Sirpa Cowell

92 Pinewood Avenue |  Bethlehem, NH 03574 |  USA | +1 603 991 2478 | contact  sirpa


Accomplished, highly creative senior level Design Professional with a BA degree in fashion design and 20 years of experience in a wide range of product design and development in Europe, Asia and the USA. Expert in capturing the essence and potential of a brand, and in providing direction for improvement. Outstanding record of analyzing costs, competition, business results and prospective product opportunities. Proven ability to research, recognize, and accurately forecast and present fashion and consumer trends and use the knowledge to drive sales. A strong and inspiring leader, team builder and mentor. Implements creative and innovative product design solutions. Skilled in all steps of building new products, from trends to strategy and from initial concept to the finished products with great marketplace performance. Possesses in-­‐depth knowledge of manufacturing capabilities, worldwide sourcing and working internationally with studios and offshore factories. Outstanding technical knowledge in all areas of textiles and surfaces. Proficient in Photoshop and Illustrator on both Mac and PC as well as several CAD programs. Extensive experience creating print and pattern artwork by hand and with CAD. High taste level and a great color sense. Seasoned and efficient traveler to trade shows, vendors and for art buying in Europe, USA and Asia.


Sirpa Cowell Design /NH                                                                                                                  1/2011 to present
Creative Director
Providing design services and consultation in:

  • creative strategy
  • brand building
  • art direction
  • trend & color analysis
  • concept development
  • textile design
  • surface design
  • product design
  • product development

Summer Infant /RI                                                                                                                              10/2009 to 6/2011
Vice President of Fashion and Soft Goods

  • Responsible for Trend, Color, Surface Design and Soft Goods
  • Provide brand direction and creative concepts, building and presenting trends and new product concepts
  • Instrumental in opening up new business opportunities and penetrating highly competitive categories (Car seat and stroller launch end 2010)
  • Built a strong internal design team from 0 personnel to 6 in 6 months, as well as acquiring outside design resources. Finding the right talent to meet the needs of a demanding environment experiencing extremely fast growth
  • Created the Fashion department processes and the Design calendar
  • Built and operated all design related budgets • Led Far East sourcing efforts in soft goods
  • Provide expertise in product manufacturing and sampling

IKEA/Sweden                                                                                                                            12/2008 to 10/2009
Freelance design consultant
Commissioned to create a large Children’s textile collection: Vitaminer

Garnet Hill/NH (catalog for high end bedding and apparel)                                                    10/2006 to 12/2008
Director of Design – Home Division

  • Set the overall direction for the home product line, including kid’s home and defined seasonal trends, creating theme, mood and color board presentations
  • Successfully led the design of the 250-­‐300 new items for the year creating several best sellers
  • Analyzed market needs, product performance and history, and strategized the improvement of the existing items (building the core items to carry through the tough economy)
  • Created the lifestyle brand book, providing a comprehensive vision of the style and direction of the GH brand to guide the Home department
  • Worked closely with the vendors to build the best products within the cost requirements. Supervised the sample approval process
  • Built a professional design team by defining the design process and timelines, choosing the right trend services and implementing Pointcarre CAD system
  • Built successful designer relationships and negotiated good prices • Improved the cooperation with the merchants and product development by introducing design briefs, product/spread boards and trend presentations
  • Implemented new fabric libraries
  • Worked closely with the Apparel Design Director, the creative team and marketing to build a more cohesive product line
  • Allocated time, resources, budgets and scheduling to meet tight deadlines and exceed business objectives and was able to reduce the trend and art budget by assigning the resources more efficiently, without compromising the results

Hallmark/MO                                                                                                                                     06/2005 to 10/2006
Designer/Illustrator-­‐gift wrap

  • Designed and illustrated all gift wrapping products inventing new concepts for gift giving • Was romoted in 3 months and given additional assignments due to great efficiency

Design iivi/Finland                                                                                                                                    2001 to 2005

  • Successful design business; innovative new designs in a wide variety of consumer products, including all home textiles, rugs, clothing, theater costumes, tableware, stationary, home décor and all areas of surface design, by commission from the customers, one commission always leading
  • to another
  • Gave inspirational and accurate trend, color and product information presentations to customers
  • Was highly appreciated for focused work and ability to quickly adapt from one field to another and accurately analyze the business to create products with great sales
  • Was commissioned 3 successive times to create the trend exhibition for the Forma Fair, a Scandinavian home decoration fair, displaying for visitors the coming trends in home decoration
  • Taught textile designer’s for Photoshop and Illustrator
  • Collection designed for IKEA was in stores for 8 years
  • Some of the customers/projects:  IKEA – Kid’s home products,  Blue1 – coordinating and designing disposable interior products for airplanes,  Zeebra – dinnerware,  Fiblon – napkins,  Nanso – printed sleepwear,  Ahaa Teatteri – costume design for a professional theater play, Goodbaby Group – stroller fabrics for the high end Chinese market,  Geepap – stationary,  Modus (Pirkanmaa Design and Crafts Assoc.) – graphic outlook for marketing material,  Forma fair – (a home décor fair for professionals) – trend exhibitions and promotional campaign,  Fredrikson Inc. – Hat collections,  Metsa Tissue GmbH – napkins,  Agents in Europe and USA

Finlayson Inc. /Finland (high end home textile manufacturer)                                              1994 to 2005
Designer (Design Manager)

  • Responsible for designs, CAD, colors, trends and coordinating, conceptualizing and managing collections for the Central European markets
  • Managed assistants and other designers for the Central European collections
  • Progressively given more responsibility and authority to the level of the U.S. design manager
  • Built a successful children’s line which became the core export business
  • Launched a very successfully new preteen line built around my own comic character
  • Designed and coordinated many successful printed textile collections for the Finlayson brand as well as for specific customers including Kodin Anttila, Hobby Hall and IKEA and licensed collections for US retailers, such as American Home and Creative Bath.
  • Built the seasonal trend boards for all of the lines and presentations of product and color offerings for the customers
  • Designed packaging, brochures and other marketing material and set the overall style and atmosphere of the product photos and supervised photo shoots

Ahjola adult education center/Finland, screen printing teacher                                 1993 to 1995

Freelance fashion design, kids, maternity, professional and sportswear                       1991 to 1994

Miraakkeli Inc, children’s clothing designer                                                                        1990 to 1991


2002 to 2003 Tampere Polytechnic, Tampere, Finland -­ 1 year graphic design course
1993 Lahti Polytechnic Institute of Design, Lahti, Finland – Computer aided design studies, Rewarded with a grant for finishing at the top of the class
1990 Seinajoki Polytechnic/Jurva School of Arts and Design, Jurva, Finland – BA, Fashion design
1984  Tammerkoski Visual Art High School, Tampere, Finland


2003 -­ Founding Board member of Modus/Pirkanmaa Arts and Crafts association in Finland
2001 -­ Member of Ornamo, Finnish Association of Designers
2004/5 -­ Member of the Tampere Art Council/ responsible for grants in design + children’s culture

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