Maxine's Work Biography
I grew up in England, India and Lebanon (my father flew for the Airlines). I met my husband (orig. from NJ) in Beirut and we moved to the US. I have lived and worked in Dallas, San Francisco, Seattle and Miami. With a passion for travel, my wanderlust has taken me to all corners of the Globe to exotic destinations such as Nepal, India, China, Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, Kenya, Turkey, all of Europe and most islands in the Caribbean. My hobbies are hiking in the mountains & canyons, scuba diving and playing tennis. I have a wonderful 15 year old daughter Meg who also loves to travel and has a passion for exotic cuisine. My siblings are spread out in Australia, Dubai and California.
I was a Senior Buyer in Ready-to-Wear for a department store chain in Dallas and later became a Senior Handbag Buyer for Nordstrom in San Francisco where I had the honor of coordinating new store opening buys.
I was then promoted to Private Label Coordinator for all Accessories at Nordstrom Corporate in Seattle - I directed over 40 buyers and traveled throughout Europe and the Far East overseeing International buys for the company as well as developing new product in Belts, Handbags, Small Leathers, Cold Weather and Silk Scarves. I conducted company wide product meetings for sales people with a belief that strong product knowledge would increase enthusiasm and sales!
Opened new category growth exceeding $4 million in first year through knowledge & execution of handbag design & private label development for two key department store chains.
Grew Walmart belt real estate by 30% by honing in on junior trends for their Unbranded lifestyle
Expanded wallet categories by introducing innovative items & trend right designs resulting in 22% sales growth.
Created & introduced extensive collections of innovative tech accessories at inception of tech era and successfully captured Target stores
Achieved highest gross margin in company as Handbag Buyer for Nordstrom for 3 years in a row.
Was instrumental in setting up a leather handbag factory and tannery from ground up in Bolivia.
For 13 years, I was President / Designer of a Leather Handbags / Wallet company (JP Ourse & Cie.) out of Miami & New York. I traveled extensively through South America purchasing leather and was instrumental in setting up a production facility in Bolivia. I designed product, ran a sales force and marketed product via E-Commerce, advertising and catalogs. The company enjoyed growth &amp; success with innovative product featured in Oprah; In Style; and was televised on QVC. My designs were carried in both Department and Specialty stores nationwide as well as Japan. A large segment of business was done in Mail Order (Levenger, National Geographic, Solutions, Sony, TravelSmith Outfitters, QVC, etc.).
When the company was sold, I moved back to Dallas and designed ladies Small Leather Goods for Tandy Brands Accessories finding new avenues in business with man made materials and tech products. I learned to master multiple graphic programs to complement my drawing skills and always brought innovation to the product. I was promoted to Director of Design and as a creative thinker, had a strong instinct for emerging trends and new sales opportunities.
In the last three years, as VP of Merchandising & Design, I oversaw 6 Designers and 2 Graphic Artists at Dezine News for ladies and men's fashion belts, handbags & small accessories. We marketed & designed private label accessories to Walmart, Banana Republic, Dillard's, Bon Ton, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Kohl's, Loft and more...