Suzie Q, our fresh-faced beauty of a brand, is nearing launch. If you have haven’t been introduced, see “Nice to Meet You, Daddy-O.” -Suzie Q.
So who’s the brains behind her retro aesthetics and modern innovation? That would be Jenn, Queen of the Tri-dimension (everyone at Fox Run Brands has a title based on a blend of personal and profession identities–hers pulls from being a one-woman-show and spending much of her time 3D modelling).
Jenn Tuetken is the Senior Industrial Designer behind Fox Run Brands’ newest family member, Suzie Q. She grew up on a cattle farm in Iowa, and graduated from Arizona State University with a B.S. in Industrial Design (business minor). Soon after graduating she jumped into the San Diego tech industry working on cellphone design. Eventually she moved east for a design firm in Princeton, New Jersey. There she honed her product design skills, and accomplished a personal goal–competing in a Triathlon.
A few years in, Fox Run Brands CEO Sean Leonard (see It All Started 40 Years Ago) reached out to her with a proposition.
“He wanted to bring product design in-house,” she says.
For a while she split her time between the design firm in New York and the new Fox Run Brands office in Philadelphia. “I was a one-woman-show,” she says.
Every aspect of Suzie Q was designed and developed by a Fox Run Brands employee–a first for the company.
Heading the brand’s design, she learned all the little nuances that go into the manufacturing process. Something they don’t teach you in school. She visited China (we have a headquarters in Shanghai, as well as Toronto, Canada and Pennsylvania, USA) which taught her even more about the problems that arise in manufacturing and working internationally. Upon her return she was rearing to go and teamed up with our Senior Graphic Designer, Bridget (more on her to come).
“Working with Bridget was great, and so much fun! Branding strategy was something new for me and it was really interesting to learn how a brand is, well, branded. From the logo, to the color scheme, to voice and feel. Bridget helped make my brain-child become the retro, independent woman she is today.”
One thing that helped the design process, according to Jenn, was 3D printing. Cool-factor aside, 3D printing was (and still is) particularly helpful to the design team due to it’s ability to create prototypes. In the past, a design team would have to hire an engineer to make sure the product was perfect in every specification before being sent to the manufacturer. Having the ability to 3D print prototypes on the spot allows the team to save money, time, and stress. They can design, print, evaluate, tweak, and repeat at a fraction of the cost and time–science for the win!
So what does the Queen of the Tri-dimension enjoy most about working at Fox Run Brands?
“There’s a lot of creative freedom. There’s also lot of trust and responsibility given to the design team, which is a great motivator. You not only feel the weight of expectations, but you feel that you’re making a direct impact as well. We’re not just cogs in a corporate machine, and we have constant contact to the president of the company. It feels more like a start-up in many ways, which is nice.
“We also have direct access to the sales and retail teams. Their instant feedback is super helpful, especially since we all wear many hats here. Actually that’s another thing I enjoy–the diversity of tasks and fast paced environment. I’m always challenged!”
I can vouch for her claims of creative freedom. Our Philadelphia office is certainly special, and we’re all excited for the adventures to come. If you’re someone interested in becoming an industrial designer, Jenn offers this advice:
- Be open and ready for a fast paced and evolving field.
- Enjoy CAD. I like to think of it as a video game.
- Learn to strategically implement your design skills. Time is valuable.
- Network. Take risks. You never know if there’s an opportunity around the corner.
- See the world. Have fun.