Essense of Australia

  • Associate Director of Product Operations

    Job Locations US-KS-Overland Park
  • Overview

    Essense Designs is an international bridal wholesaler with key offices based in Lenexa, Kansas and Perth, Australia. Our growing organization also operates the United Kingdom, Europe, Canada, and New Zealand. We have been a global leader in bridal fashion for over 20 years and our designs are currently sold in over 1,500 stores worldwide. With innovative designs and a strong customer service approach, Essense Designs is a dynamic and rapidly-expanding company that rewards excellence, drive, and collaboration.  


    * This position is located in Lenexa, Kansas and our ideal candidate must be willing to relocate if you reside out of state*

    The Role


    We are currently seeking an experienced and driven Associate Director of Product Operations with a project and process management approach and a keen eye for detail to join our team in Lenexa, Kansas. This is a heavy project and process management role, and while product development understanding is helpful, it is more important that the individual in this position have very strong and detailed project and process management capabilities as a core strength. The successful candidate will lead and manage our U.S. based Garment Technical team and will also collaborate daily with cross-departmental leadership internally, as well as with our offshore factories, international warehouses, and our Australian office to insure all processes are facilitated in an efficient manner and according to agreed timelines. This team supports other functions in the organization as “internal customers” and therefore the individual in this position must have a strong service mentality related to their team’s work.   


    We are a company that believes in finding better ways. We are always working on continuous improvement projects when it comes to our process. Our goal is to be extremely efficient and thorough in our design process. We want someone that is not only always looking for better ways but is also open to new ideas from other team members and outside the company. In this role, we are looking for a strong, collaborative, and detail-oriented person who will thrive in a culture of mutual respect, support, accountability, and passion for the brand and product.


    What We Expect 

    • Effectively hire, develop, and motivate the U.S. Garment Technical team. Provide leadership, support, training and professional development and support a collaborative, energetic, and fun team culture. 
    • Liaise with department managers in the U.S. and AUS offices to create and maintain departmental timelines to facilitate the technical design team’s successful delivery of required outcomes.
    • Facilitate cross departmental training of the Garment Technical Team with the Australian QC/Fabrications Team Processes, ensuring processes are duplicated and effectively rolled out.
    • Track productivity and balance the work load of the team. Negotiate resources and priorities internally within department and externally with other departments to ensure that team works flexibly to adjust to peak season demands.  Communicate deviations from timelines and calendar, facilitate resolutions and resolve issues.
    • Responsible for assigned project leadership, implementation and hind-sighting / post project SWOT analysis.
    • Manage, evaluate and present improvement processes and initiatives covering the all internal department design processes and document new processes as they are developed.
    • Provide management and leadership to the Department’s service responsibilities within the Company’s U.S. Quality Control, Returns, Custom Design, Line Review and Development processes.
    • Continuously evaluate existing processes and proactively address opportunities for improved efficiency and internal customer service.


    What We Are Looking For

    • Minimum 5-7 years of previous experience in an operations related role, preferably a product development environment. Must have a minimum of 3-4 years prior leadership experience, managing teams of multiple associates at varying experience levels, including associates at the supervisor or manager level.
    • Bachelor of Business, Arts, Apparel, Fashion or related degree; equivalent relevant experience may be considered.
    • Strong project and timeline management skills with the ability to influence outcomes working with and through cross-functional and multi-national teams.
    • Proven leadership skills with the ability to quickly assimilate to the team and build rapport to motivate and coach team to drive performance outcomes.
    • High level of emotional intelligence and organizational awareness to allow for effective individual and team leadership as well as collaboration and leverage of expertise across the global company.
    • Impeccable attention to detail.
    • Ability to influence and navigate thru difficult situations with little or no supervision. Highly solution oriented.
    • Ability to interact and coordinate workload, communication and direction to team.
    • Ability to work out of the box, multitask and juggle ad hoc projects and processes for quick accurate turnaround.
    • High level of sophistication and maturity in professional and social settings; ability to represent the Company to vendors, retail business partners, and other outside entities consistent with brand image and standards.
    • Excellent organizational skills with the ability to self-manage working effectively to a deadline.
    • Advanced interpersonal skills (written and verbal) interacting with leadership, and building solid and trusted working relationships horizontally across the organization, both locally and globally.
    • Exceptional communication skills with the ability to convey thoughts very clearly in writing to our offshore factories / vendors as well as colleagues in other countries where email is the primary form of communication.
    • Procedure and process oriented with the ability to clearly document processes for communication and training
    • Must have a strong work ethic, be a team player, and the flexibility to assist with tasks outside of the standard work hours. Will potentially travel to offshore factories 2 times per year, or the equivalent of approximately 2-3 weeks’ travel per calendar year.
    • Technical knowledge of garment construction including knowledge of sewing, pattern making and an ability to do technical flat sketches is preferred but not essential.
    • Technology savvy, quick at picking up new systems, curious about discovering and leveraging new tools to create efficiencies, and strong working knowledge of MS Office programs. Ability to work in Adobe Illustrator an advantage.  

    What We Offer


    We look forward to welcoming the successful candidate to our fast-growing global team! In return for your skills, we offer you the opportunity to join an international industry leader and be part of a creative and collaborative culture that empowers its people, promotes teamwork and embraces sustainability. We recognise and reward excellence, innovation, and loyalty. Our goal is to offer an inspirational and modern workplace that allows for talented individuals to thrive. As such, we provide competitive salaries and a comprehensive benefits package, with significant opportunity for exceptional team members to grow with us as we continue to expand. 


    If you have the skills, spark and drive to help us further our growth, please go to and follow the prompts to submit a cover letter, resume, and online application.  Please note:  We believe cover letters are important to help us understand why you are interested in this position and your unique story and qualifications.  If you really want to work with us, then please take this into consideration when submitting your materials.  



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