The work of the Product Development Team is demanding and requires constant innovation and lots of creativity. We design not only Coastal branded products, but custom designs for our key customers. It's the incredibly talented folks like Abbee Harrison, one of the Product Managers here at Coastal Pet, who make it possible. We sat down with Abbee and asked her to tell us more about her pattern design process.
Tell us about yourself.
I have been at Coastal for 9 years in May. I started in Manufacturing then I was a Line-leader for 3 years. Then I was in Customer service for 2 years and have been in PD for 3. Before Coastal I was a professional Face painter and worked with my Families business of building greenhouses and selling flowers.
What inspires you, and why?
I am inspired by fashion and trends. I think fashion is a great way to express yourself and show off your individuality. I always love trying to guess what the next big thing is and love to see it when I am right!
Tell us about your creative process. What steps do you take when you’re working through a project?
When we work on projects for one of our customers I try to find out what the customer is looking for or I go and research what they currently have. Then I balance that with I know works for other customers or what I believe is going to be a up and coming trend. After I have a direction I usually make multiple options for the customer to pick from. When I create patterns and collars for Coastal I really look to up and coming trends or what our portfolio might be missing.
On average, how many patterns you have created in all your time in Coastal Pet?
I think its around 2,500. It is hard to tell since I am always making more!
On Average, how many patterns do you design in a year?
At least 1000. Again it is hard to tell. For every 5 patterns I design only 1 might move forward.
What are the best-selling patterns? Most requested themes?
Right now are high contrast florals (flower patterns that have a darker background and bright flowers) are incredibly popular. The most requested theme changes all the time but I do get requests for food patterns a lot!
What has been your favorite pattern, and why?
My favorites are unicorns, rainbows and dinosaurs, just because I personally love those things!
What has been your most challenging project?
Actually I think that the patterns I do for Coastal (versus a customer) can be the most challenging. We don’t always know what we want. The possibilities are endless.
Tell us about a brand/person/company that you admire and how it influences your work?
I personally like brands that have a lot of fun patterns and unique designs, but I always try and make things that will appeal to the desired demographic. I like funky whimsical designs but a lot of traditional or simplistic patterns do really well.
What is your favorite thing about working at Coastal Pet?
I really enjoy working with our team, but my favorite thing is seeing dogs wearing patterns I drew or seeing my designs out in the world! There was one on Saturday Night Live! a few weeks ago.