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Associate Creative Director // Kmart In-store experience
At Sears Holdings, I am the current Associate Creative Director for the Kmart in-store experience. I create and direct everything from strategic initiatives to small product signs. If it is a sign in Kmart my team works on it! I lead a team comprised of an art director, senior graphic designer, and two graphic designers. Collaboration is key when designing in-store experiences, therefore, I work closely with the project managers, strategic visual merchandising, 3D rendering artists, internal agencies, Kmart brand format, user experience and research, procurement and vendors. My career at Sears Holdings started as a freelance designer on the Strategic Initiatives team and I was asked to stay full-time. I quickly excelled and became an art director, which began my mentorship of the junior designers. As our Creative Director left, I was asked to step into that role on an interim basis where I led a team of two graphic designers. During that time, I oversaw the entire Kmart Des Plaines test store, which was a major company initiative directed by our President and CMO of Kmart. I designed and presented store design concepts for senior leadership and collaborated with numerous teams to help bring the store to life. Before Sears Holdings, I began my retail design career at OfficeMax Corporate Headquarters. I started as a designer on the Visual Merchandising team responsible for price signs and small marketing signs. I then moved onto the Brand Strategy team as a mid-level designer developing and maintaining the OfficeMax brand standards for the retail business. I would design national seasonal and services campaigns and style guides, develop in-store signing, direct mail, digital layouts and work closely with our photo studio to curate a library of brand images. I then moved onto the Brand Strategy business to business team as a Senior Graphic Designer where I was responsible for the design and development of the OfficeMax Workplace brand standards, style guides and catalogs. I also worked closely with internal and external photo studios to curate a library of workplace brand images that was used for all channels. Designing is not all there is to me... I love all aspects of creativity! I recently have started to learn more about baking and cake decorating. I like to create custom sweets for events. Recently, I have started my own business for custom sweets and event designs known as The Sweet Press. Another hobby of mine is ice skating. I have skated since I have been 4 years old. Skating brought so many amazing opportunities to my life. I focused on Synchronized Skating. Not many people have heard of this sport. It is a challenging team sport that has taught me many important principles such as teamwork and trust. I skated on a team known as Chicago Jazz. There are many levels in that organization based on the skill and age of the skaters. The highest level team is the Junior team. When I skated on the Junior team, I had the opportunity to represent the United States in several international competitions including the Junior World Challenge Cup. Skating has taken me to Canada, Finland, France, Croatia and Sweden.
SEARS HOLDINGS CORPORATION ASSOCIATE CREATIVE DIRECTOR [KMART IN-STORE EXPERIENCE – IMX] | 12.16–PRESENT Creatively manages, art directs and designs the Kmart in-store experience for full-chain and concept stores • Manages, mentors, and creatively directs a team comprised of an Art Director, Sr. Graphic Designer, and two Graphic Designers • Directs and designs strategic initiative in-store experiences • Presents design concepts to CMO and senior leadership of Kmart • Collaborates with copywriters, 3D artists, visual merchandising, project managers, layout specialists, marketing, internal and external creative agencies and business leaders ART DIRECTOR [STRATEGIC INITIATIVES – IMX] | 04.15–12.16 INTERIM ASSOCIATE CREATIVE DIRECTOR [STRATEGIC INITIATIVES – IMX] | 12.15 – 08.16 Strategically designed integrated store of the future experiences through concept and design. • Developed new creative for strategic initiatives in both Sears and Kmart stores • Created a new format Kmart Store and re-launch of new brand standards in store • Presented design concepts to senior leadership • Collaborated with copywriters, 3D artists, visual merchandising, project managers, layout specialists, marketing, creative agencies and business leaders • Responsible for assigning, art directing and approving Junior Designers’ projects • In interim role, managed two Junior Designers GRAPHIC DESIGNER II [STRATEGIC INITIATIVES – INTEGRATED RETAIL]| 05.14–04.15 Developed integrated store experiences through concept and design. • Developed new creative for company strategic initiatives for Sears stores • Collaborated with copywriters, 3D artists, visual merchandising, project managers, layout specialists, and business leaders • Executed original creative design under tight deadlines with multiple high-level projects GREAT LAKES DREDGE & DOCK CORPORATION SENIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER [MARKETING] | 04.13–04.14 Established and maintained the corporate identity through art direction and concept design. • Lead designer for all corporate marketing including: logos, apparel, trade show, brochures, sell sheets, powerpoint presentations, visual website layouts and advertisements • Collaborated with copywriters, business leaders, and print vendors • Art directed Junior Designers’ projects to ensure consistent brand usage OFFICEMAX CORPORATE HEADQUARTERS SENIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER [BRAND STRATEGY – B2B] | 03.12–04.13 Established and maintained the contract business corporate brand identity through concept, design and photography direction • Lead designer for catalogs, direct mail, logos, trade shows, brochures, visual web design, style guides and advertisements • Directed and styled photo shoots for corporate collateral and website • Collaborated with copywriters, marketing, production, and merchandising • Designed overall look and feel for 1000+ page catalogs GRAPHIC DESIGNER II [BRAND STRATEGY – B2C] | 08.09–03.12 Established and maintained the retail corporate brand identity through concept, design and photography direction • Served as lead designer for in-store signing, point-of-purchase, logos, seasonal and services style guides, visual web layouts and print collateral • Cast, directed and styled photo shoots for in-store signing, web and print collateral • Collaborated with copywriters, marketing, public relations, production and visual merchandising to ensure all executional mandatories were met • Balanced heavy project workload under tight deadlines GRAPHIC DESIGNER II [VISUAL MERCHANDISING] | 04.08–08.09 Executed in-store signing for seasonal campaigns, promotional marketing and weekly sales promotions • Created and maintained 400+ weekly promotional signs • Managed signs created through AccessVia– an automated system • Collaborated with outside print vendors and attended press checks FREELANCE WORK Webb Scarlett deVlam | 05.07 Freelance Designer Packaging production design for three brands • Responsible for production and conceptual design for major-label brands [Glenisk, Pampers and 3M] • Maintained consistent design for multiple product SKUs • Ensured files were print-ready JP Morgan Chase | 03.07–04.07 Freelance Designer Packaging production design for business-to-business collateral •Responsible for layout design on client welcome kits •Created packaging mock-ups for executive review