Meet Collin Murray: Our product design intern for the summer. You may see him in our shop or at events. We are excited to bring a new element to our team and give him some experience in the design world.
Tell us a little about yourself.
Hi I'm Collin, I just finished my Junior year in product design at College for Creative Studies. Although, this was actually my first year living in Detroit. Originally I'm from Mequon, Wisconsin, just outside of Milwaukee, but the past two years I have been living in Chicago as I attended Columbia College Chicago, also for product design. The transition from Chicago to Detroit has been interesting, but the city is growing on me and I'm really enjoying the new school. I'm excited to find out what it has in store for me!
What made you interested in product design?
I've always been into art, ever since I was a little kid, so as I grew up and started to think about what I wanted to do for a career I thought that graphic design would be the perfect way to blend art with a reliable career and income to support myself. As I worked my way through high school though, I started to take more and more sculptural classes like ceramics and fine metals and realized that I preferred thinking more three-dimentionally about the form of an object rather than just the graphics. From here I did some more research and discovered the field of product design. Considering that pretty much every single thing we interact with on a daily basis had to at one point be designed by someone, I figured job security would probably be pretty good. Not to mention, the thought of designing and creating a product that shapes the way people live their lives was fascinating to me.
What brought you to Douglas & Co?
Living in Detroit for the summer, I wanted to fully immerse myself to a company that was true to its "made in Detroit" roots, and I think Douglas & Co is just that! Also, as I've discovered my style throughout school I've realized more and more that I enjoy the fashion and soft goods side of the product design field and really wanted to work with a business that specializes in that field in order to get hands-on experience with soft goods and leather goods in particular.
What do you plan on doing after college?
I'm still trying to figure out what I plan to do after college, it feels like there's a million directions I could go, but I think at the top of the list would be to work for a big company like Nike or Adidas as a footwear designer, I really really like shoes! Eventually though, I would love to start my own successful business centered around my designs; that would be the dream.
What are some things you look forward to while working at Douglas & Co?
There's a lot that I'm looking forward to while working at Douglas & Co, I think primarily though, I'm excited to learn the hands-on craftsmanship side of leather working. I think this would be a unique talent that can help differentiate myself from my other classmates. I'm also looking forward to seeing how the business operates and interacts within the community of Detroit, there's a lot to be learned and absorbed that will no doubt help me throughout life.
How do you think working at Douglas & Co will benefit you in the future?
I touched on it a bit above, but I think by learning how to work with leather, pattern making, cutting, sewing, etc. I will have a skillset of unique talents that I can bring with me to wherever I go next in life. In an era where a lot of young designers are focused primarily on the sketching and the purely aesthetics model making side of things rather than actually creating functional goods, I think these talents will be invaluable. In addition, seeing and experiencing the organization and operations of a small local business first hand will give me insights into owning a business that are hard to get without being a part of a company like this, experiences that will help me greatly if and when I decide to start a business of my own in the future. Often, I think a lot of the valuable experience gained from a position like this is not always apparent at the start though, but rather, they presents themselves later in life when you can look back and relate to what you've gained.