From Make to Manufacture: How can more product designers become (domestic) manufacturers?

Business of Making

Tuesday, May 12, 4:30 pm to 5:30 pm in Theater

This panel will explore the connection between product invention and production – with a focus on debating the opportunities and challenges that product designers and makers face in scaling from one to many here in the US. What have been the impediments faced by makers seeking to find or work with established domestic manufacturers? What are the advantages to producing product locally versus overseas? Why have some product inventors made the leap to become manufacturers themselves?

Featuring, Steve Heintz of Quirky, who will discuss Quirky’s new San Francisco design/manufacturing center; Patrick Buckley of DodoCase whose first product was designed and produced at Tech Shop and has now grown to become full-scale manufacturer; Alex Snyder of DNA Group, an emerging design house and contract manufacturer of high-end apparel; and Dorian Ferlauto of BriteHub, a leading on-line platform that connects designers and manufacturers, currently being implemented across the Bay Area.


Alexander Michael Snyder

Creative Director, The D.N.A. Group
Alex Snyder, has spent the past fourteen years focusing on learning, experiencing and truly appreciating the multiple facets of the fashion industry. Retaining a vast knowledge of fashion, with regard to business and design, his creative process has the perfect balance of awareness between anticipated customer needs and up-and-coming industry trends. From tutoring fashion students’, consulting for fellow designers, to managing his own business, Alex has been allowed the unique opportunity to build professional relationships with individuals of all backgrounds. Contributing to his growing success is the respect and admiration he has for the industry leaders that guide, educate, and motivate him to stay driven. In 2009, the first full collection from Alexander Michael Snyder was introduced during New York fashion week; his company acquired a tremendous amount of exposure and a positive response. Always looking for new challenges, Alex decided to re-locate to San Francisco in 2012 to pursue the completion of his master’s of fine arts degree in fashion design. Being intrigued by the cities diverse culture and high involvement of technology has made him eager to be involved with the local fashion and manufacturing community.


Janet Lees

Senior Director, SFMade
Janet Lees serves as Senior Director of SFMade and played a lead role in launching the organization in 2010. Viewed as a national model, SFMade is the only organization of its kind to create a locally branded platform and provide industry specific support to the manufacturing sector in San Francisco. Janet oversees all of SFMade’s key program areas including sourcing, education and advising and the local brand platform. In addition Janet is responsible for managing key strategic partnerships , heads up the organization’s marketing and communications strategy, and currently serves as chair of Mayor Ed Lee’s Fashion SF apparel manufacturing initiative.


Patrick Buckley

Co-founder, DODOcase
Patrick Buckley is the cofounder of DODOcase and coauthor of "The Hungry Scientist Handbook" (HarperCollins, 2008). A graduate of MIT, he has worked at the Lawrence Livermore Laboratories as a mechanical engineer. When not tinkering or inventing, he can be found kite boarding, paragliding, or shredding pow. He loves collecting free yachts and converting old DHL vans into cryogenic ice cream trucks. Patrick lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.


Steven Heintz

Chief Technology Officer, Quirky
Based in Silicon Valley, Steve brings 17 years of hardware and software product development experience to Quirky. As Chief Technology Officer, Steve keeps an eye towards innovation trends for future products. He also leads the mechanical and electrical engineering teams responsible for the microprocessors and electronics that make Quirky products magical. Before joining Quirky, Steve led teams creating new products at Logitech in the connected home, wearable devices, cameras, and audio categories. At Adobe, Steve led a product team responsible for design and development tools in the Creative Suite. Before Adobe, Steve was a director of product management at Wind River Systems (now part of Intel) and led the team responsible for the company's embedded Linux and RTOS developer tools products.