About me: First and foremost, I am a mom to two little men, aged 7 and 9. Luckily, they are still young enough to think I’m cool, so they allow me to coach their soccer teams and dance (when no one’s looking)… but I know that these times are fading as a new relationship built less on interdependence, and more on independence forms. Tear. My boys and I consider ourselves a “team”, and we always make sure that whomever is the weakest link at any given moment is supported.
Professionally, as anyone in a creative industry trying to pay bills, I wear many hats:
I am currently completing my Master of Design Degree at Emily Carr University of Art + Design in Vancouver, BC, where I specialize in designing for health initiatives. My thesis revolves around creating a network of support for unpaid family caregivers who find themselves caring for a loved one who lives with a chronic condition such as cancer, depression, alzheimer’s, the list goes on… but often the support doesn’t! As a freelance designer, I work with Health Authorities to create messaging that will reach the public in a way that peaks interest, and is easy to understand and follow, and on top of that, I teach design at the university as well.
When I’m not teaching or researching, I am writing children’s books! I had my first book, Once Upon Balloon, published in 2013 with Orca Books, and my second book, The Girl on the End of the String is due out in 2017 with Owl Kids Books. Once Upon a Balloon was actually a class project early into my undergraduate degree, and when it was published, it gave me confidence to consider writing as one of my career paths. I say “one" because although awesome and extremely fun, it doesn’t sustain a growing family (yet)!
And, lastly, my passion. In spring 2014, I co-founded Peaks & Harbours, a “not just for moms” blog, with my dear friend, Carina. We explain ourselves as, "young, professional moms who live and work in Vancouver, BC., who are constantly about-town seeking out and reviewing kid-friendly art and design experiences, delicious diversions, and mom-reviving outdoor adventures.” But that only scratches the surface. P&H is a dream come true, and this past year we have seen our network expand substantially to include partnerships with local brands that we feel personify the West Coast lifestyle and value system… Not only that, I don’t know many people who can say they get to work with their best friend.
Hire Me, I’m good at: Telling stories and getting people to talk. It could be because I love to listen, but people are always eager to share their story with me. I take it all in and often feel like I carry everyone around in my pocket with me… pulling out their ideas as I approach challenges, or when I see something that I know will interest them. I am good at connecting people, and designing messages with purpose and intent.
Interested in: Collaborations with like-minded people, letting people know about new things that get me excited, sharing my experiences and traveling with my boys to show them how big the world really is. Anything to do with writing…
Mama likes: Outside of work is a strange concept, because with Peaks & Harbours, I am always seeking new experiences to share, and it doesn’t feel like work… but... I like playing sports and being active with my kids, enjoying all of the natural beauty BC has to offer, listening to music… I’m excited to read for pleasure again after these past few years of thesis research...and I’m a mom, so a glass of wine and sleeping kid always makes me happy ;-)
+Carina Marie Nilsson is tops in my books. She’s a selfless, loving, beautiful, smart, witty companion… a true lady-treasue.
+Danielle @hippiesindisguise is an IG friend who I have really connected with. Her love for her kids, and her involvement in their loves is a lot like my own, and although we haven’t met personally, I feel like I’ve known her forever.
+Anna Maria (an IG lady who will blush at the mere thought of me saying this) because she has a spark that shines through the deep Chicago winters, and a she makes me laugh all the time. I always tell her to make a coffee table book with her captions and images - I’d be the first in line to buy it.
+2014 CCBC Best Books
+2014 Chocolate Lily Award nominee
Canadian Institute for Health Research Graduate Grant Recipient for 2014