I need your expert opinions and insight.
For the past 7 years I have been the director of product development and brand development for a mid-sized consumer electronics accessory company. We focus on Cellular Phone, Digital Camera, IPod, and Plasma TV Accessories. Our customer base includes ALL of the major CE companies in the USA. Including, Best Buy, Circuit City, Radio Shack and many more.
Being that we are not a large company, I have had the oportunity to take on the following responsibilities.
Packaging Design, design of catalog and marketing material, trade show management, created new brands, assisted in licensing existing brands.
In addition, I have personally designed, developed and sourced materials in Asia for:
Complete Line of Cellular Phone Cases (sold over 1 million pcs)
Complete Line of Ipod Cases (sold over 300,000 pcs)
In addition, I have designed and deveoped some consumer industial products:
- Digital Camera Charger (sold over 1 million pcs)
- New Design Car Charger (in development)
- New Ipod portable Speaker ( In development)
- New Bluetooth Designer Earpiece ( In development)
I Have no formal training. Everything that I have learned has been through experience. Over the past 7 years I have gained the ability to direct and personally experience:
Brand management and merchandising
Design and development of textiles
Design softgoods (mainly cases and backpacks)
Strong communication to work with factories in Asia
Travelled all throughout Asia working in factories and visiting textile markets.
Negotiate Price and meet price points
Work with engineers to design industrial products and bring them to market.
SO ! Here’s my question. I’m 29 years old and I’m looking to branch out. I make a good living, but I’m curious to find out what I’m worth and what my next career move should be.
I have a few options.
Launch a Design and Manufacturing company DIRECT from the factory. My strong connections and somewhat family-like bond with many factories has given me the oportunity to start a completely vertical manufacturing company. I can enter into a partnership with some textile, softgoods manufacturers to offer designs that are marketable at import pricing. We all know that retailers are moving toward direct importing. I can offer direct imports and design.
Pursue a new position elsewhere. Being that I have no formal training my hands on experience is what I rely on and how i direct and motivate my employees.
You opinions and experience is greatly appreciated.