Mothers & Design

| Carol Liao

This weekend we’re honoring the most important women in our lives,our mothers. To celebrate, we’re showcasing some other inspirational mothers who have established themselves in the creative and technology industries. We all know that it can be difficult as a woman to gain the respect and authority that some of these moms have managed to do.

#Share With Me This is a brilliant example of how mothers can learn from their children. Artist Mica Angela Hendricks stumbled into a beautiful collaboration when her 4-year-old daughter, Myla Hendricks, first added imaginative bodies and backgrounds to Mica’s carefully drawn portraits. In addition to sharing a large collection of beautifully whimsical sketches, this duo shares a touching story about growth and acceptance. Mica humbly admits that being a perfectionist caused her to be reluctant to share when Myla first took over her sketchbook. I think this is something all designers deal with, and we can learn a great deal from this collaboration. Letting go of control can lead to exceptional results! Browse the duo’s whimsical sketches.

#Fashion by Mayhem Angie and Mayhem are a mother-daughter pair and the creative minds behind #FashionByMayhem. Together, Angie and Mayhem have been creating dresses from paper inspired by the runway, movies, and celebrities–as well as some clever originals. Their work has gained the attention of thousands of followers, including Vogue magazine which featured Mayhem and her recreations of the Met Ball’s iconic gala gowns. See the young fashionista’s work.

#Tina Roth Eisenberg at SXSW Tina Roth Eisenberg, better known on the internet as “Swiss Miss”, kicks off her SXSW 2013 lecture with a salute to her children. This designer, blogger, and mother talks about how her kids have changed her career and made her reevaluate where she was in her life and career. Motherhood often comes with the preconception of a lull in work life, but for this Swiss miss, it was a motivator. Her tenacious attitude and honest self reflections are what led Tina to her success today. Watch her keynote.

#Ada Lovelace Ada Lovelace was a literal a mother of three, but you could also call her the metaphorical mother of scientific computing. This English mathematician and writer is considered the world’s first computer programmer, and is annually recognized on October 15th for her contributions to the industry. Her brief life of 36 years was followed by controversy and disputes about whether her findings and notes actually belonged to her. [Learn more about Ada.] (

#How Etsy Attracted More Female Engineers About 80% of Etsy’s consumers are women. Moms, daughters, aunts, and sisters are part of what makes Etsy a successful venture, but did you know that the company also sees employing women as a vital part of their product’s success? In 2012, the popular e-commerce site employed a new strategy of investing in training junior women through Hacker School rather than pursuing senior women candidates. This strategy allowed them to dramatically increase their number of women engineers. In 2013, other big name companies such as Dropbox, GitHub, and PhotoShelter followed suit. Read about Etsy’s strategy.

#The Evolution of Mom Dancing Jimmy Fallon and Michelle Obama make a wonderful “dancing mom” duo as they perform the “Evolution of Mom Dancing” for Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” Campaign. A must watch with Mom this weekend!

Gelukkig Moederdag! (Happy Mother’s Day!)