A Day in the Life of...
We all have our work routines (editor’s note: mine looks like coffee, coffee, meeting, meeting, meeting, coffee)–but ever wonder what someone else’s day looks like? Take a peek inside the daily shenanigans of our team members and learn what a day in their life looks like for them. What you learn may surprise or inspire you.
...Director of Product Development, Heidi Gonzalez
Breaking Down "Director of Product Development"
As the Director of Product Development, I am responsible for leading the vision and direction for our product and fabric assortment. My primary role is to identify future product opportunities, ensuring that we stay ahead of the game in terms of trends and product innovation. I collaborate with many departments to bring product to Market, including Sales, Marketing and Engineering.
My days vary–from spending all day lost in fabrics trying to find the perfect pillow for a new collection to obsessing over sales reports and trend research in search for the next big thing!
Check-in with PD Team
After getting through my emails, I like to casually pop into the design area and check-in on Princess (Collazo, Product Development Specialist) and CJ (Sierra, Product Design Specialist). We typically share what is on our agenda for the day and decide if we need to regroup to finish projects. Since we are mere weeks away from High Point Market, we are constantly checking on the progress of samples and making sure it still fits our vision for the show. Today, CJ is putting the finishing touches on the floor plan, and Princess is working on our Market Price Book.
The Inside Arrives
I enjoy having customers visit our office and work with us in developing their exclusive product. This was Danielle’s first visit to our office and also the first time meeting us in person! Although it was a short meeting, we reviewed the collection and identified a few opportunities that will make it perfect for their consumer.
As we have a sample department inside our office, we're able to make product changes within minutes—amazing, right?!
Connect with Erica
When it comes to Market, it takes a village! We would not be able to make our vision come to life without the support of our talented engineering department. Erica (Rios, Engineering Project Coordinator), who leads our engineering team, walks us through some of the projects that are being worked on for Market. Reviewing product at this stage takes a lot of imagination as you might be reviewing a two-dimensional sketch or just a wooden frame without any upholstery.
Customer Visit Prep with Jaclyn & Erica
Before the visit from our new customer, The Inside, Jaclyn (Jimenez, Director of New Business Development), Erica and I reviewed the sample to make sure everything is in place and that it is ready for its grand reveal.
Arrive at Office
Every day when I walk into the office, I say good morning to Doña Mari. Depending on the time I arrive, I typically get more than a simple good morning…I typically get a “se te pegaron las savannas?”1 if I arrive after 8am, or “ay! Madrugaste!”2 if I arrive before 8am. If you ever wonder anyone’s whereabouts, Doña Mari is your girl!
I must have my coffee every morning and the Nespresso pods are my favorite. I am notorious for making coffee and never finishing it. My coffee will be making a cameo throughout my day (spoiler alert: I didn’t finish it).
I am an early bird! I wish I could say that it’s my choice to be up super early…but it’s not. I am often woken up by my dog, Finn, who is eager to be let out of his crate and snuggle for a bit before we take on the day. Today, we decided on a brown plaid hoodie for Finny’s day at daycare. I don’t mean to brag…but he has been named best dressed at daycare!
This year I started a new morning ritual of starting my day by reading an article to get me in the right mindset for the day. Lately, I have been reading recently published articles as well as archives from The Harvard Business Review.
One of my favorite articles is “What Does your Company Really Stand For,” which emphasizes the significance of value alignment between a company’s strategy and the personal values of its employees. Reading this article reminded me of the time I interviewed with Javier (Sanchez, CEO) for my current position. I immediately felt a profound connection to the organization; I was inspired by his enthusiasm for establishing a company that values creativity and innovation, and his commitment to lasting success, as it aligns with my own desire to work for a purpose-driven organization.
The lunch gods were on my side and lunch came early today, yay! Typically, I spend lunch with the rest of the leadership team, but today I had a meeting which conflicted with our usual lunch time. Because I am a creature of habit, I am very particular about our seating arrangement, and I force-ask everyone to sit in the same seat every day.
Today we are having Mendocino Farms and my go-to is the Vegan Banh Mi, although I am the furthest thing from vegan. I used to love the Curried Couscous until our trainer, Gudelia, broke my heart and told me it actually was pasta.
International Textile Alliance (ITA) Education Foundation Meeting
I am part of ITA’s Education Foundation Committee, whose mission is to create opportunities for future leaders in the textile industry. The Education Foundation has supported the growth of the textile industry through the sponsorship of design competitions, internships, and educational trips to fabric mills. During this meeting we began laying out the foundation for a possible international internship opportunity, where a graduate student will travel overseas to expand their understanding of the textile industry. We hope through initiatives like these, we are able to help our industry evolve and attract top talent.
Chat with Vicky
When you first start your career, everyone will preach the importance of networking, but many forget to highlight the importance of networking within your organization. I am very fortunate to have awesome colleagues like Vicky (Law, Director of Digital Marketing), who I can lean on whenever I need advice, or I find myself falling trap to the dreaded imposter syndrome.
During our chat, I shared with Vicky the great opportunities we are building through the Education Foundation and the values the organization shares with Jonathan Louis. As an company, we proudly support education initiatives that embrace young talent and promote diversity and inclusion.
Quote of the Day
Our CFO Randy (Barbera) has been leaving the PD team inspiration quotes hidden within the Market planning white board. We have dedicated a small wall in our design area to these quotes and always enjoy finding these notes especially in moments of stress!
Today's quote: "Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising every time we fail." -O. Goldsmith
Dorell Rep Visits
It is no secret that Tom is our favorite visitor…and no, it's not just because he brings us delicious donuts. We love Tom’s visits because they are filled with amazing product and even better conversation. Tom has become a frequent visitor and we love it! Can someone give the man a passkey already?!
Product reviews often consists of Sales, Marketing, Engineering, and Product Development going over the samples for Market with Javier. I like to view these meetings as a dress rehearsal where we are trying to iron out all the kinks before we head out to High Point. These meetings are often long—not only do we have a lot of product to cover, but we spend a lot of the time cracking jokes (mostly at my expense).
We are very fortunate to not only have a gym in our office, but also a trainer that comes several times a week. Since I started with the company, I have enjoyed being part of these classes because it has given me the opportunity to get to know other colleagues in a casual setting. Currently, I workout with Abel (Hererra, Director of IT), Edgar Estrada (Production Scheduler), and David (Mercado, Sr. Manager of Planning and Scheduling). 💪🏼
After work, I picked up Finny at daycare, and because he was such a good boy, I stopped by In-N-Out to grab his favorite—a puppy patty! When I get home, I just want to relax my brain by binge-watching TV. My guilty pleasure is Bravo’s Real Housewives…I am a little embarrassed to admit that I essentially have seen every location aired, but Beverly Hills will always be my favorite—Erica had to know what Tom was doing!
1 The phrase "se te pegaron las savannas" is in Spanish and it does not have a direct translation into English, as it is a colloquial expression. However, it can be interpreted to mean "you got stuck in the savannas." This expression is often used figuratively to refer to a situation in which someone is having difficulty making progress or getting out of a difficult situation. - ChatGPT
2 The phrase "ay! Madrugaste!" is in Spanish and it can be translated into English as "oh! You woke up early!" or "oh! You're up early!" The exclamation "ay!" is an interjection commonly used in Spanish to express surprise or emotion, and "madrugaste" is the past tense of the verb "madrugar," which means "to wake up early." So, the speaker is expressing surprise or admiration that the person they are addressing woke up early. - ChatGPT