Merchandise Product Development Alumna Shannan Maynard Talks About Career, Life, and Love

June 22, 2016

Name: Shannan L. Maynard

FIDM Major: Merchandise Product Development

FIDM Grad Year: 2012

Company: ’47

Title: Headwear Design Coordinator

Tell us a little about yourself: I am a 28 year old fitness enthusiast with an eye for design. I am first born so I am very type A, but am not satisfied until I fulfill my creative desire. I found FIDM after year of being stifled by a dead end retail banking job. At 23 I decided I was going to up and move to LA to attend FIDM and start my career over. Two months later, I was on a plane on the 4th of July to move to a city I knew no one in and had never been to. It was the best decision I ever made. It launched my career in the apparel manufacturing world, and brought me to ’47.

What do you do at ’47? I am currently the headwear design coordinator at ’47. We are a sports lifestyle company based out of Boston. We sell licensed sports hat and apparel for the NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB, US Soccer and many other sports leagues. Fan gear is our bread and butter. As part of the headwear design team, I focus on creating new and innovative designs for every team using new fabrics and logo application processes.

How do you feel FIDM prepared you for what you are doing now? The Merchandise Product Development program at FIDM brings you through the entire development process as it would in the real world. You get to learn every moving part of what it takes to get a product from concept to completion and on the retail floor into a consumer's hands. Every day at work I think through that process while communicating with our China counterparts. Everything I do and every decision I make affects every other part of the company. At FIDM, I was able to develop real problem solving skills as they pertain to the industry in addition to learning the creative process in the apparel industry. I am not privy to any other fashion program, but I am so thankful for how FIDM prepared me for my current job.

How did you decide on your major?
I had battled between Merchandising & Marketing, and Merchandise Product Development. After carefully considering the pros and cons, I decided the Merchandising & Marketing major was too close to my Bachelors Degree in Finance. I also had a strong background in apparel construction and a very artistic eye. The balance of being able to understand construction costs and how that affects the bottom line lead me to choose Merchandise Product Development.

Any advice for current FIDM Students? Take your work seriously & NETWORK NETWORK NETWORK!! This industry can become very small; the more people you know, and the more people you impress, the better off you will be! The work you do while in school is all you have to prove to the first company you walk into that they should hire you! Pull out all the stops—give it everything thing you got! It should be your pride and joy when you walk out of that classroom!

What is your biggest goal right now? Career wise, my biggest goal is to prove myself as a more vital part of the design team where I am at. I am still under a year with the company and I still have so much to learn. There are so many aspects to what I do. I am not only designing a great headwear line daily, but we have to juggle the rules of the licensing world. Every league has different rules and different licenses, it can make the job very challenging. That is probably what I love most about the job (besides my awesome team I get to work with)! It's always challenging me and I'm always learning something new!

But, to be honest, right now my focus is not on my career goals! I'm getting married in two months! Wedding planning is like another full time job ladies (and gentlemen). It will consume your life! I am thrilled and can't wait to be a wife! So even bigger than my career goal is to be the best wife!!!

Anything else you’d like to share? Life is short ya'll. This industry can literally take over your life! At ’47 one of our tag lines when it feels like work is becoming a giant tornado is, "It's just hats guys!" We don't take it too seriously. So, my advice in those tough times is you're just making clothes; don't take it too seriously! You're not solving world hunger, or saving the world from Zika, or fighting for world peace and freedom. Get creative and enjoy the process! Creativity is the best tool for problem solving!

Categories: Alumni News, Merchandise Product Development