"We always try to make a product that is a big hit - It would be great to create the next icon."

I work in the product department and everything that can be seen in our stores we create as a team!

It starts with the range and design teams collaborating to create new products for the season and then it filters down to individual designers. It's down to us to ensure that those products fit the brief, and that we put products in the stores that meet the demands of our customers. At the moment we are currently based between Somerset and Boston. This works well as it means that we get designers that really understand the American style and market.

We work really closely with the range team and get to input our thoughts for each season. The range team know what kind of product will sell in which country, and what the buyers would like to see, and we can provide insights from a design perspective. One of the biggest challenges is designing a shoe that will sell all across the world. We always try to make a product that is a big hit - It would be great to create the next Icon! A highlight for me was the dress-formal product I designed for the men's range. It was highly forecasted for AW16 and has since been designed in more patterns!

Day to day my role really does vary – today, we have just started on the new season so it's very much hands on with our briefs and designing. For me, it's my favourite part because we do all our research and sketching. It goes from intense design work to sending out our design specifications. Then a big part of our job is the traveling, we spend a few weeks in Asia then return to designing. It's quite structured in that our time is dictated by where we are in each season. The trends team start us off with the research and then all the departments get together and talk about the trends, the products and the inspiration for the season. Once we have our briefs, we perform all the research that we think is relevant. For example, going to the archives, reading blogs, even general things like looking at architecture can give us inspiration and a starting point to build from.

My degree was a BA Hons in Footwear Design. I always knew I wanted to pursue a creative career so I went to do an Art Foundation course in Brighton and we did one project based on shoes and I really liked it! So I looked up courses in Footwear design, and managed to find one. I applied and got in and it was definitely the right course for me!

When I first started looking for jobs, I didn't think I would be able to get anywhere near Clarks without at least 5 or 6 years experience. I started working in London and I saw a job for Clarks so I thought I had nothing to lose by applying. I didn't get the job that was advertised but a few months later Clarks contacted me about a completely new role that had just come up and required less experience. I was interviewed by the Senior Designer and Range Manager and it was good to meet them and the team and to see the office. After my interview, we went to the product gallery and it was amazing to see the variety of products that Clarks make.

There's a lot that you learn here in such a short amount of time and you get to really find your own ground as a designer. There's a lot of knowledge in this building so it's easy to learn and to pick up the Clarks history, heritage and influence. I've attended the in-house British Footwear Association course and there is always the option to attend a workshop if we would like to. I'm constantly developing and gaining confidence. Traveling has allowed me to see the bigger picture and how the process works once the factories receive our designs. The team and I have just been to Japan, Hong Kong, Vietnam and China for 2 and half weeks, which is pretty intense but really good fun!

For a designer, Clarks is like being a kid in a candy store! I love that we have our own Last Modellists on site so we can fully explain what we want from our designs and how we want them to look. We have an innovations team who are always looking to create better technology to go within the shoes. The doors are open for you to learn about the entire shoe making process - from the importance of the leathers to the final product. It is design with so much extra. I would recommend it to anyone who really wants to create an amazing product!

Sophie – Design Assistant, Men's Design