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Laura Dudney is the Product Coordinator for Fossil Men’s eyewear and for their other brand, Relic. Fossil corporate islocated on 2280 N. Greenville Avenue in Richardson, TX 75082. Their phone number is (972) 699-2280 and Laura’s emailaddress is ldudney@Fossil.com. Fossil has always been an influential fashionable company, and when I called around to find connections, LauraDudney, the product coordinator for Fossil, was the first person I thought of, since she was a close friend of my future sister-in-law and my brother at the University of Texas at Austin. My brother had always talked to her about how her and I wereworking towards the same degree and would tell me all of the opportunities that she obtained. I knew instantly that I wanted toknow what it was like to be in her shoes, especially after she got her dream job shortly after graduation. Fossil has also always
been one of my favorite stores, since I love their style and their products. “Fossil is modern vintage,” which is exactly what mystyle is and one of the reasons I chose to do my career connection there. Working with merchandise that I find interesting willprovoke my creative aspirations and I wanted to see firsthand how the Fossil Company works. The company is exactly where Iwould love to work, which I found out after research that was done on the company background before going in to shadowLaura. The atmosphere is very relaxed with creativity being a necessity with excellent benefits and reasonable requirements. Fossil started out as a fashionable watch company and eventually grew into an accessories and apparel store, along withthe watches. Their target market is between the ages of 25 and35, and is illustrated through their core customers “Mark and
Julie”. They are young at heart and fashionably trendy with an appreciation for the past. The price point is about $20 to $300,depending on the merchandise being purchased. Description The responsibilities of the position of product coordinator is involved with product development, including researchingtrends and creating trend boards to illustrate the direction the current line should go in. Product coordinators get to work closelywith other countries, especially for overseas production, such as China, primarily Hong Kong. In this particular case, Laura is apart of a team called the “warriors of weather” meaning that they work with products like sunglasses, soft leathers, andaccessories pertaining to different seasons. As product coordinator, Ms. Dudney’s job was to send ideas in terms of color and
shape of men’s eyewear to China in order for them to send her a sample back. She would then re-sketch the sunglasses andchange the label or any other aspect of the glasses that she believes could be improved and sends them back to production. According to Ms. Dudney, in order to work in this field a potential employee needs to be able to work with people andbe a team player due to much collaboration with production in China and the design team. Also, one needs to have strongopinions and be able to back up their designs. Rejection of a design may be relatively common, so someone that wants to workin the field needs to be able to take criticism and not let it affect them personally. Being hardworking, creative, and resilient arealso good qualities to have. She highly recommends retail experience, because it is necessary to gain skills such as knowledgeabout the product, point of sale, inventory, connecting with customers and management, learning sales plans, and how to know
if sales are behind or ahead of the sales from the year before. This will help to develop products in ways that will satisfycustomers because of the understanding of how sales works. Ms. Dudney’s career path was different than most college graduates, in the sense that it was much easier. She attendedthe University of Texas at Austin and obtained her bachelor’s degree in Fashion Merchandising. While in college, she did aninternship with Stanley Korshak in Dallas. The internship taught her what it was really like to work in the fashion industry,including getting to know the core customer and the image of the company and how it operates. What she really stressed asbeing important to her career path was her job in retail when she was in high school and college. She worked for BCBG for twoyears, an experience that she claimed to greatly help her in being successful in her current position. Working in retail truly
helped her to understand the customer’s needs and wants along with teaching her how to work in the employee’s position,learning what sells and how to sell it. When it comes to Ms. Dudney’s most and least liked aspects of the job, getting to collaborate in a team environmentand see her creativity come to life is high on her list. Since her responsibilities are never the same from day to day, so it isdifficult to become bored. Getting to work on the spring line, the most important line for Fossil, is also one of her favoriteprojects to work on. Her least liked aspect is the stress that comes along with deadlines and having to keep the lines up whenthey are having problems. For example, Fossil’s line Relic is not catching on as well with customers, so Ms. Dudney’s job is toreinvent it to try and make it more popular. The advantages of the position are a good discount in all Fossil stores, freedom to
pursue creativity, a big responsibility, and great benefits. Benefits include a 401 K plan, medical, dental, and vision insurance,tuition reimbursement, a casual work environment, flexible spending account, employee assistant program, discount onlicensed and fossil brands, paid time off and holidays, as well as life and AD&D insurance, a discounted gym membership andeven a free watch for new employees. The disadvantages are once again the stress and the criticism that comes along withcreating your own designs. Personal Analysis
When I first walked into the Fossil corporate office, I was thoroughly impressed with lobby and the way it wasdecorated and exactly how “Fossil” it was. Shortly after, I met Laura Dudney, a friend of my future sister-in-law and mybrother from college that got a job as a product coordinator at Fossil a mere five months earlier. As she was answering myquestions and leading me around the entire office I was in awe of what I was hearing and seeing, mainly because it is the job Ihave dreamed of. Travel is involved, although not as much now because of the economy, and it is a mixture of design andmerchandising, basically the job I have been hoping to find ever since I decided to work for a dual-degree between both majors.Ms. Dudney showed me her trend boards, there were two in her cubicle, and I got to see the ideas behind Fossil men’s eyewear.Ms. Dudney gets the samples of men’s sunglasses that come in in a very basic form from China, and then she sketches up herideas to make them more “Fossil.” This normally involves her first sending them pictures of her trend board and of the shapes
that she believes will be big for the upcoming season, and when she receives the prototypes back she looks them over andsketches out her ideas for improving the color and the logo and even the types of lenses and sends them back for fullproduction. This career would be perfect for me due to the creativity that is directly involved as an everyday aspect along withthe actual merchandising involved. Travel is an added bonus, to get to see production in China along with New York and otherfashion capitals would be amazing. I would be successful in this career due to my skills in design and in merchandising, along with my passion for fashion.I work well in a team environment, can work independently, and can also take direction if needed. This career surprised mebecause I never expected there to be design involved, since I always considered merchandising and design careers to be
relatively separated when primarily in the merchandising side of it. This is truly the career I have always been dreaming about,and Ms. Dudney was the person to show me. I never knew what product development was about before shadowing her and she really opened my eyes to a new possibility. Picture of Laura (on the right) and I (on the left)
Questions1. Are you able to sketch and actually design in this position?2. I read that fossil collaborates with other countries; does that mean that traveling is a main aspect of your career?3. After you graduated college, how many jobs did you apply for before getting this one?4. What internships did you do while in college and how did they help you?
5. I read that Fossil collaborates with some prestigious brands such as marc by marc Jacobs, Diesel, DKNY, and Michael Kors. Do you get to work for them in your position? Emily Wiley 1621 Maple Street Denton, TX 76205
Emily Wiley1621 Maple StreetDenton, TX 76205November 18, 2008Ms. Laura Dudney, Product CoordinatorFossil2280 N. Greenville Ave.Richardson, TX 75082Dear Laura,Thank you for the opportunity you provided me to shadow you for the afternoon! I gained a lot ofinsight into what you do for your career and it made me look forward to hopefully being in yourshoes one day! I loved learning about how you get to still get to design in your field.The next time I visit fossil I will have a greater appreciation for the work that goes in behind thescenes of the Fossil products. Thank you for sharing your time and knowledge of the field with me!Sincerely,Emily Wiley Ms. Laura Dudney, Product Coordinator Fossil 2280 N. Greenville Ave. Richardson, TX 75082