I grew up always creating things. Whether it was helping my dad around the house or working on an art project, I loved working with my hands. That desire continued into my teenage years when my parents encouraged me to apply to art schools. Like any 18-year-old, I didn’t listen and instead attended UC Davis as a Communications major. I struggled in classes, was stifled by scantron tests and felt lost. After 2 years I withdrew and took a year off to think about what I should do next. I decided to apply to Mills College and major in studio art. Inspired again by being able to learn by doing, I found I enjoyed the challenges and excelled. My thesis in sculpture and video production won the Welhausen Family Award for excellence in the Senior Show and I graduated Phi Beta Kappa.
Graduating at the height of the Great Recession, I was unable to find a job in the design field: I was forced to carve my own path. I thought of myself as the part time job aficionado – I contracted with a professional organizer, designed textiles for shoes, made colorful wooden baby toys which I sold at fairs, interned at an Art Gallery, did freelance design work for a real estate developer, all while renovating my house down to the studs with my husband. Lightbulb: maybe we are entrepreneurs and should form our own business?!
In hindsight, I’m incredibly thankful for those early years of grinding. I was able to explore so much creativity and it taught me many different elements of design in our everyday lives. While I love for things to be beautiful, I also value the importance of function. I find joy in sharing and educating clients and hope they come away from the experience with spaces, homes and offices that are unique and beautifully their own.