Kathleen Mahony

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  • date: 6-18-10
A design & development professional with a passionate focus on creating innovative product solutions that resonate on both emotional and practical levels.

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• Specialties •
Categories: Apparel, Sweaters, Textiles, Gift, Home Décor, HBA, Candle,

•Planning, Strategy & Line Execution
•Visionary Ideation & Art Direction
•Cross Functional & Cultural Team Leader
•Trend Research & Style Guide Design
•Managing Resources to Budget & Calendar
•New Materials & Vendor Development
Process Evaluation & Improvement
•Developing Creative & Management Talent

• Professional Experience •

Informed Design Solutions 2009 – Present
Freelance Graphic & Product Design

Creative Leader
Branding & Graphic services for new businesses and professionals in transition.
• Product & Package Design for clients: Missy Enterprises & SRAM / SEM.

DesignPac Gifts LLC 2004 - 2009
Leader in the Gift Basket Industry – Acquired by in May 2008

Director of Product Development
• Strategized, concepted & defined custom food gift product lines with sales team to meet sales plan, costing & timelines. Participated in client presentations providing trend direction and live redesign options to meet retail objectives. Increased sell in percentage by creating competitive, compelling and beautiful gifts, resulting in 12-16% sales growth year over year since 2005.
• Sourced new trends, vendors, products and materials at Canton Fair, redesigning or sizing sample orders for design purposes, saving travel costs of 3 buyers and taking 3 months out of the sourcing cycle. Engaged purchasing team to streamline the sampling, design specifications and quote process.
• Distilled trend services, international research and Surtex artwork and directed the Creative Graphics team in the creation of art Trend Boards, used both internally & with clients Negotiated and executed artwork license agreements and commissions. Increased the trademarked proprietary brands and usage by 60% to improve the product mix and increase margins.
• Brand management liaison to more than 12 world wide or national food & candy brands and 3 lifestyle licenses gaining agreement and approvals for co-branded packaging, product usage and gift design.
• Led the layout, development and specification of an interactive product worksheet providing new tools to product designers, graphics and packaging teams, while integrating new reports to improve communications & specification across all costing departments in an existing File-Maker PDM.
• Managed six Product Designers and a Creative Graphics Manager with seven direct reports; in creating over 325 sold gifts and 1000 gift mock ups in a holiday season for a total $62 million wholesale.

Product Designer / Project Manager
• Increased sold SKU\'s by 100 – 300% to all existing clients (Target, Marshall Fields, Costco) in mature categories for Spring & Holiday 2005.
Maintained or improved on the increases for 2006.
• Promoted to Assistant Director in May 2005 & Director of Product Development in January 2006.

Sears Roebuck 2002 – 2003
#2 General Merchandise Retailer in the US

Designer Ready to Wear – Sweaters
• Recruited to improve the sweater development & specification process across all categories. Increased successful sampling by 300%, improving overall quality and vendor relationships.
• Traveled internationally for major trend shows including Pitti Filati, Premier Vision, Indigo and Directions, directly responsible for store-wide trend interpretation for the sweater category including presentations to the design & merchandising teams.

May Company 1998 – 2002
Merchandising arm of Lord & Taylor, and 11 regional Department Stores

Head Designer
• Responsible for the sweater design & merchandising of the Mens, Young Mens, Juniors and five childrens areas with a staff of two designers and one assistant designer.
• Increased Holiday 2001 placements 21- 46% across all areas of responsibility and added double digit growth in Holiday 2002. Grew internally sourced Juniors program from 30 to 66% of total program by establishing new spec blocks based on market & customer profile.
• Structured and executed a European /Asian vendor research trip and sourced yarns for balance of design team saving the company $50k in travel & exceeding design team needs.
• Recipient of the 2000 Outstanding Support Executive Award for most focused Development.

• Collaborated with woven & knit designers; establishing theme, palette and direction of two updated RTW brands. Partnered with Market Reps to meet pricing & margin requirements.
• Developed new key item yarns with partner mills. Introduced Cashmere-like Loungewear to Intimate assortment and doubled program units the second year.
• Promoted in 1999 to Head Designer.

Sears Roebuck 1996 – 1998
The “Softer Side of Sears” private brand launch

Product Manager / Designer
• Managed the complete assortment for two traditional brands and sweaters design of two updated brands. Implemented & redesigned Asian import programs with buyers, incorporating emerging trends, fabrications and new items from vendors presentations.
• First Product Manager to be awarded and included in the 1996 Buyer Team Award for Apparel.

Montgomery Wards 1994 – 1995
General Merchandise Retail & Catalog

Product Development Manager
• Managed the direct import Womens Knit, Sweater and Active-wear assortments for 8 private brands.

I.B. Diffusion 1990 - 1994
Embellished Better Sportswear sold in boutiques & Nieman Marcus

Head Designer
• Led implementation and training of CAD system to eliminate $20k/ year outsourced studio service work.

JH Collectibles 1984 – 1990
Better Sportswear Brand found in Major Department Stores & Catalogs

Sweater / Knit Designer
• Created a graphing process for intricate intarsia designs which became the hallmark of the label.
• Developed all color palettes, woven yarn-dyes and prints before the dawn of CAD.

Zwicker Knitting Mills 1983 – 1984
Fine Knit & Leather Accessories for Ladies, Men & Kids

• Education •
University of Wisconsin – Madison B.S. Apparel Design with Honors

Fashion Institute of Technology, NYC A.A.S. Fashion Design with Honors

• Software & Training •
Adobe Illustrator & Photoshop; Microsoft Outlook, Word, Excel & PowerPoint; Filemaker Pro for PDM; Lectra Prostyle Sketch CAD; Primavision CAD, Lectra Gallery PDM; Franklin Covey Time & Priority Management; Dale Carnegie Course, Dale Carnegie High Impact Presentations & Dale Carnegie Leadership for Management.

• Community •
Village of East Dundee – Trustee Appointed 2007 – 2009
Village of East Dundee – Planning & Zoning Commissioner 2005 – 2007

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