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Hi! My name is Jessica and I work in Sourcing, also known as product development and production. I’m the senior manager for cut and sew knits and knit dressing. In the simplest terms we aide our fabulous design team in developing the fabric and styles at the cost merchants need and then we get the styles to the distribution center to be then shipped to the stores.

A typical day in my work life starts at 8:30 with 100 or so e-mails from our partners in Asia. These e-mail have everything in them from late deliveries, costing callouts, fabric issues, new design inspiration ideas. It’s mine and my team’s job to prioritize what the ‘biggest fire” is and put that out first. We really spend most of the day problem solving issues so the customer gets an Ann Taylor quality product!

Right now my team and I are working in 5 seasons, finishing up getting our Summer collection on a boat, finalizing all the details and costing for Fall, and starting to finalize the line for our  winter and holiday collection. We are also sending our fabric requests and style requests for spring 2012 for initial samples, and just starting to work on summer 2012 concept!. This all takes place before our day ends.

I’m lucky enough to get to travel overseas and work with our partners in Asia. Here you can see me with Shadow our production partner in Hong Kong! They really work hard to help us get a great product in the store. On our trips overseas we often review our samples to make sure they look good (no one wants a baggy purple top w/ orange sequins) or we review costing, go on factory tours and discuss current economic trends. Right now the hot topic is raw material pricing! Cotton demand is up, gas prices are up, and with the natural disasters in Japan, all these trends and issues are huge factors in the global economy.

I find working on a new season to be so exciting. There are so many fabrics to look at and new innovation… anything is possible! I also love working on cost negotiations, and trying to get the best price so we can offer the lowest retail to our customer. It’s the biggest reward for me to see a beautiful style in the store and know I worked really hard to get it there.. and then when it sells out it gets even better! I feel like GO TEAM GO!!!

Every day in our jobs we put the client first from the initial fabric swatch chosen to the last fit and trim confirmation for the styles. We all want to make something we are proud of, and hold true to our great American brand. There is a lot of love in knit tops, and I hope everyone LOVES them. I hope every women feels good in our tops and shares my passion for fashion.

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