A PIECE OF JESSICA'S STORY
Meet Jessica Owen Stephens, from Cincinnati, Ohio. She's a design director for LPK and loves print and pattern design. We hope this story inspires you to discover your creative side!
WHAT ARE YOU UP TO RIGHT NOW?
Right now I am a full-time Design Director on the Print & Pattern team at LPK in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Print & Pattern team at LPK is a relatively new competency where we take a fashion approach to designing everyday goods. This allows us to create desire and resonate with our consumers in a new and exciting way.
SO, YOU ARE A DESIGN DIRECTOR AT LPK, WHAT IS THAT LIKE?
Being a Design Director at LPK is about balance, creative confidence, vision, hard work and fun. As a Design Director I am in charge of leading a team of brilliant creatives to meet a project objective. I am charge of creating the vision with our trends partners, providing inspiration and making sure the work meets the client objectives. My day to day is ever-changing and involves internal kick-offs and reviews with client meetings.
WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT WORKING FOR LPK IN SUCH A CREATIVE ENVIRONMENT?
The people. Coming to work every day and being surrounded by brilliant thinkers and talented designers pushes me to be the best version of myself, every day. This collaborative culture feeds the work and desire to deliver extraordinary thinking and creative.
HAVE YOU ALWAYS BEEN A CREATIVE PERSON? WAS THERE A MOMENT YOU KNEW THAT YOU WANTED TO GO INTO THE CREATIVE INDUSTRY?
Growing up I didn’t know I was a “creative.” I had trouble in school and understanding what I wanted to be when I grow up. I went to UC on a whim to study fashion design and fell in love with being a designer. My internships led me to LPK where I was able to apply a Fashion Design process and thinking to work that wasn’t just clothes. Elaborate on this “fashion design process” and how you are able to apply it to packaging not just clothes.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR JOURNEY/CAREER PATH THAT HAS BROUGHT YOU TO WHERE YOU ARE TODAY?
The University of Cincinnati co-op program gave me 6 different internships in the fashion and branding industries. I worked at companies like Old Navy, Gymboree and LPK. I spent my last two internships at LPK and fell in love with branding and applying my fashion background to a new output. I have been at LPK for seven years and have been apart of our Trends and Print & Pattern teams.
HOW DO YOU EXPRESS YOUR CREATIVITY OUTSIDE OF YOUR JOB AND WORK?
This is something I will always be striving to do. I find it hard to be creative outside of work due to timing and finding balance. It is my goal this year to create work outside of my career and put it into the universe. I am interested in doing my own surface design and applying that to an array of soft goods.
ASIDE FROM BEING CREATIVE, WHAT OTHER TRAITS DO YOU USE TO DESCRIBE YOURSELF?
Along with the creative trait I think I embody the ambitious, driven and leader traits. Ambitious because I have high standards for myself and have my eyes set on the future. This future vision helps guide and inspire me to be the best version of myself. Driven goes hand-in-hand with ambitious. The goals and standards I set for myself drive me to be a better creative and person. Lastly, leader is something my current roles offers me the privilege of doing and a trait I will continue to grow indefinitely.
WHAT DOES THE TERM "BEING CREATIVE" MEAN TO YOU?
Being creative can be a multitude of things… it can be thinking, designing, making art (with a multitude of mediums), solutions, etc.. Being a creative is an approach to a particular problem. I also believe that everyone is creative.
WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS, HOPES & DREAMS? WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN THE FUTURE?
To be a Creative Director and eventually have my own brand. I always have had the dream to work for myself. The brand I would love to create and build would evolve around my passion for pattern design and empower women in some sort of way.
WHAT IS THE MOST VALUABLE PIECE OF ADVICE YOU COULD GIVE TO ANOTHER YOUNG WOMAN ABOUT WORKING IN THE CREATIVE INDUSTRY AND EXPRESSING THEIR CREATIVITY TO THE WORLD?
Work hard and trust your gut. I am a true believer that hard work pays off. I also believe that trusting yourself, your intuitions is one of your greatest strengths!
Check out more Jessica below!
Contact Info: Jessica.Owen.Stephens@lpk.com