp.' in the state of New York.
We acquired Terry's business and he has been guiding us with his expertise and years of toy industry knowledge.
INDIAN, NYC AND CARE BEARS - WOW
In addition to the licensed products we are selling, like the Little Vintage Indian Motorcycle, our partnership with New York City to produce NYC Taxi ride-ons and NYPD motorcycles and our newest collection with Care Bears, GiGGo Toys is building its own brand via the characters that were created and illustrated to help resonate with children. GiGGo the elephant is the mascot and he is accompanied by 5 other animals that all live together despite their differences. Each animal has had to overcome one of life's many obstacles and their stories are an ongoing tale of the ups and downs of life! We have planned a portion of the profits to be given to certain animal sanctuaries.
GiGGo & Friends is all tied back to the toy company via cross marketing efforts and simple product placements like a planned GiGGo key and fob that comes with every ride-on toy. The key is in the shape of the elephant head which happens to be part of the GiGGo Toys logo.
TV SHOW TOO!!!
ALSO - We have had preliminary meetings with Nickolodeon and then Viacom to pitch GiGGo and Friends as a Saturday morning kids show. We are working on the 20 minute short and character storylines to be presented again as per their request.
We have grown faster than I can sustain the company and will be looking at merging with a bigger company that can escalate us to the next level.
I have spent every cent (including my 401K) launching this company and I am out of money. Having to pay a $30K ransom is not something I am able to do right now. The stress of it all is killing me.
The reward levels are listed and I really appreciate your assistance. Start-ups are not supported by banks so getting a bank loan is not an option.
"Help me Obi-Wan Kanobi, you're my only hope" Princess Leia
Check out our website: www.giggotoys.com
Thank you for your consideration!
Chief Toy Officer
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