Diana Avellan - a Chat with our Dolly Designer Extraordinaire!
Many of those adorable faces you’ve seen on our dolls this year, or snuggly toys your little one just can’t let go of is likely the work of our “Dolly Designer Extraordinaire”, Diana Avellan. She’s an extremely passionate and talented developer and it’s evident in her desk which is covered in sketches, fabric samples and works in progress. But it’s mostly evident in the great products that she’s created for Adora.
Diana is a welcome addition to our diverse Adora team; she moved to the US from Medellin, Colombia in 1998 and speaks English, Spanish and French. She studied at the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, FL, earning her a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Design and later received an MBA in Specialization Marketing from Walden University. Diana joined Adora last year coming from Jakks Pacific where she was a Product Designer for the last 5 years. Diana’s specialty is in “girl” toy products and her creative touch can be seen throughout the 2014 Adora product offering.
Diana loves chocolate, traveling and Flamenco dance!
I got to sit down and have a chat with her over lunch about her work.
Diana, how long have you been working in the Toy Industry and how did you get into it?
I have been in the toy industry for 7 years. I started as a Packaging designer for a small toy company in Florida who was acquired by Jakks Pacific. The company closed their offices in Florida so I was transferred to California to continue my path as a product designer.
What is your favorite aspect of product development?
I love the whole process of bringing my ideas & thoughts into real products for kids to enjoy. From collecting inspiration to conceptualization, to sending direction to our vendors and taking the product all the way to what our customers finally get.
Your 2014 line has a very bright and fun theme to it! What was the inspiration behind it?
I wanted to develop a collection inspired on a Circus theme without making it too literal. I wanted to add fun patterns, colors, and characters that could attract today’s kids as well as parents, grandmas and everyone who would be interested on purchasing that special doll for a very special girl in their lives.
Do you have a particularly favorite doll or toy from this year? (You can be honest, it won’t hurt their feelings!)
I have a lot of favorites! But my top favorites are SnuggleTime™ Dots, SafariTime™ Pals, and Zippy Zebra (20” Toddler)
What are some of the things you consider when developing a new doll or toy line?
How can I make it different from the competition, what’s trendy or will be trendy, how can I make it fun and engaging to children.
What are some things we expect from you in the 2015? The anticipation is already killing us!
Lot’s of fun products will be coming up =) my creative mind has been processing a lot of cute ideas. I’m exploring some new categories to add more play value to our dolls.
Name some of your favorite aspects about working for Adora: (We know the list is long!)
I really enjoy the freedom I have to create and come up with new concepts. The team is small but we are all very passionate about what we do. We are all working toward the same goal so it’s pretty nice to see how we all jump to help each other when ever possible.
Finally, please add anything you want people to know about you or your products:
To me, it’s not my products but our products. The development of each product is a collaboration of ideas from everyone within the team. We all put our best effort to make sure our products are of the best quality and meet our customers’ needs.