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Susan January, Vice President of Product Management, Leanin’ Tree, Inc.

Susan January is the Vice President of Product Management at Leanin’ Tree, Inc., a 67-year old manufacturer of greeting cards and gift products based in Boulder, Colorado.  She directs the company’s long-term product strategy, including product and category planning for more than 6,000 total product skus, allocation and assignment of design and editorial duties, and management of the company’s internal design studio, editorial team, and product management staff.  In addition, she manages more than 700 active licensing partnerships with the company’s external creative resources which include licensing agencies, artists, designers and writers.

Susan has been an active member of the Greeting Card Association’s Executive Committee for more than ten years, and currently serves as the GCA’s Immediate Past President.  She is widely recognized as an industry “insider,” and has spoken on art licensing and the greeting card industry at numerous industry events such as Surtex, The International Licensing Expo, the Greeting Card Association Annual Convention, the CHA Show and various other artist workshops and seminars.  She has been interviewed about the greeting card industry and quoted by The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, NPR and numerous other media outlets and trade publications.

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What we covered in the interview:

  • What her roles and responsibilities are in her current position.
  • Where she gets her artwork for Leanin’ Tree.
  • The “rules” or guidelines when submitting artwork to a manufacturer.
  • How often she wants to see new art.
  • We also discuss whether there are things that you should never do when submitting artwork.
  • We talk about Product Development Schedules and how this impacts when you should submit art.
  • Agent vs. No Agent…
  • The Greeting Card Association and you…
  • …and much, much more!

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