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OCAD University - Toronto, ON
BACHELOR OF DESIGN | Sept '09 to May '13
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I've always had a passion for design! I grew up in a family that had a "craft cupboard" long before a soccer ball, and parents that would drive an hour to take me to IKEA when I was a preteen, just for my joy of browsing the vignettes.
I expanded this interest at OCADU, achieving my BDes in their Material Art & Design program, with specialization in Jewellery and Metalsmithing. I honed in on my attention to detail and experimented a lot with alternative materials, beyond that of precious metals/stones. Studying jewellery taught me a lot of the critical thinking, problem solving and perseverance that I carry with me today.
CANADA POOCH - Toronto, Ontario
SENIOR PRODUCT MANAGER | Jan '15 to Oct '17
PRODUCTION MANAGER | Sept '14 to Dec '15
DESIGNER & PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT SPECIALIST | Feb '14 to August '14
FREELANCE DESIGNER/TECHNICIAN | Sept '13 to Jan '14
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After OCADU, I applied my detail-oriented design skills to the "real world" in product development at Canada Pooch - a pet apparel and accessories company. When I joined Canada Pooch, I was the 6th team member and we were working out of a one bedroom apartment. 4 years and many dog coats later, we had moved into a 5,000sqft office, with a fulsome team. I really got a taste for start-ups and the excitement of building a brand from the ground up!
At Canada Pooch, I participated in the full product development cycle and eventually, took on my first role as a product manager. I worked alongside designers and managed technicians to bring our concepts to life. We conducted fittings with dog models to get the styles just-right with our cute but not always cooperative 4-legged models. I learned a lot about quality assurance and liaising with over seas factories.
I was also fortunate to work on other product lines including private label, licensed, and brand collaborations - the most of exciting of which was working with Roots Canada!
AZ HOME - Richmond, BC
PRODUCT PORTFOLIO MANAGER | Apr '18 to Dec '20
PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT SPECIALIST | Nov '17 to Apr '18
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In 2017, I took an opportunity to shake things up and move to Vancouver! I landed at AZ Home - a B2B home décor company - and quickly stepped into the role of Product Portfolio Manager. This role made me responsible for sourcing, pricing, buy plans and life cycle management, all of which were new to me! I was fortunate to have an excellent team in China reporting to me that executed the Quality Control measures I put in place and assisted in day-to-day factory relationships, so I could focus on the broader picture.
AZ Home was undergoing a mass restructuring when I joined and there weren't many "legacy" employees to learn the ropes from. With limited guidance but access to a sales database, I discovered my analytic skills and learned to harness the information to help make stronger decisions. This could take the form of: prioritizing which products enroll for packaging compliance, strengthening my negotiations with suppliers, or building a business case for my buy plan to present to the Managing Director.
My favourite part was that I got to design curated product offerings for our brick & mortar customers in retail, such as Walmart and TJX Group. I worked closely with our lead sales reps and learned a lot through the proximity to the buyers. It was rewarding to be involved from concept, to sourcing and pricing, to presenting to buyers, to production and finally life cycle management in preparation for the next launch!
APPAREL DESIGN | Apr '19 to present
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Having developed close relationships with suppliers at Canada Pooch, I was contact to do some freelance design. I design seasonal and capsule collections for the client featuring graphic text, repeat patterns and surface embellishments. We discuss specific fabrics and trends they want to capture and I bring my own suggestions too! I create technical sketches with essential measurements, pantones, and vector artwork so that they can present to buyers or make samples to show at tradeshows. This work is fun and allows my to flex the creative muscles.