Daniela Macias

The journey from manufacturing facility to Global Experience Design Manager at Colgate-Palmolive





Daniela Macias

Global Experience Design Manager at Colgate Palmolive

Christina Perla, CEO of Makelab and Daniela Macias, Global Experience Design Manager at Colgate Palmolive sit down at Makelab HQ in Brooklyn to discuss the journey from Jr. Packaging Engineer at a manufacturing facility in Mexico to the global design team in NYC.


Daniela’s 14-year journey at Colgate Palmolive, starting in Mexico;
The importance of advocacy within a corporation that is crucial for career growth;
How your educational foundation is just the beginning and how real-world experience fills critical gaps.

Watch some of the best and most insightful moments below!

Daniela Macias

Global Experience Design Manager at Colgate Palmolive

Daniela is an industrial design innovator with over 14 years at Colgate-Palmolive, shaping global household and consumer products. Leading cross-functional teams, she's known for her creative design of bottles, caps, soaps, and more. Her journey from manufacturing to global design initiatives in NYC has shaped her as an empathetic, inclusive innovator. Her work, showcased in homes worldwide, spans brands like Palmolive, Ajax, and Fabuloso.



The journey from manufacturing facility to Global Experience Design Manager at Colgate-Palmolive

In this informative podcast episode, industrial design professionals share their inspiring journeys, challenges faced, and lessons learned throughout their careers. From humble beginnings to global roles, these individuals showcase the importance of resilience, continuous learning, and self-advocacy in navigating the corporate world. This article delves into their experiences, highlighting the significance of technical knowledge, relationship-building, entrepreneurial spirit, and embracing one's uniqueness in the field of industrial design.

Keyword: Industrial Design

Embracing the Journey: From Junior Packaging Engineer to Global Professional

Diamond, a packaging engineer turned industrial design leader at Colgate, shares her remarkable 15-year journey. Starting as a packaging engineer, she persevered through challenges during the recession, expanded her role to include personal care, and now leads industrial design for home care and pet nutrition. Her story exemplifies growth and perseverance within the industrial design field.

Unveiling the Problem-Solving Aspect of Industrial Design

Diamond stumbled upon industrial design by chance and fell in love with the idea of creating anything she wanted. Despite initial disapproval from her father, she recognized the potential for creativity and the opportunity to make a difference as a junior packaging engineer. With unwavering commitment and a clear vision, Diamond eventually achieved her goal of joining the industrial design team at Colgate, showcasing the power of perseverance and determination.

The Power of Networking and Advocacy in Industrial Design

The conversations emphasize the significance of championing oneself and advocating for one's dreams. By putting out into the universe what one desires and telling others about it, individuals can attract champions and advocates who support their career growth. Seeking allies and mentors, being vocal about goals, and manifesting them can lead to remarkable opportunities. The importance of forming relationships, maintaining networks, and finding the right company culture are highlighted to foster growth in the field.

Technical Knowledge and Relationship-Building: Foundations of Design Success

Technical knowledge plays a crucial role in industrial design, providing a unique perspective and understanding of the manufacturing process. Building relationships and maintaining a network of contacts are equally important. Colgate Palmolive's relationship-based culture fosters professional growth, demonstrating the value of an open and friendly approach to networking. The entrepreneurial mindset, empathy, and connecting with people are emphasized as keys to success in both small and large corporations.

Applying an Entrepreneurial Spirit and Empathy in the Corporate World

The speakers stress the importance of applying an entrepreneurial spirit to one's career within a corporation. Learning from colleagues, honing technical skills, and gaining insights into career management, presentation skills, and communication are emphasized. Empathy towards end users and colleagues is considered a core skill for industrial designers. Collaboration, advocating for oneself, and finding the right company culture align with one's values are essential in the corporate world.

Humility, Culture, and Hard Work: The Pillars of Success

The importance of humility, culture, and hard work is discussed, along with personal experiences of facing rejection and pushing through uncomfortable situations. Mentorship, learning opportunities, and stroke of luck are highlighted as influential factors in career progression. The significance of programs and growth opportunities within the company, as well as the international aspect of the organization, contribute to personal and professional development.

Persistence, Adaptability, and Gratitude: Navigating the Corporate World

The transcript showcases the speaker's growth and success in navigating the corporate world, emphasizing the value of persistence, positive attitude, self-assessment, and planning. Learning, adaptability, and transferable skills across different positions and locations are key to achieving goals. Advocacy for oneself and recognition of skills are essential for career advancement. The speaker's journey from a short-term assignment to a global role demonstrates the power of seizing opportunities and embracing growth.

Industrial Design: The Intersection of Manufacturing, Engineering, and Design

The intriguing role of industrial design in product development is explored, highlighting its position at the intersection of manufacturing, engineering, and design. Design-led innovation and executional projects are crucial streams of work in industrial design, where designers play a pivotal role in creating user-focused products. The impact of small design decisions on the business and the consumer is emphasized, along with the challenge of communicating the value of industrial design to other functions.

Design Thinking: Connecting, Problem Solving, and Advocacy

Design thinking encompasses design-led innovation and executional projects. Storytelling, understanding the business side, and advocating for the user are paramount in making effective design decisions. Industrial designers are seen as connectors and problem solvers, with their work having a significant impact on final users.

Fearlessness, Continuous Learning, and Embracing Uniqueness in Industrial Design

The conversation encourages individuals to be fearless in pursuing innovation, viewing failure as a learning opportunity. Continuous learning, being unique, and leveraging one's skills to make an impact are emphasized. Trusting in one's abilities and embracing uniqueness are key to shaping success in the field of industrial design.

Believing in Yourself and Seizing Opportunities

The guest highlights the importance of never losing faith, spotting opportunities, and maintaining the right perspective. The role of luck and hard work in achieving success is acknowledged. The empowering message encourages industrial designers to believe in themselves and take charge of their own success.


These engaging podcast episodes provide valuable insights and advice for aspiring industrial design professionals. From embracing challenges and continuous learning to advocating for oneself and embracing uniqueness, these professionals showcase the qualities and strategies that contribute to success in the field. With technical knowledge, relationship-building, and an entrepreneurial spirit, individuals can navigate the corporate world and shape their own paths to achieve their goals in industrial design.

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