As travelers, our love of the people, places, food, culture, and so much more, are why we yearn to go explore and we feel connected to the places that we fall in love with. These places don’t have to be far from home, they can be the city we live in or just a car ride away. What I like most about what I create is that not only do I get to help you feel more connected to your favorite places but I also get to discover them with you through design.
The Beginning of this Journey
I bought a surfboard and a tent, threw them into my Ford Explorer and started exploring as many beaches as I could up and down the East Coast the summer I graduated from undergrad. I drove toward a hurricane to catch waves in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. I slept on the beach, next to crashing waves on Assateague Island, waking up to wild horses roaming the campsite. I crashed my brother-in-law's work trip to Puerto Rico, my goal was to learn how to Salsa dance so I ended up going dancing alone all night one night, and I did learn how to Salsa dance! I went to Florida a few times, ending up randomly at the Daytona 500 (I’m not really that much of a Nascar fan but it was a really fun experience).
What happened that summer? I grew and I fell in love. I flew, I surfed, I danced, I drove, I committed and I felt as free as when I was daydreaming as a child and young adult. Travel and taking risks changed my life. When I got to grad school my focus became more specific to what I had experienced after undergrad, travel. Every project I took on related in some way to women traveling, how to make it easier for us, safer, more fun, more attainable, more sustainable, and eco-friendly. My experience made me yearn to help other women travel the way they want to while feeling good about themselves in whatever that means to them.
Solo + Design + Travel
As all stories do, this one came to an interesting end, or maybe it was just the beginning? My graduate thesis, a yearlong project, was called “Solo”. I interviewed over 40 women, designed 9 products and wrote a 280-page book about women traveling the world alone. One of the products I designed was the NYC Metro Cuff bracelet. This bracelet was designed to help women traveling around cities feel less like tourists by allowing them to check their wrist instead of pulling out a big foldout map. I should also note that this was in 2008 before subway map apps were prevalent.
Since then I’ve traveled to and have designed city and metro maps for cities all over the world, it’s been fun and rewarding. I can’t tell you how many emails I’ve received thanking me and letting me know that the bracelet worked! I love these stories, these are exactly why I do what I do. As my business has evolved I’ve realized that our, this community’s, love of the people, places, food, culture, and so much more, are why we yearn to travel, we feel connected to the places that we fall in love with. These places don’t have to be far from home, it can be the city we live in or just a car ride away. What I like most about what I create is that not only do I get to help you feel more connected to your favorite places but I also get to discover the places with you.