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Director of Product Development

UncommonGoods, 140 58th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11220

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About The Role

We are looking for a Director of Product Development who is responsible for developing innovative, exclusive, on brand products resulting in commercial success and profitable financial growth.

About Us

UncommonGoods offers remarkable designs by independent makers, and we do it with a positive impact on people and our planet. Learn more about our productsB Corp certification, Better To Give program, and cool team members you might be working with.  Check out more about all the Good Stuff we do at UncommonGoods!

Primary Responsibilities

  • Create overarching Seasonal Concepts for the UG Brand 2x per year in partnership with the CMO.
  • Create, own and execute the Product Development Annual Calendar.
  • Lead the Design Outreach process for UG to successfully create new partnerships resulting in new, exclusive and commercially successful products for our assortment.
  • Develop, manage and achieve the annual PD financial plan to drive an overall increase in penetration of Exclusive products for the UG business.
  • Establish and prioritize the PD pipeline to support the company’s quarterly and annual goals with new products that are aligned with the CMO’s strategy and CEO’s vision.
  • Lead the Product Development team of Production Managers and Designers in critical thinking disciplines for ongoing generation of new product ideas.
  • Successfully negotiate exclusives and licensing agreements within our established financial framework and timelines.
  • Manage the Product Development team during the design refinement, sampling and sourcing process.
  • Develop and maintain relevant and actionable knowledge of the UG assortment and industry including business trends, the competitive landscape, and current market conditions.
  • Build and maintain collaborative internal and external client relationships.
  • Work with the production managers to expand our capabilities, along with the head of purchasing to manage risks and inventory.

Skills & Qualifications

  • You have 10+ years’ experience with a successful track record in buying, product development, business negotiations
  • You have a Bachelors Degree
  • You have a design eye and understanding of UG brand and market positioning
  • You are an idea generator, creative and an innovative thinker, motivated and a self-starter
  • You are a strong relationship manager and negotiation skills: market and business savvy
  • You possess excellent people and project management skills
  • You have the ability to create a seasonal development calendar and process
  • You have a strong sense of urgency and ability to meet deadlines
  • You have an understanding of various manufacturing processes and costing
  • You have excellent analytic and communication (verbal and written) skills

Benefits & Company Perks:

  • Competitive salary 
  • Benefits package, including health and dental insurance and 401(k)
  • Stock options 
  • Casual work atmosphere 
  • 40% discount on the products we sell
  • Monthly Company snacks, lunches, and team events

To apply, please submit:

  • Your resume.
  • A cover letter that describes why you want this opportunity and why you would be successful in the role.
    • Attached to your cover letter:  one page of product photos with descriptions that illustrate attributes of products you feel are “right” for the UncommonGoods assortment, which are currently not on our site.  

Please note:

  • If selected for an on-site interview there will be a project required to be submitted before the interview.

UncommonGoods is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer

 

About UncommonGoods

Our Story We know that there's a story behind every product. It's that of an emerging designer just introducing her work to the world; artisans working collaboratively in a low-income country; or a seasoned artist crafting each of his pieces by hand. With your help, we're building a community of passionate people who love our products and connect with the stories behind them. We're growing not only our artist family, but also a strong following of customers who celebrate artists and delight in surrounding themselves with creative design. Inspiration In 1999, our founder Dave Bolotsky visited a Smithsonian Museum craft show in Washington D.C. and was captivated by the variety of unique handmade goods and the talented people behind them. He saw there was a significant public demand for beautiful design. At the same time, he realized that the artists working to make those pieces were often traveling great distances in order to sell their wares at the show. Inspired by his experience, Dave had a vision to create something that had never existed before—an online marketplace to connect makers and their creations with individuals looking for truly special goods, regardless of the physical distance between the maker and the shopper. Dave turned this idea into UncommonGoods. He continued traveling to craft fairs and trade shows, meeting artists and finding stand-out merchandise, while running the business out of his home on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Before long, the company had outgrown Dave's apartment, and moved through three successively larger offices in downtown Manhattan, eventually settling in our current location in Brooklyn, NY. Survival Of course, in the struggle to build a viable business, there are always bumps in the road along the way. When the internet bubble burst, we faced unforeseen hardships—funds were dwindling, and we were forced to cut back from a staff of 35 to just five full-time employees. Around this time co-founder Thomas Epting joined us as a photographer. Thomas worked tirelessly to help ensure the company's survival, steadily expanding his role to encompass all creative, technology, and warehouse operations. Times were tough, but thanks to the guidance of Dave and Thomas, we managed to turn the business around, becoming profitable for the first time in 2004. Sustainability Our focus is on building a business for the long haul. We've worked to create a sustainable business in all its aspects. We attempt to minimize our environmental impact, working with our artists to use sustainable or recycled materials whenever possible, choosing environmentally friendlier packing materials, and printing our catalog on Forest Stewardship Council [FSC] certified and recycled paper. We're building relationships with non-profit organizations through Better to Give, a program we created that allows our customers to choose a partner for us to donate $1 to with every order. And a concentration on strong financial health allows us to maintain independent ownership and stay true to our values. Our team has grown steadily over the last decade, from just 5 to over 200 year-round employees. Our business grows dramatically during the winter holidays each year. Thousands of packages ship out every day during these months, so we expand our workforce to hundreds of employees. We try to never lose sight of an inverted pyramid business model, meaning that the needs of the people closest to our customers, our customer service and warehouse teams, come first. As part of this model, our lowest paid hourly seasonal worker makes 100% more than minimum wage. B Corporation We're still growing, but what's important to us hasn't changed. Sustainability is, and has always been, central to what we do. In 2007, we became a founding B Corporation, which established an independent third-party certification of a company's sustainability. The Certified B Corporation seal means that a company has undergone and passed a comprehensive screening questionnaire, which evaluates areas including company governance, environmental practices, and impacts on the local community. As we maintain our certification as a B Corp we're also driven to continuously evaluate and improve ourselves, while raising awareness of the program. To date, more than 2,000 companies have become certified B corps. Evolution Along with sustainability, supporting creativity and the artist community is extremely important to us. Today our assortment has grown from a collection of Dave's trade show finds to a plethora of products handpicked by a full-fledged buying team, who scour the web for the latest in creative design and, just like in our early days, hit the road to bring back treasures from around the country. Thanks to our community of artists and designers, we also discover many unique pieces through online product submissions. Additionally, we've grown an in-house product development team, who work hard to create new goods sure to make even seasoned design junkies swoon. An Uncommon Future As we enter a new age of business, we'll remain focused on our commitment to sustainability and creative design. We'll never stop working to provide a remarkable shopping experience to our customers, make our company our team members' favorite place to work, celebrate craftsmanship and innovation, and support our community of artisans, designers, and creative thinkers. We have a feeling the future will be uncommonly good.

Want to learn more about UncommonGoods? Visit UncommonGoods's website.