Sowing values-driven design
Growing up on an apple farm, I learned the value of hard work and the effort and care it takes to grow something from nothing. I learned from my parents, my father a salt-of-the-earth, quiet but powerful soul who was guided by always doing right by the land and the people that worked on it. This paired with his pragmatic approach to even the most difficult situations, taught me that working hard and being practical, kind and fair was the way I wanted to go through life.
When it came time for me to pick my path, I was driven to be the first in my family to graduate high school and then college. After working full time through college, I set my sights on the corporate world, working in marketing project management in every area of marketing — from rolling out new brands to managing a website design process, developing marketing plans and helping companies win multi-million dollar projects through compelling stories and beautifully designed proposals. But after almost a decade in, I looked around at one point and thought, all I’m doing is looking out for myself and I’m so focused on climbing the ladder that I haven’t stopped to look down and realize there are people who can’t even reach the first rung.
Shortly after that realization, my father died unexpectedly and tragically and I knew I couldn’t ignore all the blaring alarms going off in my head. I left my job, feeling desperate to get back to my roots, to make my contribution to this world the way I was taught — by being a good steward of my community, living my values and growing beautiful things that made a difference.