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#founderfridays - A day in the life of the CPO

Posted on April 21 2017

Hey everyone, Laura here, CPO and Co-Founder. I get asked all the time what the “P” in the title CPO stands for. Procurement? Purchase? Party?

In fact, it’s Product. The P stands for Product.

I have the awesome responsibility of making sure the bra that you put on every morning has been designed and manufactured to perfection. So what does that entail on a daily basis? Anything and everything.

As a company, we work through our product strategy and development cycles. Its then up to me and my team to make sure those action items get executed according to our plan.

I start every morning with a trip to our local coffee shop and get a large cup of whatever the dark roast is, our baristas know my order by heart. One cup of coffee down, I start responding to questions from our overseas vendors. We’re working with teams out of Southern China and Hong Kong, which means there’s a 12-hour time difference. I try to address these early in the morning our time so that there’s a chance they’ll be answered if our colleagues are staying up late!

Sometimes these conversations are as simple as a quick check in to make sure our upcoming visit to the factory is scheduled.

Other times our conversations are very technical and visual aids are needed to convey information. These take the form of tech packs, marked up photos, or samples that we send back and forth. Tech packs are an industry standard document that addresses the style and construction techniques of the product. They’re also used to document materials and basic dimensions for the garment. Here’s a sample of one initial tech pack page for the Suzanne style.

Communications completed, I use my afternoons to work on product sampling. Depending on where we are in our development cycle, this can either take the form of critiquing factory-made samples or in-house prototypes to improve fit and function, or the creation of entirely new prototypes! With our first collection out on the market and selling fabulously, I’ve been working on making the product even better with new styles and fits. Here’s a snippet of my pattern making process:

I love to disappear into my sewing cave and start the creative process! Once we have a prototype that’s close to completion, we start the fitting process. We have a few fit models, but we also test with other women from the Pittsburgh area. Fitting notes compiled, we start refining until we’re happy with the product.

Of course those are the highlights of my days. Being part of a smaller team means that we all wear a lot of hats. This can mean everything from answering the phone to following up with social media influencers about bra fit. With the work day coming to a close, I’ll head home to answer a few emails while enjoying the view from my balcony. This only happens in the spring and summer though, my balcony is no place to be outside during the Pittsburgh winter. In this modern age, we’re all connected to technology 24/7. I have all my communication methods loaded on my phone - email, skype, whatsapp. Just like our colleagues overseas, I also get late night messages! Funny how days become cyclic: there’s never a dull moment at Trusst!

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