20 Jul Meet The Team: Nick (Specialist Product Developer)
MEET THE BM TEAM!
First name: Nicholas… But I will automatically assume I’m in trouble if someone calls me that.
What is your role at BlackMilk? Specialist Product Developer: my speciality is accessories, knitwear and active wear with our offshore manufacturing partners.
How long have you been working at BM? Just over a year.
What does a typical day at work look like for you?
7.00am: Arrive at work 30 minutes early cause I’m a bit of a workaholic. I check my emails for any overnight updates on products I’m currently working on. After emails I plan out my priorities for the day, which could include tech packs, specs, pattern alterations, concepting and researching new ideas, fitting samples, inspiration meetings, team meetings… or just annoying my fellow coworkers (especially Thea……. she knows why *evil laugh*).
8.00am: Team tea time! Every morning the Product Development team will walk down to the kitchen together for a coffee or tea or energy drink (that’s my normal choice).
8.10am: Start a new product tech pack / specification as the Graphics department has finalised the art and sent me a confirmation email. Adobe Illustrator is my best friend for tech packs, and Excel for specs. For a tech pack, I’ll draw up the product and then include all the information needed to have the item produced down to the smallest detail. For a spec we like to have measurements down to the closest millimetre (sorry American customers, us Aussies like the metric system!).
9.00am: Time for a fit session! The PD team will get together with the Creative Director and the designer to show the products that have come in, and assess if any changes need to be made before approving an item to bulk production.
10.30am: Update the Visual Ranger Tracker (where every product is listed out all together so we can see and track the progress, as there is a lot – and I do mean A LOT, I could be working on 30+ products at one time), add comments from the fit session and email the manufacturers with changes and approvals.
11.00am: Continue and finish off the new product that was started in the morning. Email the tech pack, spec and art to the manufacturer for sampling.
12.30pm: LUNCH TIME with some of the funniest and most talented people I have ever met.
1.00pm: Start a new bag concept for an upcoming collection (featuring a much-loved classic BM print ;)).
2.30pm: SAMPLE DELIVERY – which I like to call Christmas time! I will then assess the samples and strike-offs (printed fabric swatches for approval before sample is made) and make sure they are measuring to spec and are correct. Then add them to the fit box for our next fit session.
3.30pm: HOME TIME! Or time to annoy my work wife in the Graphics department (sorry Rach!).
To be completely honest there really is no such thing as a “typical day” at BMHQ, every day is different which is great as we are never bored.
What’s your fave thing about working at BM? Definitely the people that make every day so much fun.
What BlackMilk work achievement are you most proud of? The Poké Ball Belt was my first licensed concept and sold out within hours of going live.
I can’t wait for it to come back in stock so I can get one for myself.
What’s your fave BlackMilk piece? Space Tentacles Backpack! This was my first backpack concept and it sold out within the first few days of going live.
How did you get into product development? My love for fashion has definitely evolved over the years. First I thought I wanted to be a photographer, but it wasn’t until I did a shoot for a startup label that I realised I didn’t want to shoot the products, I wanted to design them.
After that I enrolled in TAFE on the Gold Coast and did my diploma in Applied Fashion Design and Technology. I worked in Sydney for a few years as a designer, then relocated back to the GC, then Covid happened, then a production / cutting role, then Brisbane and BlackMilk. 🥰
How did you start at BlackMilk? I was hired as a Product Developer, but was promoted to Specialist as I was focusing more on accessories and knitwear.
What advice do you have for people trying to get into product development? If you are looking to get into design and development, I would suggest also looking into production roles first. Previously I worked as a production assistant / cutter and the knowledge I picked up in those roles furthered my skills and understanding for my current development position astronomically.
It’s all well and good to be a great designer, but if you don’t know how to make it a reality it’s nothing but a drawing.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Hopefully in the same place just in a senior position, making bags and knits for every license out there that everyone will love.
Describe your style in three words: Basics, black, comfort.
What do you love to do in your spare time?
Living it up at an arcade
Out playing Pokémon Go with my partner and pup
Playing Zelda, Pokémon or Mario Kart on the Switch
Fave food? Sushi…no! Nachos. NO! SUSHI!
Do you have a hidden talent? I’m a claw machine master!
What can’t you live without? My partner Sean! He always knows how to make me laugh just that little bit harder than anyone else can.
What are three items you’d take with you to a deserted island? Sean, my pup Frankie and a volleyball which I will befriend as I slowly slip into madness as there is no technology or internet.
What book should people read? Mmm unsure… but I strongly believe the movies are better than the books. *Waiting for co-worker Bonnie to fight me on that statement*.
EDITOR NOTE: She did and he lost.
What was the last show you binge watched? Currently I’m binging Brooklyn Nine-Nine but will get interrupted by Drag Race, The Simpsons and Family Guy weekly.
What are you listening to at the moment? I love true crime podcasts – fave is My Favorite Murder.
If you could go anywhere on your next holiday, where would you go? JAPAN! Sushi, Pokémon and claw machines!
Just for fun, show us your pets! This is my little monster Frankie aka Frankenstein aka Ratbag. He’s a two-and-a-half-year-old Dashy who has no respect for PERSONAL SPACE, but we love him no less.