Norene has been a studio instructor/lecturer at Otis College of Art and Design for 19 years.
After receiving her degree in Fashion Design at FIDM, Norene worked for 12 years in the Los Angeles fashion industry as a designer and first patternmaker doing Missy and Children’s sportswear, as well as theme uniforms for restaurant chains and Las Vegas Casinos.
In 1987 she accepted a position with Applause and began designing and making patterns for plush toys and dolls, eventually becoming the Creative Manager of the plush toy department. She went on to manage the design and creation of many of the 2D and 3D product lines such as Sesame Street, Disney Standard Characters, Disney Entertainment, Looney Tunes, and Nightmare Before Christmas as well as many other licenses that Applause/Dakin acquired.
In the fall of 1999, she begins teaching the Plush Toy Design class in the Toy Design Department of Otis College of Art and Design. Two years off were taken from teaching at Otis when she was asked to return to Applause/Dakin while they reformed the company, but she returned to Otis in the fall of 2003 to resume teaching the plush toy classes.
During her more than thirty-four years, (and counting), in the Toy Industry she has freelanced for most of the major toy companies in the USA doing both proprietary and licensed products for Mattel, PlayMates, Warner Brothers Consumer Products, Disney Consumer Products, Disney Theme Parks, and MGA as well as many small independent toy companies.