Christina Callaghan - I’ve been in the Toy Industry since birth…
What exactly do you do in the industry?
I am the International Sales Director of Tree Toys Corporation [Taiwan]. I work closely with all of our International retailers and distributors. It’s my job to pitch new products, sell in store concepts and spread brand awareness for both Wild Science and Roo Games. At the moment my job is quite heavily focused on Amazon UK and the US.
Why and how did you get into the Toy and Game industry?
In a weird way, I’ve kind of been in the Toy Industry since birth… My Dad, Dennis, started Tree Toys 33 years ago and likes to tell people that I have been attending Hong Kong Toy Fair since I was 6 years old. Toy Fairs obviously don’t allow children into the shows, but I have vivid (somewhat PTSD) memories of being put into a suitcase and rolled into the fair so my parents could keep an eye on me. Thinking back on it now, it’s probably why I now can’t handle small spaces hahaha. I suppose it’s hard to run an international business with three kids, so while my brothers stayed home in Australia I was able to travel internationally from a really young age (lucky me).
What are you working on now?
Now, it’s a crucial time for our business. Most of our distributors and retailers are working on their 2021 product selections, so there are a lot of product presentations flying around the world. The R&D department have been working tirelessly on new ranges for 2021 and I can’t wait for everyone to see them. at the moment, I’m going to keep it hush hush 😊
What’s your workspace setup like?
I was quite lucky enough, that when the UK went into lockdown in March, I was able to turn my spare room into a home office. It was a great project and I couldn’t be happier. With so much of the world now needing to adapt to working from home, I feel really lucky to have a space designated to my job.
What was your favorite toy or game as a child?
As a family, my parents would take my brother’s and I on an annual “Campervan” trip across NZ. My all-time favorite game as a child was Ludo, we would play this endlessly together while Dad played, I think ENYA, in the background. Although my brothers liked to bully their little sister, it’s one of the fondest memories I have as a kid, all of us coming together and just playing a good old family game.
Where were you born?
I was born in Taiwan, grew up in Sydney and have just received permanent residency for the UK!
What was your life like growing up?
I was so fortunate growing up, we traveled overseas every school holiday. With half of my family and my dad’s business being based in Taiwan, we were there constantly. I was also visiting factories at a really young age, and as my Dad doesn’t speak Mandarin, I was also his personal translator when Mum wasn’t around. Once I remember at about 12 Dad asked me and a friend that was travelling with us, whilst working in China, to do a Factory evaluation and I aced it
I’m lucky that….
I love what I do and that I get to work with my parents. They are a pair of nutters but, (as cliché as it sounds) I really wouldn’t be where I am today without them. They’re all about tough love and never giving up.
What’s your beverage of choice?
Hendricks and tonic – I’ve definitely been in London for too long based on that answer
What’s your favorite TV show?
I love this question, but it’s so hard to answer! I would say top three; -Handmaid’s Tale -Game of Thrones -Peaky Blinders
What do you want to be when you grow up?
I always wanted to be a singer or actress, but let’s be a little more realistic here… I want to be happy in whatever I do and know that I am making a difference in people’s lives. Whether that be through toys and games or maybe something else. Having worked in the Beauty industry for the last 4 years, it’s a dream of mine to set up my own beauty brand with my best mate one day… watch this space!
The toy and game industry clearly has….
A lot of gaps in the market, that’s why I love working for a business that strives to create fun and exciting new concepts for toys and games. It’s also clearly adapted to the changing world which I love seeing.