CAREERS: Moosejaw Brand Manager/Private Label Product Developer

Read this job posting, whether you are looking for a job or not, it captures the irreverence and humor that is the regional outdoor retailer, Moosejaw. This is the first time I have ever seen a job posting that clearly captures the brand.

About the Job
Moosejaw is the most fun outdoor retailer ever.  We sell the finest gear and outerwear through our seven retail shops in Michigan and Illinois, our mail order catalog and  At Moosejaw our goal is to make shopping as much fun as climbing in the Himalayas. Not that climbing in the freezing cold weather is fun but you know what we mean.

We’re seeking a Moosejaw Brand Manager/Private Label Product Developer to develop, manage and execute private label product merchandise, as well as execute Moosejaw’s merchandising vision of both the online and brick-and-mortar businesses.  You probably got the whole private label development thingie from the job title.  A little repetition goes a long way.  Or so I’m told.

This management position requires vision and leadership in order to contribute to company sales growth and profit objectives through the ability to conceive and cultivate a strategy for the development of unique product styles, from concept through final prototype approval.  Product categories include, but not limited to men’s and women’s apparel, men’s and women’s outerwear, select hardlines and gear, as well as seasonal product.

Travel is required to Moosejaw and competitor shops, industry shows and vendor line showings, as well as overseas.  This position is based out of our headquarters in Madison Heights, Michigan.  I threw these two sentences together because I didn’t think they were each deserving of their own paragraph.  That’s all.

Responsibilities Include:

  • Developing new product concepts and designs to meet the needs of each company’s target customer.
  • Initiating the design process by providing trend, color, fabric, art and merchandising direction to the buying team, as well as presenting to senior management for support and approval before rolling out.
  • Executing product development activities from conceptual stage through samples to completion of product prototype; supporting to include packaging and other incidental related work requirements. Developing private label product development calendar.
  • Working with buyers and factories to produce samples from design concepts to final production-ready execution.
  • Developing new products by analyzing proposed product development programs and establishing time schedules with buyers and manufacturers, as well as coordinating the creative development of the product.
  • Continually accessing market competition by comparing the company’s product to the competitor’s product, ultimately formalizing analysis and review with specific recommendations. This includes trend shopping and traveling domestically to shop the competition.
  • Attending key trade shows involving product development opportunities to understand and create products that satisfy customer needs.
  • Achieving a specific and defined level of IMU versus plan, sales dollars and gross margin dollars versus plan, as well as penetration of proprietary product versus plan.
  • Traveling overseas for sourcing purposes with the merchants and sourcing leadership.
  • Speaking in a Swedish accent whenever possible. Eating Swedish Fish as it relates to the accent thing.​  Paying homage to Swedish meatballs. Or regular meatballs. And Ikea.

Things we’d like you to bring to the table:

  • Bachelor’s degree in purchasing, merchandising, retailing or a related field is required
  • 3 – 5 years of progressive work experience in a product development role and/​or some combination of work experience as an assistant buyer/​buyer in a retail environment is required
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Excel and an analytical mindset. I suppose that sentence could’ve benefited from some additional words, like have or exhibit. P.S. quotation marks are for ninnies.
  • Supes strong written and verbal communication skills. We like to communicate in a friendly and effective manner here. So it helps to have some friendliness. And also a pocket full of rainbows.
  • It’s cool to be highly organized and detail oriented. Like really, really cool.
  • Must be extremely self-motivated, take initiative and drive results. Must be able to multi-task and work in a fast-paced, multiple-priority environment.

Things we’ll bring to the table:

  • Work environment includes good music, jeans and hoodies, my dog, and stuff like that. Coworkers are smart and fun. At least I am.
  • Most coworkers will laugh at your jokes. Even if they’re just being polite.
  • You’ll never sit in a cubicle. Unless you build one around yourself.
  • Amazing discounts on outdoor apparel, gear and Moosejaw products.
  • A menagerie of funness. Funness includes poker and badminton tournaments, marshmallow eating contests, karaoke, water balloon tosses and the like. I totally know that funness isn’t a word, so don’t worry.
  • Great 401(k) and benefits package. Slightly boring so I saved this one for last.

How to Apply:
Email your resume and salary requirement to Please use job code MBM in the subject line of your email so we know what you’re applying for.  MBM is for sure MGM’s creepy uncle.  Or borderline cool cousin.  Totally borderline.

Previous articleTarget Goes Playful With Circo
Next articleCAREERS: Manager, Associate Private Brand – Giant Eagle
Christopher Durham
Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.