is this footwear job worth it?

i live in NH and a very small footwear design consulting company just outside of boston has basically offered me a job. There’s only 3 other designers there and they only want 4 in total (not including the owner who is also a designer). The pay is going to be around 30k yearly, but with no insurance or health care. They have no website but the work they put out is average. I’m fresh out of college and this firms main purpose is to act as a jumpstart program for footwear designers to get that “1-3 years experience preffered” that most job opening come with. Anyone think it’s worth moving and doing this for at least a year? thoughts in general about entry level footwear designing? is there much room for creativity at this level? i’m not even sure I want to do footwear design…


hmmm… no benis @ all? Sounds a little shady. From the description I might infer that they churn through younf designers ever 1-3 years since they don’t give them any beni’s and probablly small raises if any.

I’m noot sure how it is in otheer companies, but I think for the most part, even as an entry level footwear designer, you’l have your own projects.

Footwear is a fast industry, lots of your work will go to market and quickly, and for the most part fun and rewarding. It is also highly competitive and full of people who LOVE shoes.

yeah, it’s very fast pace, but the 2 main designers are very young and don’t even really like footwear. they put NO research into the shoe design, they even admitted it, they just draw well, so the shoe drawings come out clean and look decent, but there’s no engineering behind it.

appreciate the input very much…keep it coming please.


Yes and No.
If you were really deadset on a position in footwear and had no experience, this might be a place to go as a last resort after failing to get your foot in the door elsewhere. However, I don’t think you should EVER take a job without insurance benefits.
My advice: if you are interested in footwear, shop your resume around and try to get an interview at every brand you can physically and financially show up to. After that, try the private label, importers, and discount companies. If you still have no luck, get a job with benefits at a non-footwear design company and try your luck freelancing in footwear on your own time.
Even though this consulting company may be small, they are taking advantage of you and your situation.
If you really want some valuable experience to help you get a good job in footwear, learn Chinese.

any experience is good experience…i’d take it if you have no other offers especially because you might even realize whether you actually like working in the footwear industry even though working with people that are not interested in shoes will probably put you off shoes too!

i don’t think people should work in the footwear industry if they have no passion what so ever for shoes.

How much do you like footwear design?

The pay is phenomenal but the burn rate is pretty steep. Do you want to be designing footwear in five years? This is a tight market and tight industry to get into, once your in your in, but few companies really hire entry level with no experience.

If the experience is worth it, I say do it. You are essentialy getting paid to build a portfolio. There are a few places like that that offer experience for entry level designers into footwear. I got my start at one doing freelance while I was still in school and it became a full time job once I graduated and I was hired on into one of the top four companies eight months after graduation and almost 18 after I started there.

But 30k is peanuts for living in Boston. Its a college town and “slumming” it there for a year or two could be worth twice what you’ll gain in experience.

Where in NH do you live and where is this consultancy in Boston? the North line commuter train has a stop in NH that goes to North Station under the Fleet center and connects with the T. you may not need to move,…

c’mon zach, just take it and see for yourself. any experience is good at this point.

I am pretty positive i know the place you are describing. From having friends work there and just hearing from others who know of the place, the work load is big with quick turn arounds. Pay is low, but Experience doesnt hurt. Also with a small group, you may have the oportunity to learn a real lot, in a short amount of time.
I would have to say your rolling the dice not getting insurance. I am a few years out of school, think (or thought) nothing could hurt me, then i got injured playing a sport and i need surgury. Without insurance I would be out thousands and thousands of dollars. just something to think about. They do offer insurance through the state if you would want it. i have no idea on costs of that though. If not, make sure you floss everyday, then when you go to the dentist in 3 years, they wont be in shock about what they might find.

i worked there when i was starting out in footwear in the mid 90-s. I had 2 years experience in toys but none in footwear and they did hire me and i learned a bit, though 1of the 2 guys is a total ahole, they watch your hours like a hawk, you’ll work on shitty brands for 3rd world countries, maybe a bit for NB cuz the 2 of them worked there 25 years ago and you’ll have just enough experience in a year to go jr designer at one of the manufacturers. Do you have a car? its not that far from NH. I had a shitty apt in malden for $600 mo and drove there,maybe 25mins eachway. when i was there they didnt even have computers! good luck!

Are you talking about Advanced Design Concepts, in Reading?

man i know who they are. ADC. ed and zee. i worked for them as well when i was young for a whole year doing sketch work and renderings. they pay by the hour and you had to do your own taxes and pay for your own health care. yea no research and most of the time they just design on almost like napkin sketch form and tell the designers to polish it up. but i did learn from the other designers how to draw will in shoes and some detail aspect. they had me doing marker rendering like 10 per hour…
anyway i picked up how to do the basics there but overall it was ok but i dont really like how they treated people there.

as i remenber they had tons of porn mags in there which was cool for young guys working there…dont know if they clean that up. i remenber my first day there someone put miss october under my light table…HAHHA.

hey dave clark if you are back there at adc again gave a post , me and john was woundering where you are.

damn i miss the good pasta place down the street from there…hope it is still there.