Lea Stewart believes that Design is multifaceted. It is about creating experiences. She works with companies whose mission is to grow their business through innovation, differentiation, and by meeting consumer needs.
She has over a decade of working knowledge in many industries including consumer products, furniture, lighting, commercial products, medical products, packaging, and display design.
She is recognized as an ambassador of great design, because her passion to be hands-on in driving challenging and complex development projects, which truly matter to users, equals her ability to lead teams and oversee process. She is a creative leader who has not “put down the pencil”.
In my current role as Sr. Manager of design at Newell Brands, I lead a talented design team located in the US and Taiwan, creating best in class products for Graco, Baby Jogger, and Aprica brands globally.
Baby gear products are complex, and my team loves the challenge. We solve for consumer needs, compliance requirements, usability recommendations, cultural expectations for global customers, manufacturing feasibility with our partner suppliers, and cost constraints all while making the product aesthetically world class and on brand.
Collaboration and communication is what makes our projects successful. I partner with marketing, soft goods, fashion, CFM, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, sourcing, production, and our suppliers located throughout the globe.
My leadership role at Newell, being a very large corporation, extends beyond product development and team management. For the baby division, I represent the design voice to our corporate leadership. I also am part of a design leadership team that is putting into practice innovation methods and proving aesthetic competence outputs that are truly best in class.
After graduating with honors and receiving a BS of Industrial Design from Philadelphia University, Lea feels grateful to have continued her career creating user-centered products and managing teams internally at a wide variety of companies. At large corporations like Newell Rubbermaid and Masco, she led the design of visionary lighting systems, high efficiency janitorial products, and rethought the business of kitchen cabinetry. She has also worked with small design consultancies like Eldon Design Associates, and private manufacturers like Kohler Company, Richard Shultz, and Michael Graves, to create everything from whimsical tabletop objects, to stunning outdoor furniture, and elegantly designed technology for your bathroom.
Lea’s work has been printed in several publications including Becoming a Product Designer and The Eco Design Handbook. She has also received many international design awards. Lea contributes to design blogs, sits on panels for design awards, and often speaks at colleges, conferences, and most recently, for regional design interest Meetup groups.
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