Product Development Manager

About Nisolo

Nisolo is a sustainable fashion brand that produces footwear and accessories for women and men. We are an early-stage, E-Commerce D2C company composed of smart, driven teammates committed to excellence and strategically improving our work. We are passionate and compassionate, ambitious and pragmatic and work together in pursuit of the common goal to grow a healthy, household name brand and push the fashion industry in a more sustainable direction.

About You

  • You are highly motivated, self-managed, and are able to think strategically and independently.
  • You love to travel, and are excited by the prospect of working regularly in Mexico and Peru.
  • You are motivated at least in part by a commitment to social impact in your daily work, and love following the ever-evolving retail landscape.
  • You speak Spanish or can communicate at a conversational level, and have a strong willingness to strengthen your Spanish language skills.
  • You are crazy attentive to detail, and can also manage a tight deadline.
  • You are an exceptionally organized self-starter who can prioritize well in a high growth, “hands off” environment.
  • You can set strategy and vision, but you are not afraid to execute at a tactical level. There is no task too small or too big for you.
  • You are hardworking and resourceful. You understand why data is critical to make high-level, strategic, business decisions, and are passionate about providing and analyzing that data.
  • You respond positively to constructive feedback and adapt quickly to change.
  • You have an insatiable thirst for knowledge, seeing every challenge as an opportunity to learn.
  • You’re humble, hungry, and smart (in that order). You know what you’re good at while still continually striving to improve and grow in all areas.
  • You’re a great team player who can collaborate with cross-functional teams within a small and growing organization.
  • You’re not afraid to have a little fun every now and then.

Responsibilities

Project Management

  • Builds, manages, monitors, and flexes the product development calendar to ensure timely turnover of development, return of samples, and placement of final production orders in support of product releases.
  • Builds and maintains assortment specific timing-and-action calendars, monitors progress, and elevates any potential risks to planned sample and production delivery dates.
  • Manages vendor relationships to ensure on-time production to achieve launch and delivery against the line plan, as well as achieve assortment costing goals, quality standards, and other key performance indicators.
  • Manages communication with factories, merchandising, and marketing teams regarding sample and production for product launches, product refinement projects, and generally any other issues related to product development.

Design + Development

  • Manages cross-functional and factory relationships to ensure our product meets aesthetic, quality, sizing and functional requirements.
  • Works closely with the design team on seasonal offering needs to provide options in materials, suppliers, techniques, and costs that are on brand.
  • Works closely with the design team to support in making final decisions and adjustments in all stages of the design and development process.
  • Manages the process of both fit and wear testing, addressing variances and solutions to ensure consistency with suppliers, merchandising, design, and production.
  • Sources alternate manufacturers and material suppliers to provide options in materials, products, and techniques as needed while building a strong factory partner base.
  • Reviews and approves all sample and production materials.
  • Reviews and communicates all style and material minimums, costs, and lead times to cross functional teams and factories in development. Creates cost and timing options when issues arise.
  • Analyzes and contributes to discussion of SKU strategy, sales/purchase quantities, and costing targets during product development process.
  • Builds and maintains product development library consisting of raw materials, packaging, and product inspiration and archives.
  • Travels approximately 6-12 times per year to Mexico, Peru, or as needed to fulfill the requirements of the role.

Product Integrity

  • Aims to instill quality in the product from onset of development through final production.
  • Reviews all components with an eye for quality and durability.
  • Manages fit and wear test process to ensure finished products meet brand standards for durability and functionality.
  • Identifies and and maintains existing material and product testing standards, and leads implementation of internal SOPs in partnership with cross-functional and leadership teams.
  • Manages and resolves any quality issues post production and works with factory partners to improve QC processes to reduce risk of future quality issues

Skills & Qualifications:

  • At least 5 years of past experience working in product development, sourcing, and/or production of consumer goods (footwear experience preferred) in a similar vein to the current Nisolo offering.
  • BA/BS degree or equivalent life experience.
  • Experience traveling to, and working in, developing countries.
  • Spanish language proficiency.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Strong organizational, interpersonal and negotiation skills.
  • Strong collaborative and detail oriented skills.
  • Able to work in a fluid, fast-paced, multi-channel environment.
  • Able to maintain high standard of confidentiality and professionalism.
  • Understanding of sustainable fashion, ethical fashion, and/or social enterprise preferred.

Compensation: Based on previous experience and expertise.

Timing: Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Only candidates who pass through to the interview round will be contacted.

Location: Nashville, Tennessee

Next Steps: If you are interested in applying for this position, please email a single PDF document containing a cover letter, answers to the below questions, and a résumé to melinda@nisolo.com with the subject line “Product Development Manager [Applicant’s Name].”

  1. What are the 3-5 keys to success for you in the role of Product Development Manager at Nisolo? How do these keys to success tie in to your strengths and experience?
  2. What sets you apart for this position from other candidates with comparable qualifications and experience?
  3. Your factory calls and shares that the approved leather to make your PO arrived and is of poor quality, making it virtually unusable. They request to push back the factory shipment by one month. Your marketing team has already created assets and the release is planned for two weeks out. What do you do? How does this information inform your future development process, if at all?