Managing a Brand's creative aspects is one of my strongest assets. It all began when I started managing Duck Commander creative while I was still in college. Then, soon after, I developed the Buck Commander identity. After leaving Louisiana, my entire career has focused mainly on the building and managing of multiple brands simultaneously; and in the midst of that, I also build teams of designers to handle the workload. I strive to keep the numerous aspects of creative focused in the single direction that management has approved. That focus is the same for every brand, even though the direction can differ drastically between them.
Process management is one of the most important facets of leading a team. Creative projects can come from so many different sources that chaos can quickly ensue. By having processes in place to automate multiple priorities, it can help reduce the chaos and relieve stress that may also hinder creativity. At Plano Synergy, I concocted an idea to build a system that organized our then current workflow. With the help of a small group of people and an executive approval, this system quickly grew into a scalable custom internal project management software that automated hundreds of tasks for new product development and creative from start-to-finish-to-review. The system was called 8 Point, because it integrated the 8 points of the company (Brand Management, Engineering, Sales, Marketing, Supply Chain, Operations, Forecasting, and Consumer Services) into a single software system that could be used at all of our locations to manage projects. 8 Point was used not only in creative after it launched, but began being used by all other teams in the company as well.
Sourcing products and working with factories isn't something a designer usually handles, but learned quickly I had to wear many hats in a fast growing company. I was one of the main people to help bring Ground EFX metal detectors into reality. I developed a strategy for target price point which included features, product design, and even helped on sales trips to get the brand off the ground. I also developed the User Interface for the metal detectors and achieved positive feedback from the metal detecting community. Currently, one of my main responsibilities is to find factories and develop quality marketing materials that get people excited about our brand and that fit within our budget. Below are some of the items I designed and sourced, including the metal detector UI. You can also see some examples under Apparel and Swag.
Managing a team has been one of my most favorite, and also most difficult, parts of the job. Right out of college I was thrown into managing numerous projects and training other people. What I quickly learned, was that everyone is different and managing isn't a one size fits all process. A manager must first learn the current processes, then the team as a whole, and finally the people themselves as individuals to begin to develop managing styles that are customized to them. Every person requires a certain tone, verbiage, and discipline to get the most productivity and creativity out of them; and even that evolves over time. I try to lead by example and encouragement both inside and outside of the office, because that is what I have found works best for creative people. I also try to take on any and all negative feedback that may stunt growth, and relay that information to my team in a way that promotes growth and development in the people and their projects.