Temporary Technical Design & Product Development Manager- Fine Jewelry
TEMPORARY TECHNICAL DESIGN & PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT MANAGER- FINE JEWELRY – HOME OFFICE – AUSTIN, TX
About Kendra Scott:
We are a fun, talented and driven team dedicated to providing our customers with gorgeous products and a WOW! experience. Family, fashion and philanthropy are at the core of our company and though we move at a very fast pace, we are committed to maintaining a family-oriented work environment and giving back to our community. A passion for great design, dedication to innovation and a strong social media presence are our building blocks for creating a unique and engaging lifestyle brand across all channels, including retail stores, wholesale accounts and e-commerce. Our headquarters are located in the heart of Austin, Texas, and we embrace the unique vibe and energy of our hometown as an inspiration for our brand and company culture.
The Technical Design & Product Development Manager will be a key contributor to the development team who will act as a bridge between the design, product development, production, and merchandising teams. This role will manage across all of our current and future jewelry categories with a main focus on seasonal fashion development and will manage direct report(s) responsible for specific jewelry product categories. This includes collecting and documenting internal design direction and aesthetic goals and leading seasonal sourcing and development through to production. This role will be responsible for gathering design direction, documenting product specifications, clearly communicating needs and requests to overseas agency, providing sample execution feedback to factories, ensuring technique and materials functionality & production feasibility, and supporting cross-functional teams on product education. Additionally, this role will be responsible for establishing standards and tolerances, ensuring product consistency, assisting in counter sourcing initiatives to support sourcing strategy, and the development and mentoring of the jewelry technical development team.
Stone & Materials Sourcing and Development
• Proactively collect and document design direction and aesthetic goals to provide clear communication to overseas agency, track progress, provide feedback and options to design team, and trigger decisions driving development through to production.
• Maintain an understanding of how certain raw materials perform when in finished form to drive vendor focus on innovation, competition, and quality improvements that align with brand aesthetic.
• Ensure timeliness of material sourcing, orders, approvals, and all areas of development are in line with cross functional time and action as well as seasonal calendar.
Technique, Execution, & Risk Mitigation
• Provide vendors with and maintain clear and up to date specifications and documentation (technical packets) for respective jewelry product category.
• Review incoming samples to evaluate for accuracy, aesthetics, functionality, and quality documenting findings.
• Meet with design to review all sampling, techniques, and materials in order to receive feedback and next steps in furthering the development process.
• Manage the creation and establishing of company standards and tolerances to provide overseas agency and vendors with guidelines and boundaries that are reinforced through development and production.
• Responsible for sharing concerns and risks with applicable cross functional teams to prevent potential production, quality, or sourcing issues and communicate resolution to all invested parties.
• Leverage development trips to provide direction, alignment, and problem solves for all product in development or production issues. This includes specifications, technique instruction, costing, and quality.
• Review exception requests from vendors that are initiated during production in collaboration with Quality Assurance Lead and production team to determine severity of issues, impact on delivery and cost, and determine best resolution.
Product Knowledge Documentation and Training
• Create all seasonal product knowledge documentation and guides to provide to Merchandising, Marketing, and Sales teams to aid in preparation for new seasonal launches.
• Meet with Retail Operations team to provide and ensure store product knowledge manual is providing store staff comprehensive and easy to understand materials and technique information that can be effortlessly communicated back to customers.
• Occasionally visit stores to train and educate staff on all jewelry products.
• Proactively support the Design team with the implementation of their brand and creative aesthetic direction, with focus on translating and achieving their vision.
• Mentor and coach team members to support role ownership, development and advancement of skills, and high team performance.
• Support Product Development team in all issues regarding sampling, product specifications, costing, calendar, and sample management.
• Support agency, vendors and internal teams with immediate responses, solution oriented ideas and roadblock removal when needed.
• Engage agency, vendors, and suppliers to drive strong “family” relationships; one of the 3 core pillars Kendra Scott is founded on.
• Work with store ops and quality teams to identify any product related concerns to take back to factories and suppliers for immediate action or future product improvements.
Our Ideal Candidate Will Have:
• 6+ years’ experience in fine jewelry product/technical development or technical design experience
• 4+ years’ experience partnering with multi-faceted, global vendor manufacturing base
• Minimum 2+ years leading and developing direct report(s)
• Experience with Excel and technical software such as Photoshop, InDesign, PLM, and Matrix CAD
• Advanced experience in creating and communicating product specifications (technical packets)
• Comprehensive understanding of jewelry manufacturing, construction, mechanics, materials and terminology
• Comprehensive knowledge of retail product development, technical design, and manufacturing processes; applied understanding of the international vendor community
• Ability to think three-dimensionally and to visualize concepts to product form
• Clear written and verbal communication; ability to clearly document and explain complexities
• Comfortable communicating opportunities, risks, changes, and needs to cross-functional teams
• Focus on process improvements, risk mitigation and collaboration in all aspects of role
• Experience developing, implementing and communicating new processes and tools
• Strong multi-tasking skills and ability to react quickly and accurately in a fast-paced environment
• Focus on deadlines and highly organized; not fazed by complexity, multiple timelines, and competing priorities
• Proactive problem solving/ creative skills
• Ability to negotiate and influence others internally and externally
• Experience creating and maintaining a cooperative team environment that promotes high performance standards and attainment of goals, with the ability to develop and maintain effective relationships and partnerships
• Ability to build strong partnership with Design team, proactively engage team, interpret design intent and communicate all applicable updates.
• Excitement and ability to travel domestically and internationally, up to 25% of the time.
• Mandarin language skills are a plus