Design & Product Development Manager

  • Mercado Global
  • Panajachel, Panajachel, Guatemala
  • Oct 21, 2019
Mid-Career (3-8 years) Creative/Design Product Development/Supply Chain Fashion

Job Description

Position Title: Product Development Manager Classification: Full-time
Reports to: Creative Director
Location: Panajachel, Guatemala

Position Overview:

Reporting to the Creative Director, the Product Development Manager is responsible for overseeing product development for Mercado Global’s seasonal collections and exclusives with our major retail partners. The

Product Development Manager facilitates strategic workflow between the design team, production team, and artisan co-operatives. This is a full-time role with a two-year commitment. The role reports to the Creative Director.

This position includes partnering with our Sales Director and design team to develop custom product for our Fashion Accessory majors, including Free People, Stitch Fix, Reformation, Levi Strauss, Holt Renfrew, and Lucky Brand.

Mercado Global seeks a Product Development who is enthusiastic about the opportunity to grow sales over the next several years, thus expanding a cutting-edge model for fighting poverty abroad by growing the market for socially conscious fashion accessories in the U.S. He/she should be entrepreneurial, have a background in sample development or project management, have at least basic spoken Spanish abilities, a passion for ethical fashion, and an understanding or appreciation for artisan-crafted product.

This position provides fashion industry product development professionals with the opportunity to develop product for leading U.S. Retailers while also helping mothers in Guatemala develop the income opportunities they need to send their children to school. The position provides the opportunity to work with the design teams of our retail partners, our talented Guatemala and U.S.-based staff, and to help build a growing and cutting edge ethical fashion brand.

Key Responsibilities:

The Product Development Manager is a multi-functional role and serves as the brand’s strategic product development leader. Key responsibilities include:

  • Manage seasonal Collection Development Calendar and Process from concept through final samples, including tracking fabrics and samples and facilitating cross-team communication throughout the process. Partner with design team to ensure Collections meet seasonal sales and margin goals.

  • Manage development of exclusives for major Fashion Retail Clients from concept to final product, including managing sampling timeline and ensuring we meet internal margin goal and client pricing needs. Partner with Sales Director to ensure client collections meet sales and sell-through goals for each account.

  • Partner with Design and Production teams to improve and strengthen supply chain, including sourcing new materials and identifying technical training needs for artisan co-ops as needed.

  • Manage Quality Control process and implementation in partnership with production and design teams.

  • Supervise Design Associate on textile development and other R&D and design roles.

  • Manage materials library updates, both physical and digital.

Key Qualifications:

  • Associate Degree or Bachelor Degree.

  • Minimum of 3 years professional experience in product development and/or project management,

    with specific experience in textiles, artisan products or apparel.

  • Bilingual Spanish/English is preferred. Strong English with earnest desire to improve existing

    intermediate Spanish will be considered.

  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills.

  • Experience working across cultures and different socioeconomic conditions.

  • Strong project management skills, ability to meet deadlines, and interest in creating organizational

    systems.

  • Strong excel skills, attention to detail, personal organization, initiative and problem-solving abilities.

  • Ability to work independently and as an active team player.

  • Weaving, sewing, patternmaking, and/or dye knowledge preferred.

  • Passion for our model and mission.

  • Flexibility, drive and a sense of humor.

    How to Apply:

    Please send cover letter, resume, and references to Ruth DeGolia at jobs@mercadoglobal.org. Please indicate “Product Development Manager” in the subject line of your email.

    About Mercado Global:

    Mercado Global is a Brooklyn-based accessory brand and non-profit that empowers rural Latin American women to become entrepreneurs. Through donor-funded business education and leadership programs, we help women create community businesses to support themselves and their families. By designing collections for the international market while using traditional local weaving techniques, we are changing the status quo for women, communities, and the industry.

    Mercado Global’s partners include Levi Strauss & Co., Reformation, Stitch Fix, Free People, Lucky Brand and Holt Renfew, among others. Mercado Global has been featured in ‘O’, The Oprah Magazine, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, Vogue Mexico & Latin America, among others. Learn more at www.mercadoglobal.org.