If you are in the creative department, your job is safe for a good long while. Research scientist, and AI provocateur, Janelle Shane used artificial intelligence to try and name paint colors. She fed the AI 7700 Sherwin Williams color samples. Below are her results. Enjoy your holiday weekend, secure in the knowledge that your future […]
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Cat-U Deans and Co-Founders are industry veterans with years of experience.
When Catalog University began, the founders reached out to the leaders of the industry and asked them to be Deans at Cat-U. As a group they have worked for, or with, almost every major catalog in the industry. Names like L.L. Bean, Lands’ End, Disney, J. Crew, The Vermont Country Store, Home Depot Direct, Wolferman’s and many more. These extraordinary people keep an eye out for new trends and find top professionals to teach the classes you’ll find on the Catalog University course list. They are a valuable resource subscribers can tap for questions and information.Subscribe Today
Dean of Creative
J. Schmid & Assoc. Inc.
Lois Brayfield, has been making a difference in direct marketing for 30 years. She has worked with Hallmark, American Express(UK), HoneyBaked Ham, Wolfermans, IKEA, Sears (Canada), Ezibuy (Australia) and Marks & Spencer (UK.) She is a frequent speaker at conferences including the DMA Annual Conference, and NEMOA, a contributing writer for Multi-Channel Merchant, and serves on the boards of NEMOA, the ACMA, and the Editorial board for Target Marketing.
Dean of E-commerce
President and Founder, NPG
Chris is president of NPG, a consulting firm specializing in paid search and social media marketing. With over 20 years of experience in digital and direct marketing, Chris offers the best of both worlds — copywriting honed through writing thousands of online ads, Facebook & Twitter posts, and direct mail headlines & copy, along with analytics on what converts into action.
Dean of Marketing
Gina’s 20 years in the catalog industry leverages experience and multi-channel disciplines. She has worked with catalogers such as Road Runner Sports, Disney Direct, Barrie Pace, Spiegel, See’s Candies, Home Depot Direct, Hickory Farms, and Spanx. Gina is a featured writer for MultiChannel Merchant Magazine. She serves as a judge for the Annual Catalog Awards and is also a member of the Printery House Advisory Board.Subscribe Today
Dean of Merchandise
Larry Shaw has been responsible for overseeing the merchandising for some of the most product focused retail and direct marketing companies during his 25 year retail tenure. His is currently developing world class merchandising solutions for the retail industry with Merch Success, a company he helped found.
Past President of Southern Season in Chapel Hill, NC, the gourmet specialty food and gift store, restaurant, and cooking school boutique chain that is consistently ranked as one of the top destination retail concepts in the United States. Larry was responsible for expanding the 70,000 item product assortment across specialty food, gift, housewares, kitchen, home, gift basket, wine and beer, health and beauty, and floral categories.
Prior to Southern Season Larry was Executive Vice President of The Vermont Country Store, where he oversaw the strategic development and execution of their product concepts across numerous product categories, including clothing, domestics, food, gift, personal care, household, kitchen, and holiday. He developed a lot of innovative merchandising programs during his 12 years there, including bringing back to the marketplace many nostalgic dormant brands such as Gee Your Hair Smells Terrific and the Caroler Candles.
Larry has also held senior executive positions at Nordstrom and Hanover Direct and provided counsel for companies such as Green Mountain Coffee, Eddie Bauer, J Jill, Stoneycreek Brands, and 1-800 Homeopathy.Subscribe Today
Dean of Operations and Fulfillment
GJM Associates, Inc.
A 30+ year veteran of the direct marketing, wholesale and retail industries, George has served in senior executive positions for several direct mail companies, including start-ups and turn-arounds. These companies included Lillian Vernon Corporation, Genesis Direct, Disney Direct, and J. Crew Group, Inc.. George has hands-on experience at all levels of management, including financial, operational, systems and merchandising.Subscribe Today
Sarah, whose mother was an art director, literally grew up in the art department of an advertising agency. After a brief rebellion she began her career at age six, stripping boards and organizing type. To date she has worked in almost every capacity of the business, from production assistant, to copywriter, to photographer, to creative director. Her main focus for the past twenty years has been catalog design and development. Her clients have included The DMA, The National E-tailing & Mailing Organization of America (NEMOA), International Paper, Scholastic, Mrs. Beasley’s, Harrington’s of Vermont, The Vermont Country Store, Smith+Noble, Junonia, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, SmartPak Equine and Penn State Industries. Her articles have appeared in Catalog Success Magazine, Multichannel Merchant, and DM News. She has spoken at The Annual Catalog Conference, The National E-tailing & Mailing Organization of America (NEMOA) conference and the GCIC/GPC. Sarah is a judge for both the MCM Awards and the International Echo Awards.
Media Solutions Group
Janie’s focus is on the production side of direct marketing. She is an expert at print and paper process best practices, and contract negotiations. And she has a special love of digital systems and workflow that help save time and money. She started off her career in the Boston advertising community working with a number of top retail clients.
She discovered the world of catalogs when she was recruited by Appleseed’s to bring their catalog production in-house in the late 1980s. She took her print/paper and system skills to L.L.Bean in 1994 where she oversaw production of up to 90 catalog titles, and was part of the creative web start up team.
She worked for four years as the Executive Director of NEMOA (the National E-tailing and Mailing Organization of America), and now works as a consultant to direct marketers across the United States.Subscribe Today
Why We Started Catalog University
The Co-Founders of Catalog University, Janie Downey and Sarah Fletcher, met while they were working at L.L. Bean. Years later they taught a catalog intensive course together at the DMA’s last Catalog Conference. It was clear that the industry needed a way to share best practices, new ideas, and the kind of knowledge you only get from years of experience.
Janie and Sarah started Catalog University to bring catalogers the top quality information they need to succeed. Here you will find real world content from the best and brightest in our industry. You can take any class, in any college, whenever you want, as often as you want.
In cataloging, the best indicator of whether a customer will buy from a catalog is if they have previously purchased anything from any catalog, which is why catalogers share information—the better any of us do, the better we all do. Let Catalog University help you work smarter, engage customers, and increase sales.Subscribe Today
Why Choose Cat-U?
- Classes taught by industry experts.
- Learn where you want to; at your desk, at home, even on your phone while you commute.
- Learn when you want to 24/7
- Affordable solutions for any budget
- Group rates for corporations
From the Catalog Blog
A few weeks back I needed to work over the weekend to catch up from a bout with the flu. No one wants to give up a weekend to work, but sometimes there just isn’t another option. And then my computer went wonky, and then InDesign crashed, and then nothing worked. I was able […]
In the “old days,” you attended K-12 classes. Then maybe you went to college, got a degree, got a job and progressed by working hard or making lateral moves to other companies to get ahead. Throughout your career, you learned from experienced people you worked with, and maybe you got a grad degree, but even […]
I’ve been working with a new client and in our first group meeting, where we get to know the company, we talked about pain points. One of the things that came up was that they had a 20% return rate. For some companies that is cause for considerable alarm, for others it’s not even going […]