Reflects on 20 years in her role at Roman, Inc.
When Marjorie Reed began working at Roman, Inc. 20 years ago, she had a job title most people would love – Director of Christmas … how cool is that!
Today, Reed is Senior Director of Development and Licensing at Roman, a leading producer and exclusive distributor of more than 8,000 gifts and decorative accessories.
Among the largest privately owned and operated firms in the industry, Roman offers a vast array of Christmas decorations and a wide range of inspirational, special occasion, and year-round giftware.
Reed is responsible for overseeing the company’s Christmas brands, as well as its light and Fontanini brands. Under Christmas, along with Roman’s established brands of amusements and glitterdomes etc, the company also has the Ford License, Peanuts, Rudolph, Elf on the Shelf and artist brands i.e. Charming Tails by Dean Griff etc.
Reed began her career in visual merchandising for a large retail department store, eventually being promoted to regional director for the company. She was working for one of Roman’s competitors in product development with this opportunity presented itself.
She relishes the daily challenge of keeping Roman’s products at the front of innovation.
“I’ve never been bored or unchallenged,” she said. “Our team is small, but very creative and efficient.
“We are continually watching trends, competitors and our product sales to help guide us in development,” Reed added. “Christmas concepts start 13 months out (prior to launch) spreading out the development cycle into 3 waves. We introduce over 1000 new products every year which keeps the line fresh and current. Taking the product from concept to final prototype includes packaging and pricing. We not only set the direction for products, but work closely with Showroom and Promotional Support Departments (catalog).”
Reed said she finds creativity all around. “There is never a shortage of new ideas. The motivation is the challenge of how to alter the ideas to fit in to the Roman universe.”
The second half of 2017 holds great promise at Roman, she said, in terms of product introductions. “Since my team is strictly Christmas, we only have one introduction a year, however, Giftware brand, and Alexa Angels, our jewelry line, will have fabulous new introductions for the summer shows.”