North America Business Awards 2022

4 | North America Business Awards 2022 Headquartered in Richfield, Ohio, merchandise manufacturer, Just Funky, creates a whole range of products designed to delight fans around the world. The family-run business is based on the values of wanting to do things the right way and make people smile. We take a look at the company and its founders, the Arora family, in more detail. eading off to a concert to see your favorite band wouldn’t be the same without making a visit to the ‘merch’ stand. Queuing up to see what’s on offer, then dashing off to the restroom to change into your crisp printed T-shirt before the show starts. In recent times, music merchandise has grown into its own industry. No longer only a T-shirt or two, there’s a whole range of items on display at every concert. With sales of ‘physical’ music such as CDs having almost disappeared, artists rely on sales of merchandise to boost their bottom line and keep concert tours in profit. And it doesn’t end there. Over the decades, merchandise has come to encompass so much more. Popular films, TV shows, animes and video games all have loyal fans – and they all want merchandise. Buying or streaming the product itself isn’t enough. We want to belong, to identify with like-minded souls, to find our tribe. Merchandise helps us do that. Not only for ourselves, but for our loved ones too. It’s gifting made simple. Offering your friend or family member an item of clothing or accessory branded with their favorite show is so much more exciting than gifting that plain black jumper you know they need. Want to be a favorite aunt or uncle? Merchandise is the way to go. The choice has grown exponentially too. Today’s merchandising license agreements go way beyond the hoodies and badges of old. If you look hard enough you’ll find almost anything designed as an homage to your favorite character or show. As well as apparel, merchandising often features household goods such as blankets, ponchos, and towels not to mention glassware, drinks bottles, car accessories and other impulse items. As a manufacturer of licensed and private-label merchandise, Just Funky has been on a mission to create and deliver high-quality merchandise to fans since 2011. Using a combination of the latest technology and the keenest minds in the industry, Just Funky works tirelessly to produce merchandise that is appealing and unique. The company is the culmination of the dream of its founder and Chief Visionary, Raj Arora. When Raj was only 15 years old, his natural entrepreneurial spirit led him to study and emulate the business ideals of great designers. First-class customer service and excellent quality merchandise have put Just Funky on the map. They are the solid foundation of a business that continues to grow in reach and stature. In the last five years, Just Funky has undergone considerable expansion. The company now boasts offices in India, Hong Kong and Europe as well as its offices in Ohio. Just Funky’s strengths are many-fold. Its executives have over 40 years of combined experience in the industry. And the company as a whole understands the necessity of staying up to date with the latest in pop culture. From inception to delivery, Just Funky functions like a very cool, welloiled machine. Brainstorming new ideas and translating them into products for mainstream retail is where the company excels. To begin with, there’s the Trends and Research Team, headed up by company president, Shivani Arora. Its main responsibility is to forecast upcoming trends in the industry, not only in the US but in the UK and Europe too. After studying current trends, the team will undertake market research to be sure that potential products will be popular, way before presenting them to buyers. Once that’s done it’s over to the Just Funky Design Team to bring the ideas to life. Always on the lookout for talent, the team has grown organically with the business. Just Funky designers have a reputation for pushing design boundaries to help products stand out from the crowd. Their sharp eye for detail is an essential component in ensuring the superior quality of the finished products. The Just Funky Production and Sourcing Team is based in India. Understanding the licensing industry as a whole is crucial in making the vision of each product a reality. Finding the best deals on pricing and solving logistical challenges are also on this team’s radar. When products are nearing completion they undergo multi-stage quality checks. These are carried out by the Just Funky Inspection Teamwho make sure every product gets the Just Funky seal of approval. Alongside its core business, Just Funky has also developed a charitable arm - the Just Funky Foundation. The non-profit organization has been set up to give back to the community through charitable donations to help students. Previous recipients include the Wooster City School Oct22269 Best Quality Merchandise Manufacturer 2022 – USA H