Freelance Toy Design and Devolopment
London, United Kingdom
Jul 2019 - Present (2 years 2 months)
Senior Product Development Manager
Hong Kong, Hong Kong
May 2017 - Jul 2019 (2 years 2 months)
- Created, managed, & scripted new feature plush brand, Snuggle 'n Hug Friends.
- Orchestrated development on our Star Wars feature items to ensure key deadlines were met.
- Took charge of redesigning our Sesame Street brand resulting in quicker approval rounds and fewer development cycles.
- Reconciled communication rift between Chinese vendor & US design team for the preschool construction brand BOTS.
- Expedited production and made on-the-spot decisions during frequent travel to China factories, material vendors & the Snap Design Studio.
- Cost-engineered and redesigned the Party-Jammies play sets to achieve more favorable price points.
- Conceptualized a nostalgic Ewok line which delighted client resulting in evergreen line expansions.
Product Development Manager
Fort Lauderdale, FL
Aug 2015 - May 2017 (1 year 9 months)
- Created and developed 3 new brands for 2017.
- Collaborated with Marketing team to create brand and character names, package copy and story.
- Traveled to 5 factories in China over 2 weeks to finalize new brands and win critical Disney bids.
- Sent to Vietnam to expedite months of development into one week and meet crucial deadline.
- Creative Director of packaging, leading both in house and freelance talent.
- Design liaison with the Jim Henson Company for educational brand, "Word Party".
- Daily collaboration with Hong Kong for sourcing and cost engineering.
Design Manager/ Product Development Manager
Fort Lauderdale, FL
Jul 2014 - Aug 2015 (1 year 1 month)
- Created and developed plush prehistoric preschool line, "Thunder Stompers" now in its 6th year of steady sales.
- Expedited long-gestating production of collectible line, "Lil' Butters" resulting in my promotion.
- Recruited and managed a talented team of 10 off-site packaging, graphic and concept designers.
- Lead company wide brainstorm sessions which resulted in new feature plush concepts and brands.
- Improved in-house design team's communication methods with overseas colleagues.
- Sought by CEO as a consultant on company wide restructuring plan for Fall 2015.
Senior Designer Licensed Brands
Fort Lauderdale, FL
Apr 2012 - Jul 2014 (2 years 3 months)
- Conceptualized and produced plush and plastic toys for licenses such as Disney, Pixar, Dreamworks, Sanrio and Universal.
- Created concise style guides and spec packages for vendors which resulted in fewer development rounds.
- Directed Design and Engineering Teams in Hong Kong and Vietnam on a daily basis.
- Improved communication standards and design brief templates during extensive business trips to our Hong Kong office.
- Traveled to Vietnam, Guangzhou and Shanghai factories to help expedite production for new bids.
Independent Toy Designer / Content Developer
Aug 2011 - Apr 2012 (8 months)
- Conceptualized & planned gameplay for Sesame Street iPhone/iPad app peripherals.
- Developed toys & curriculum for a line of ESL toys for the Chinese market.
- Designed collectable mini-doll lines, playsets & brand extensions for an inventor group.
Contracted Chief Designer: Licensed Electronic Learning
Jun 2010 - Aug 2011 (1 year 2 months)
- Created and managed development of the Sesame Street "Steps to School" ELA line.
- Wrote and planned content, curriculum, scripts, logic patterns and songs for the "Steps to School" brand.
- Acted as Design Liaison between Hasbro and the Sesame Street Workshop.
- Directed recordings of Sesame Street voice talent in NYC to ensure our toys were accurately brought to life.
- Chosen as Team presenter during quarterly company-wide line reviews. A role rarely, if ever, assigned to on-site contractors.
- Managed outside prototype vendors, content providers and Far East development teams.
- Collaborated closely with Engineering and Marketing Teams.
- Consistently invited to consult and brainstorm with the Sesame Street Preschool and Pre-Cool Spider-Man teams.
Nov 2007 - Mar 2010 (2 years 4 months)
- Taught English, Counting, Science and Manners to children ages 2-5 through highly interactive lessons which involved songs, dancing, games and fitness.
- Pioneered the “After School" program which taught advanced reading and writing skills to elementary school children.
- Pioneered "Young Preschool" class for children aged 20 months and up.
- Developed and scripted plays for After School Program students to showcase English prowess.
- Designed and constructed props and environments to enhance lessons
Manager of Instructors/ Nova Kids Coordinator
Nov 2002 - Oct 2007 (4 years 11 months)
- Managed diverse international staff of English instructors.
- Conducted appraisals and follow up training for new and veteran instructors.
- Planned and led off-site training sessions for up to 20 instructors from area schools.
- Acted as liaison between Japanese staff, central management office and international instructors. - Created a fun, supportive and relaxed learning environment which increased attendance numbers and student satisfaction.
- Pioneered VOICE Nights, themed activity environments where students of all levels had a chance to practice and use English in realistic situations.
- Implemented the CHIBIKO program, a highly interactive and musical class for 2yos and their mothers. Taught students from a variety of backgrounds, English ability & interest range ages 2 to 82.
- Created tools, games and activities for Nova Kids classes and trained instructors in classroom management skills.
Chief Designer: Infant and Preschool Brands
Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Jul 1999 - Jun 2002 (2 years 11 months)
- Created and managed all aspects of the "Soft Sensations" brand, a safari themed infant line combining plush, plastic and reggae music.
- Selected by Senior Management to be Design Lead for Preschool and Toddler committees during biannual international reviews in Macau.
- Relocated to Hong Kong to better manage production in China and to provide guidance and creative direction to Hong Kong design teams.
- Developed and designed Toddler and Preschool brand style guides and color palettes.
- Sent to VTech France and VTech UK head offices to meet with local Sales and Marketing Teams to help unify brand styles and objectives.