This is Ben. After 10 years of solid international experience in toy and product design, leading creative direction, product and brand development in Asia and Europe for Mothercare, Playforce and many others, Ben Callicott left the dark side to join us at Primo as head of product. His passion for designing children’s products, his craftsman-like attention to detail and wonderful energy are what brought us together.
1. Ben, who are you?
Although not having children myself, I have always enjoyed designing kids products. I have over 10 years experience, having spent the majority of that time working and living abroad. I have a passion for new business, and I love the idea of building brands and taking a product from concept all the way through to it being used, and hopefully enjoyed.
2. Why are you joining Primo?
I first found Primo on Kickstarter, and instantly thought the product was a cool idea, so I got in touch to see if there was anything I could help them with. I was looking to get stuck into a new project after freelancing for a while, and after meeting Filippo and the team it was clear to me that they were passionate about what they do and had big ambitions for the future so it was an easy decision to get on board, and see where the ride takes us.
3. What is your role in the team?
I’m basically looking after all things product related, from the industrial design to managing the supply chain. My first task has been the redesign of the original Kickstarter version to the new 2.0 version we are about to start manufacturing with our partners in Asia. In any startup environment it is all hands on deck, so I’ve also been involved in promoting the product at trade shows and exhibitions, as well as making the odd cup of tea for the team.
4. Where do you come from professionally?
I always knew I wanted to design children’s products ever since I finished studying Product Design. I think we’re all kids at heart and I liked the idea of creating products that don’t necessarily take themselves too seriously. It was this ambition that led me to starting off working for a playground company designing large outdoor play structures such as musical panels, and sand & water tables. Having enjoyed the experience I really wanted to design hands on toys and managed to find myself working for the Early Learning Centre in their Hong Kong office. This was a great opportunity for me to get over into China and see how stuff is really made, it’s fair to say it was an eye opener. So 10yrs later, having dabbled in designing my own products in between, I found myself at Primo and excited to see what the future holds.
5. What are your hopes for Primo?
If I’m honest, being in and around the toy industry has made me slightly cynical over the years. Be that from an environmental or child development stand point. I just feel there are too many of the same products out there that aren’t really adding value to a child’s life, more looking to pacify than stimulate. That is where Primo differs in that we want to only develop products that do make a difference. I hope to be part of that journey and be able to bring more products and experiences to the market and to be part of a company that is known for quality, innovation and great design.
Find out Ben has been up to more recent in our Meet the team: Ben…