Industry Profile: Armada Apparel Designer & Product Art Manager Jackie Myers
23 Aug, 2011
Job Title: Apparel Designer/Product Art Manager
Years on snow: Pretty much my whole life. Skiing first, and then snowboarding since highschool.
Days on snow: 75ish? The number doesn’t really matter because it’s never enough!
Currently Riding: Burton Feelgood 153. Armada TSTw
Currently I am: In the office making prototype revisions… or rather avoiding proto revisions by doing this interview first.
Shay: Tell us a little bit about yourself
Jackie: I was born and raised in Mammoth, went to college at Colorado state, and started working for Armada in 2007. Mammoth was the best place to grow up, my sister and I were always outside, always exploring. I’m obsessed with snowboarding, and addicted to cereal, and can’t wait to live somewhere where I can have a big dog.
Shay: How has snowboarding changed your life?
Jackie: Snowboarding has really shaped my whole life. It has brought me all my best friends, and brought me a lot of new friends too. It influenced me to move to Colorado for college, and inspired me to be an outerwear designer. It continues to be my biggest inspiration.
Shay: How did you get your start in the industry, who or what opened up more opportunities for you?
Jackie: I really focused on technical apparel design when I was studying in school, and created a line of snowboard apparel for my Capstone collection. School was an important step for me, and then I really got my start at Volcom. I worked with the Snow design team there, and really learned a lot. I was exposed to all the stages of design and development, and i really began to understand more about the production process. Through one of the designers there I was Introduced to Hans Smith, the president of Armada, and long story short, came to work for Armada.
Shay: How has your previous education or work experience helped you in your current job?
Jackie: My education has really been invaluable. I got my degrees in Apparel Design and Production, and Art (graphic design concentration). I definitely don’t believe that school is the right route for everyone, but I feel like I was able to advance in my responsibilities pretty quickly because I already knew a lot coming into my job.
Shay: Tell us about your role at Armada and a description of the work you do?
Jackie: Armada is a small, but fast growing company so I have two roles as the apparel designer and product art manager, and I work on both the softgoods and hardgoods lines. The apparel process includes design sketches, tech packs, color stories, prints, fabric development, fit specs, trim development, packaging, prototype revisions… and my favorite part, product testing! Its a pretty long process with a lot of moving parts, but i love seeing the final product out on the hill! I am involved with the graphics process for the hardgoods line. We build both the topsheet and base graphics, build the factory tech packs, and go through a process of revisions. I create some of the graphics, and we also collaborate with artists to design some of them. I generate most of my art by hand first, and then take it to the computer.
Shay: What’s an average day like at work for you?
Jackie: I can’t really say there is an average day, my tasks are always different depending on what stage of the design cycle I’m in. The one thing that is consistent is that I seem to be here pretty late every night… there is a lot of work to do.
Shay: What are some memorable experiences from working in the industry?
– My first paycheck once I got a job, I only had fifty bucks left to my name before that check!
– Armada’s first outerwear Line!
-Late night charges up to Mammoth every weekend… always worth the haul. I start to feel really stale if I don’t get up to the mountains.
-HELI BOARDING!!! I got to go this year for the first time, and it was the best 2 days of my life… still can’t believe that happened.
-The old Armada office… I liked to say that I had a skylight because the ceiling above my desk was falling down, mousetraps would fall out of the ceiling too. One of the dogs came charging in and took out the Art Director’s desk, the whole thing collapsed on him.
Shay: What do you think are the biggest challenges that the snowboard industry faces and what changes would you like to see for the future?
Jackie: I think one of the major challenges for the area of Industry I work in will be production. The international climate in terms of labor, materials, currency, and capacity is rapidly changing and it has really made production and pricing a huge challenge. I’ve always admired companies that manage production in their backyard or USA made. I think it would be awesome to see more of that happen in the future. One of the changes I see happening in the snow industry now is less of the “snowboarding vs. skiing” battle. That mindset seems so old to me, so I’m stoked to see mixed crews riding and hiking together. I think that skiing and snowboarding are each helping the other to progress.
Shay: Education vs Experience…which do you think is more important?
Jackie: I think being dedicated and passionate about what you do is the most important thing, regardless of if you get your foot in the door through education or experience. Both routes can get you where you want to be if you work hard, and never stop learning.
Shay: What advice would you give to people wanting to work in the industry?
Jackie: Be willing to work for free at first…internships. Know what your talents are, and contact people or companies in the industry who you could help and who you would want to learn from. If you are dedicated and work hard you may become indispensable and fall into a job, and if not, you will have some experience and networking to help you take the next step.
Be passionate, have a voice, be nice to people, take risks, and never stop riding!
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