Job Type

Full Time



Application Deadline:






Gone Rural creates home-based sustainable income for over 780 women in Swaziland’s rural areas, through the production of contemporary, high-end basketry and home products. These products combine tradition with innovation to create modern essentials and bold statement pieces. With commitment to sustainable social responsibility and Fair Trade Principles, Gone Rural is a successful business model that empowers rural women through providing them with home-based income and skills training. Gone Rural sells to over 300 customers worldwide and is committed to growing its sales base and volume to generate more income for rural women, particularly through artisan-led design and the creation of high-yield products.

Job Title:                                                       Product Design and Brand Manager

Reporting to:                                               Managing Director

Hours:                                                            7.45 am to 16.45 pm

Location:                                                       Gone Rural workshop in Mahlanya and 13 rural group areas


Position Overview:

Gone Rural seeks a Product Design and Brand Manager with a strong grasp of contemporary African design concepts as well as an appreciation of the company image of a women's empowerment-based handcraft brand. The Product Design and Brand Manager will manage the product design and development of Gone Rural, manage the overall design direction and aesthetic of the company, create and curate photography and communications materials, and manage the external representation of the company to customers, consumers, partners and the public as a whole. We seek a skilled designer and brand professional who has an understanding of our image of African and Swazi-inspired handcraft – clean, simple concepts that bring tradition into a contemporary context – as well as an understanding of our brand as a front-runner in craft-based women's empowerment. Within this context, the Product Design and Brand Manager will continue to create innovative products from grass as well as other natural fibres and recycled materials, with cognizance of the weaving techniques used, the skills of the women weavers and the objective of maximising artisan earnings. The Product Design and Brand Manager will also create compelling communications resources for the company, including photography, graphic design and other visual and interactive presentation materials. For each collection and all marketing materials, the target consumer needs to be considered; the artisans we empower, the story behind the design and inspiration of each product forms the basis for design and brand communication. The production process of product designs must be simple so it can be accurately replicated by women who work with their hands at home, whilst the design must have a high market value at the right target price for the consumer while also elevating the value that the producer earns for each piece. Communication materials should reflect the quality and high-end nature of Gone Rural's products while remaining true to the traditional roots of the company and our focus on women at the centre of our business model.



  • Report twice-monthly to the Managing Director


  • The Product Design and Brand Manager will lead a team of 2 Product Development Officers who will assist in the design, development and sampling of products as well as the training of artisans in new product designs and techniques, as well as working closely with the Marketing Officer who is responsible for the distribution of communication materials


Roles and Responsibilities

·        Design products for Gone Rural's product categories, including updated and new products for existing categories and new products for subsequent collections and product categories

·        Create and communicate a brand story behind each collection/product in collaboration with Gone Rural artisans

·        Create seasonal colour and pattern updates for current product lines in line with global trends and customer demand

·        Design custom orders for customers as required, including customization of existing products and creation of new designs

·        Create samples of product designs with the Product Development Officers and artisans, and facilitate training in new products, designs and techniques

·        Photograph compelling and brand-true imagery for Gone Rural communications, including lookbooks, catalogues, advertorial images and product images

·        Graphic design, including the production of print media and digital media for communication across Gone Rural's channels

·        Website and social media management, including curating and running of the Gone Rural Instagram account and design support for the Gone Rural Facebook, Twitter, Pintrest and newsletter platforms

·        Merchandising and visual presentation management, including shop merchandising for Gone Rural and partner stores, merchandising and presentation at trade shows and management of the visual presentation of Gone Rural products and the company brand in other consumer and customer engagement platforms

·        Record all design specifications for standard and custom products including photographs of product samples to maintain an updated library of product designs

Education and Experience

·        Bachelors Degree in Product Design or equivalent professional qualification

·        Two years or more work experience in a similar position and field

·        Experience with design programs including computer assisted design programs and Adobe suite

Key Competencies

·        Innovative thinking around design, particularly the ability to see the traditional in new ways

·        Strong sense of colour and style, including an ability to interpret and design for different aesthetics

·        Strong visual communication, including communicating concepts and design through digital media

·        Photography and graphic design direction skills, including a critical eye for brand representation

·        Strong leadership skills, particularly the ability to train and uplift team members to reach potential

·        Able to work independently in a busy office environment that requires multitasking

·        Ability to set and manage deadlines, including good organisation and planning skills

·        Ability to manage multiple projects at once including scheduling and management of the team

·        Pro-active, hard worker with the ability to adapt to evolving working environments

Additional Requirements

·        A strong commitment to the Gone Rural mission and work ethic, including an understanding of our vision of women's empowerment

·        Good presentation skills to represent the Gone Rural brand in a professional manner in front of customers, supporting organizations and external partners (including trade shows and customer pitches) 

·        Computer skills: Microsoft Office suite, Adobe suite

Level of Language Proficiency

·        Languages: Fluency in English is required; speaking abilities in siSwati is an added advantage

Professional Level


Minimum Education Required

4-year degree

How To Apply