Design Thinking: The Whitney Collection


(Image courtesy of The Whitney Collection)


In Graduate School, one of the buzzwords professors love to discuss is "Design Thinking." Design Thinking is an iterative process in which we seek to understand the user, challenge assumptions, and redefine problems to identify alternative strategies and solutions that might not be instantly apparent with our initial level of understanding (Dam and Siang). Design Thinking enables a company to understand consumer needs to serve their audience better. For this project, I contacted different companies to learn how the organizations apply Design Thinking into their market offerings. I had the opportunity to talk with Whitney Brooks to learn more about the mission and vision of her company The Whitney Collection


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(Image courtesy of The Whitney Collection. Image depicts founder Whitney Brooks)


1.How is The Whitney Collection different from other brands?

The Whitney Collection is a brand that started out of the pandemic. The products are a reflection of nostalgia, of past memories and moments that I experienced while vacationing. The collection was designed and released during a time when no one was able to travel or walk outside of their homes. Each product tells a story, and the striking designs and fragrances emote that. We are an inclusive brand that defies gender labels and love that our products are for everyone and anyone. Our luxury products are hand-made by local and international artisans with the highest quality materials, but are sold at a lower price than those of popular fashion house brands. As a new brand, we pride ourselves on staying true to the integrity of our incredibly well-made products and always believe in quality over quantity.


(Image courtesy of The Whitney Collection)

2.How does The Whitney Collection stay ahead of upcoming trends?

I’ve learned that all of the information I need is typically right in front of me. Using social media as a tool to gauge with audiences what may or may not be working is smart market research. Ask questions. Listen. Continue to be curious. How can we grow as a brand? How can we be better? These are questions that I constantly ask myself. What do people respond to? What is the reaction? I also listen to podcasts and watch the news (sparingly), but I would say using the audience that is in front of you (whether it’s your social media followers, family or friends) is the best way to notice patterns and trends.



(Image courtesy of The Whitney Collection)

3.How does The Whitney Collection incorporate its mission and vision into its product offerings?

All of our products are classified as luxury. We are a unique brand with a high attention to detail. Our candles are hand-poured by local Los Angeles artisans and our silk scarves are finished by hand in beautiful Italy. Each product goes through the process of being carefully crafted for each customer and it shows. Although we have a small team, we are still a team and an inclusive one at that. Most importantly, we believe in the integrity of our pieces as much as the customer purchasing them.




(Image courtesy of The Whitney Collection)

4. What is the future of the company?

This year we have some wonderful new projects in the works including a collaboration with a national non-profit organization, Covenant House, and a new line of candles premiering in the first half of the year. Also, as of this month, our customers can now purchase our products through Amazon in addition to our website so go check it out! 2022 is a year for out-of-the-box creations and perspective and we are excited to dive in.



(Image courtesy of The Whitney Collection)

Me on my first day of graduate school

Rachel Huss

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