As it readies to open its first freestanding store, Dogeared Inc. has named a new chief operating officer and promoted its creative director.
The Culver City, Calif.-based jewelry brand, which tallies sales of more than $25 million and produces all of its products domestically, said Cynthia Helsley has joined as chief operating officer and Mimi Kim-Ison has assumed the title of vice president of brand creative.
A graduate of UCLA with an MBA from Pepperdine University, Helsley has 25 years of experience in operations, marketing, merchandising, project planning and strategic initiatives for multiple layers of retail, including specialty shops, department stores and outlet. Previously, she served as a senior district manager for Barnes & Noble in New York. She also had held other positions at Jay Jacobs, The Limited and Federated Department Stores. She replaces Garr Larson, who had worked at Dogeared for three years before moving back to Seattle from Los Angeles to be closer to family and friends.
“She brings a wealth of experience and expertise to our organization, and we started our careers together many moons ago,” said Dogeared founder Marcia Maizel-Clarke. “Her energetic style and excellent communication skills will help support the vision necessary to grow profitability, and ensure the company is well positioned to enhance all our partnerships with our vendors, customers and internal team.”
Joining Dogeared on its 25th anniversary, when it is preparing to open a 1,200-square-foot store on Santa Monica’s Main Street next month, Helsley said, “it’s a creative, smart and passionate team and I am looking forward to guiding their vision to make ‘good things happen’ and supporting the company’s growth.”
Additionally, Dogeared said Kim-Ison has been promoted to vice president from creative director. In her new position, which reports to Helsley, she oversees the company’s design and merchandising strategy as well as all marketing and sales assets. She has been with the company for more than seven years.
“Mimi is a true brand champion of Dogeared,” Maizel-Clarke said. “She understands Dogeared’s vision and is one of the most talented creative directors I’ve ever known.”