GATHER SEATTLE COMMUNITY MEMBER PROFILES
Get to know our community members.
Deb Achak photograph by Dorothee Brand
Deb Achak is a fine art photographer based in Seattle. Her fine art photography explores her fascination with water and beach culture, in the US and abroad. Swimming with her camera allows her to study the texture, color and poetry of water above and below the surface, as well as capture intimate moments with her human subjects from the unique vantage point of the water. Deb’s love of decor and design plays a huge role in her photography process. Her goal is to have her limited edition prints live on in beautiful spaces and enhance the lives of those who receive them. Her work has been featured in Luxe Magazine, Domino, Apartment Therapy, and Elle Decor, as well as in juried exhibitions around the world. She is represented by Winston Wachter Fine Art Seattle.
Dee, the founder of City Sweats Wellness Centers, pioneered Seattle’s infrared movement. While sweat therapy has been practiced by ancient cultures for centuries, infrared sweat therapy gained attention in the 1980s and went mainstream in the 2000s in cities like Los Angeles and New York. As a teenager, Dee chartered her own health path, taking up dance and fitness. After graduating from The University of Washington and starting a career in project management, she soon realized the traditional corporate environment was not for her. She decided to get back to her love for dance by opening her own fitness studio. Earning her wellness coaching and fitness certifications, she was drawn back to early introductions to sweat lodges, steam rooms and saunas. Aiming to amplify the healing that her studio clients gained, she introduced an infrared sauna to the studio in 2010. Due to the lack of infrared therapy available in the Seattle area, Dee had new clients coming from nearly 50 miles away, seeking help with problems ranging from mood disorders to debilitative diseases. The deal was sealed as Dee witnessed multiple client transformations, including her own in 2013 when she was severely injured, and infrared sweat therapy expedited her recovery. In 2014, Dee opened City Sweats. With services including Infrared Sauna Therapy, Ultrasonic Cavitation Shaping, Detox Facials and Scrubs, and Rehabilitative Massages, the company is committed to cellular level health that works from the inside out. A health and fitness enthusiast and self-proclaimed “sweat junkie,” it is Dee’s dream to see infrared therapy become accessible and convenient. The increase in clientele and wellness partnerships that City Sweats is experiencing- with its two locations in the Madison Park and Wallingford neighborhoods- are getting Dee one step closer to that goal. In addition to overseeing the two locations, Dee enjoys anything outdoors, creating all natural and organic body products, cooking, dancing, playing music, and deeply connecting with loved ones. Dee is especially passionate about helping others, especially working with women and children. In her Fitness studio days, Dee spent many years teaching free dance classes to the women of Mary's Place, teaching art and music to the teens at Ryther Center and working as a court-appointed advocate for Family Law Casa. Philanthropy is a true passion for Dee, as she feels that “success is doing what you are truly passionate about, while always looking for ways to expand our hearts. I feel fortunate to have a career that fills both needs.” Dee is currently working on an e-book, focusing on sweat therapy detox called "The Dee-Talks Method.” Join our City Sweats sweat tribe!
Lauren is the Co-Founder of Velé, a collection of ethical leather goods essentials supporting women through conscious production and nonprofit partnership. With Velé she is passionate about bringing freedom to fashion by slowing down industry practices to focus on ethical supply chains and by sharing a new narrative in the industry: that all are worthy, wanted. Her heart lies in building communities of badass women through social entrepreneurship and authentic conversations.
Alessandra is a Peruvian-Italian business and brand consultant. She has worked in a variety of corporations as well as brand and marketing consulting firms in Latin America and Europe.
She started her own photography business in 2009 in Lausanne, Switzerland, to fulfill her creative side. In 2014 she moved to Seattle and developed a huge admiration for the artist community here. Her business model has evolved as other creatives started tapping into her business knowledge and advice.
Having lived in many cities around the world, she considers herself a contemporary nomad, somewhat of an expert mover, and a keen observer of people and cultures. Alessandra continues to work on her photography whenever possible.
Instagram: @quartzandbone / Twitter: @quartzandbone / Facebook: www.facebook.com/quartzbone
I have been immersed in the world of interior architecture and design since 2010 in both Los Angeles and New York City. My work as lead design associate and project manager for Jeremiah Brent Design (along with my previous position as a design assistant for Studio Collective) has given me extensive experience in residential, commercial, and hospitality design.
As an interior designer, I am a divergent-thinking, grounded storyteller with a passion for textural, spacial design without pretense. I curate spaces to depict the journeys of the fascinating, eclectic, independent people who live in them. From busy professionals to young families, I will create a home to match the storied pasts that make them who they are. By getting to know my clients' lives, histories, driving forces, and greatest dreams, I weave those elements through their spaces, imbuing them with warmth, texture, natural materials, and a seamless mix of high and low design. Whether it’s joyous laughter or happy tears, I love seeing my clients’ enamored faces at the reveal of a project!
As a savant of the industry, Anie Buckmelter’s sophistication, charm and real estate finesse are the forces that built her reputation of diligence, passion and proficiency. She has an undeniable drive that is complemented by her honesty, warmth and sincerity. With these award-winning qualities, it is easy to see why Anie often establishes trusting, lifelong relationships with her clients.
Anie’s energy, positive mindset and integrity intertwine with years of expertise, an innovative approach and savvy negotiation tactics. Together, these characteristics have given her the ability to serve as a true advocate on behalf of her clients and perfect the art of the deal to craft win/win situations through each transaction.
With a strong dedication to the local community, Anie is regarded as a trusted resource and voice of reason. She prides herself on her membership in the Seattle King County REALTORS® Association, which holds all members to the highest of ethical standards. Anie also holds a Master Certified Negotiation Expert (MCNE) designation and is a member of Gather Seattle, which brings together the Pacific Northwest food and design communities with the aim to build connections, inspire and nourish.
Her background in Graphic Design and Art History, passion for fashion and art, and keen eye for sleek marketing and the perfect home appeal elevates her approach and ensures each home is truly artfully sold.
Lauren is a creative consultant currently splitting her time between Seattle and New York City. After 10 years in the retail industry working for such luxury brands as Bergdorf Goodman, Tiffany & Co. and Ralph Lauren, she developed an expansive skill set across the areas of visual merchandising, creative services, concept development, prop styling and advanced production and construction of large scale installations. Lauren launched the creative studio Union Adorn in 2014 to focus on consulting for creative presentation and visual merchandising in retail spaces, and interior design for residential and commercial clients. Passionate about history and visual story telling, Lauren’s design sensibility leans toward traditional yet is approached through a modern perspective. Combining classical elements with timeless pieces, she is noted for her ability to create layered, eclectic, livable spaces that are reflective of her clients’ personal tastes and lifestyles.
Lauren Celenza is a senior designer and ethnographer for Google Maps, where she focuses on shaping the map to better fit the needs of emerging cities around the world. She is also a listener, photographer, and advocate. Her work has taken her to India, Southeast Asia, Australia, and Africa. She enjoys working with local communities and sharing their stories to help shape design & technology in ways that are more inclusive and participatory.
She also teaches workshops to help teams practice empathy and humility as part of their everyday process, in order to build resonance and connection with their audience and with each other. Outside of this, she loves paddle boarding on the water and playing fetch with her dog, Leo.
Becki is an Interior Designer and has worked in the Seattle design community for 20+ years. She is a Residential Trade Consultant, for luxury brand RH. A resource, sales and design support for the businesses of fellow Interior Designers, Architects, Builders and Contractors. Over the past several years Becki has combined her love for design and visual story telling, the process of collaborating with writers, directors and cinematographers for interactive events and motion picture projects, bringing their stories to life. She is fascinated by psychology and it's role in design. She has been credited for her work as a Production Designer, Set Designer & Producer in film festivals here and abroad.
Currently I am a Design Director for a textiles studio in a Seattle based fashion company. My aim is to maximize creativity, inclusivity and transparency within the design environment. Retrospectively, how I naturally applied colour and texture in a multiplied application meant fashion has been an immediately relatable space. The way people can express themselves through clothes; a product which is integral to every one, every day is impactful. Through dynamic people I meet, destinations travelled, stories told, and exposure to an output that relies on connectivity keeps me engaged. Over the last 15 years, my experience includes a diverse range of customers and price points - from London, Stockholm, Vancouver and cities in the US.
A constant thread through cultural nuances is uniting a vision with open dialogue and common language on how to get there. Innovation, integrity, flexibility, humour and kindness attracts relatable people on your team who can be motivated to effect bigger change. You cannot do it alone, and these traits absolutely evolve with time. Finding compatibility with different perspectives can spark the strongest ideas. I have learnt many things by observing and paying attention when challenges or new experiences arise.
It's exciting to see the importance in sustainable methods gaining long overdue ground to change actual systems. Re-educating the customer of the responsibility both parties have, while making it easier for them to make better choices is ideal. Always balancing between fully pushing my skills as a practicing maker, I have found my best voice trying to influence an infrastructure from within. As a consumer, supporting well made products, in materials that can cycle through our system as many times with least harm to the environment is valuable, complex, and takes effort. Let’s see where this journey takes us.
Sasha Clark is the owner and founder of Stock & Pantry, a lifestyle store and interior design studio. Having always had a connection to design through studying architecture and a lifelong pull toward design in all forms, she strongly believes that great design and gorgeous environments can be life enhancing, giving a sense of calm and happiness.
From this philosophy she sources objects for the home with a design and quality that make you feel something; products that fill a need/want while also having valuable function
Focusing primarily on Scandinavian and Japanese design, while adding others whose aesthetic and sense of quality align, she selects pieces that are useful, aesthetically perfect, well made and of great value.
Her mission is to carefully choose the things that we will live with, keep for a long time, and pass them on to others. She would rather you have just a few good things than to have many of lesser quality. This seems to make sense both economically and ecologically while also creating a connection between “home” and community.
When she’s not traveling and sourcing new beautiful things for the store and helping clients connect to their spaces she can be found enjoying Seattle’s amazing dining and art scene.
Alexandra is a creative designer and consultant. Her unique childhood brought her to England, Germany, Poland, Holland, and many other foreign cities, which influence her and her work today. She moved to Seattle from New York City at the end of 2015 and has been slowly working on her latest project: alexandrastudios. Alexandra is the founder and designer of alexandrastudios, a tiny Seattle studio bringing client's stories into joyous realities in multiple platforms: digital, paper, and physical spaces. She particularly enjoys cultivating relationships, creating and surrounding herself in beauty.
You can find her working on a new project on her and soon-to-be husband's #littleseattlecapehouse, running with her pup, Penny, and spending copious amounts of money at Seattle's coffee shops.
Lauren Crocco is a licensed architect and principal of the boutique design firm, Lauren Crocco Architecture & Design. With over 10 years of experience in residential design, her portfolio includes projects ranging from remote cabins, urban residences, renovation and remodel projects as well as commercial interiors. No matter the project type or scale she strives for authentic design solutions that emerge based on collaboration with the client and the distinct nature of each site. Common themes throughout her projects are human scaled and naturally lit spaces, a strong inside-outside connection and a simplicity of structure and materials. Most of all she takes pride in creating spaces that evoke a feeling of serenity and are well loved by her clients.
instagram: @ksdamato / @freehandcookies.
Katie D'Amato is like a lot of us - pulling double duty between the main gig and the side hustle. By day, she is the Director of Brand and Social for Alaska Airlines and by night, and we mean midnight, she's the baker and artist behind Freehand Cookies, a made-to-order, hand-painted sugar cookie company. With her long and busy career in advertising and marketing, Katie always used baking as her release. It was a chance to quiet a mind that's always on the go and to focus on something that always had a sweet conclusion. After baking for friends and family for years, she was finally encouraged by her younger sister to give it a go and make it "Instagram official." What's followed has been a series of sweet creations for everything from weddings and showers to custom orders for brands like Sonos and even Gather Seattle. While Freehand Cookies is still in its infancy and often plays second fiddle to her full-time life, it serves as a creative outlet and learning opportunity that Katie plans to continue.
Abbie DiLullo comes to Seattle by way of Akron and Columbus, Ohio. She has been living in the city for nearly five years and couldn't feel more at home in the Pacific Northwest. Abbie is a Digital Media Specialist at Amazon, working predominately as a consultant to major fashion brands. She advises them on how to efficiently re-brand and speak authentically to customers across various platforms. With a background in non-profit and public policy, she found her shift into corporate tech as an abrupt change and personal challenge. In the efforts to incorporate her passion for women's equality, diversity, and inclusion through-out her day to day, she became a board committee member of Women @ Amazon, a global organization of over 30,000 women-identifying persons and allies that aim to bring systemic issues to the forefront of the company (read: equal pay, representation in positions of power, etc.). She is currently leading their philanthropic and marketing efforts and events. She is also a dance teacher for the residents at Jubilee Women's Shelter. If it isn't already clear, Abbie cherishes sisterhood to it's deepest measure. She believes that when you bring a community of women together, they can accomplish quite literally anything.
Outside of these areas, you can find Abbie barefoot in mother nature or in a dance studio.
She loves to laugh and will tell you you are magic once or twice.
Website: kristendomonellcom / Instagram: @kdomonell
Kristen Domonell is a writer, content strategist, and yoga and mindfulness instructor who is passionate about helping people live their healthiest, most aligned lives. Her work has appeared in publications including: Women's Health, Vice, Prevention, Men's Health, Life by Daily Burn, Self, University Business, The Huffington Post, CNN, The Daily Beast, and more. She also co-founded and served as editorial director of Chronicality, a publication designed to help young people live well in spite of chronic illness, and worked on a small team to develop Right as Rain by UW Medicine, a health publication serving the Pacific Northwest. Kristen holds a master's degree in health communication from Northwestern University and a bachelor's in journalism from Marist College. In her spare time she enjoys hiking, gardening,meditation, exploring mindful uses of technology, and building community.
Stephanie studied photography in college, but has a true passion for food. She spent 10 years cooking professionally in the Bay Area - from owning a food truck, to fine dining, to founding a caviar company where she developed products with the likes of Jacques Pepin. After starting a family and moving to Seattle she felt the strong urge to get back behind the camera shooting what she loves most, food and the lifestyle of eating. When not photographing food she splits her time between Seattle and her home on Lummi island where she hosts community dinners and culinary retreats because she believes food tastes better when shared with good company and there is nothing more enjoyable than sharing the table.
Danielle is a lifestyle photographer and leads the brand strategy at online education startup CreativeLive. She began her career in film production in LA which led her down a path as a producer. After several years at post & production houses and working at a couple of ad agencies she decided to follow her dreams and pursue more creative endeavors. She's deeply passionate about experiences and finds the intersection of storytelling, design, food, photography and music to be the sweet spot where all the magic happens. She can often be found brunching around town at one of her favorite places, camera in-hand hoping that her friends will wait 2 seconds before diving into the meal so she can get a shot first.
Miranda is a Seattle-based architectural photographer who works with designers and creative professionals to capture their work in its best light. Prior to devoting herself to photography full time, she practiced landscape architecture for over a decade, working on a wide range of projects from destination resorts to residential estates and collaborating with an elite group of architects, interior designers, contractors and developers. This work took her all over the globe and helped hone her eye for composition, color and nuance. Her breadth of experience in the design world informs her photography and gives her a unique perspective and understanding of the power of the photograph to build and grow a designer’s practice. Her work can be described as bright, evocative and richly textured, capturing images that transport the viewer.
Lauren Essl photo by @micheleequitz
Instagram: @laurenessl / @blueeyebrowneye
Lauren Essl is a graphic designer and calligrapher specializing in colorful, out of the box designs. Blue Eye Brown Eye, founded in 2010, is Lauren's business born from a passion for paper and named after her rescue pup, Olive, with one blue and brown eye.
While most of Lauren's work focuses on the wedding industry, she also teaches calligraphy workshops, and has traveled extensively all over the US (and even Paris) teaching thousands the art of pointed pen calligraphy over the past six years. Her reach has gone even further with three online calligraphy classes with Brit + Co.
Collaborations are also Lauren's jam, and she has enjoyed working with brands like Knot & Bow, designlovefest, Ted Baker, Method, and Society6 to name a few.
Born and raised in Texas, Lauren recently moved to Seattle with her husband and three dogs and is thrilled to now call the Pacific Northwest home. Currently, Lauren is: renovating a mid mod in Madrona, loving Washington wine, and probably listening to Drake.
Liz Ferris photograph by Anton Blinkenberg Zeuthen
Liz Ferris is on a mission to empower individuals to reclaim their space from the clutter so they can live a more balanced & stress-free life. In 2018, this passion led her to leave her corporate career and launch her own business as a home organization consultant—Organized by Liz.
A creative and empathetic guide in the journey towards organization, Liz uses the principles of minimalism to lead clients toward personal growth through freedom from excess stuff. When not organizing, you can find her reading a good book (goal is 50 in 2018!) or connecting with other entrepreneurs and looking for ways to help support one another.
Ashley is a studier of moments. Devoted to undressing emotions and helping others share the raw, unfiltered truth of their existence. She is an image wrangler. Crafting stories through photographs that give one the feeling of coming home to the magic within. A born pilgrim traveling like mad. Consuming all the textures, layers, and beauty. Because she knows this life is like lightening; beautiful, electric, fast and fleeting.
Emily Freidenrich is a book editor and image researcher for Girl Friday Productions. She is the author of The Art of Beatrix Potter for Chronicle Books (as Emily Zach), and her second book will release in the fall of 2018. Emily has a background in art history, and has a deep interest in Modern and contemporary art, as well as illustration, design, and pop culture. She lives in Seattle with her husband, Tyler, and corgi, Pancake.
Stephanie Gailing weaves together astrological insights, compassion-based coaching, dreamwork, and flower essence therapy to provide her clients with stellar life guidance. She is the author of Planetary Apothecary, the co-host of the So Divine! podcast, and the astrologer-in-residence at the Cloud Room in Seattle. In addition to working directly with individuals, couples, and organizations, Stephanie teaches workshops and writes about holistic well-being, including for AstroStyle and The Fold. Her work has been featured in Refinery 29, Seattle Magazine, City Arts, Bustle, MindBodyGreen, and other outlets. Stephanie earned her Advanced Diploma in Coaching from New York University and her M.S. in Nutrition from Bastyr University.
Holly is the owner and operator of Seattle-based Sablewood Paper Company, a fine art stationery, calligraphy and design studio that focuses on creating modern and romantic paper goods for intimate weddings and gatherings, as well as branding for small businesses. Holly is a recent transplant from Florida, where she grew up and earned degrees in hospitality & event management as well as graphic design. She utilizes her degrees and passions for exceptional service to create meaningful and lasting pieces for her clients. After she closes the office door for the evening, Holly can be found working with her husband on woodworking projects, reading while snuggling her two cats, and teaching herself new skills.
Katie Hackworth has a hefty design portfolio within a range of mediums over the past 20 years. With a graphic design degree as her foundation, Katie is a self taught architectural designer and interior designer who oversees each and every detail within the homes she creates. Her focus is design + build, as she firmly believes taking a vision from inception to completion leads to the best results on so many levels and for everyone involved. She has formed relationships with a talented group of elite contractors and architects in the Seattle area, who understand and support her mission; to create beautifully unique spaces with a nod to historical details and high-end craftsmanship that will stand the test of time, while simultaneously embracing the modern amenities and clean lines of design today.
Samantha Hinrichs is creative director, art director, and designer who is passionate about creating work that delights and connects people. Her design style has been described as both classic and experimental bringing more soul, more instinct, and more humanity—less stuff that interrupts, agitates, and frustrates.
She has a broad scope of experience, cutting her teeth with full-service technology & advertising agencies in San Francisco, before transitioning to a full-service creative studio in Austin where she helped oversee all aspects of creative and strategic development. She’s thrilled to now call the Pacific Northwest home, where she specializes in creating impactful campaigns and branding solutions for global corporations, locally-based small businesses, and everything in between.
Her specific interest in leading creative teams has led her to explore new methodologies of design while sharpening her unique creative perspective. Samantha is capable of working across a broad spectrum of design disciplines—but she has a thing for smart strategy, intentional branding, and advertising experiences that reach thousands, but seem to speak only to you.
Instagram: @laurenjessen / @adashofcinema
Lauren is a food content creator, author of Youth’s Highest Honor, and UX designer. As the creator of the food and film blog, A Dash of Cinema, Lauren cooks up movie-inspired food and drink recipes geared toward cozy movie nights. After culinary school at The Institute of Culinary Education, Lauren spent time in the kitchen learning how to survive the heat of Eleven Madison Park in New York City. When she’s not recipe testing, Lauren works as a UX designer with a focus on the food and beverage industries. She is also working on her second book.
Amy Johnson is a Seattle based food and interiors photographer whose true joy is to create beautiful imagery. She loves using pops of color, and playing with light, be it natural or studio lighting. Her aim is to bring out the beauty of the food or interior through her photography. After a career in Logistics she decided to follow her passion for photography, quit her job, and went back to school. Always having had an interest in interior design and food, photographing them felt like a natural fit. She has studied commercial and fine art photography respectively at the University of Washington and Seattle Central's Creative Academy. Clients include the recently published book Tasting Cider, Amazon Restaurants,Taylor Shellfish, Sip Northwest, Seattle Magazine, Grand Lux Cafe, California Walnuts, Amazon Fresh, and many more. Born and raised outside of Seattle, when not busy photographing she can be found like a true northwesterner, outdoors hiking or indoors at the local theater another passion, films.
Naomi is a food-loving Personal Chef who works one on one with clients in Seattle. She creates tailored meals and healthy treats for individuals and families who want to eat wholesome, homemade meals without the hassle of shopping, cooking, and cleanup.
Gabriela Alban Hidalgo
Gabriela Alban is an artist, trained as an architect seeking purpose through entrepreneurship. She is originally from Quito, Ecuador and holds a bachelors degree, with Honors in architectural studies form the University of Washington. Gabriela is a ScanDesign Fellow and has worked in architectural firms in Copenhagen and in Seattle. Her worked has ranged from adaptive reuse, to high end residential, to the design of high-end food experiences. She is the community programs coordinator at Design in Public and enjoys empowering others to step out of the box and explore the latent potential of design. Gabriela is fascinated with the potential of communities, to break stereotypes and build authentic, empathetic relationships. Gabriela believes that design is a not a luxury but rather, and incredible asset which can make us more vividly human.This appetite for critical thought, grounded on a fascination with design, propelled Gabriela to start building her own business with her mom. Together, they launched Capuli Club – Sips and Treats in 2016. This business looks to become a leader in developing a culture of environmental responsibility. The team works hard to lead Capuli Club toward becoming a resilient brand; committed to delivering transparent, organic and food forward experiences - make sure to check out their organic fruit sips!
Melissa Kaseman is an Interior and Lifestyle Photographer who recently relocated to Seattle from Oakland, CA. When not photographing commissioned work for boutique architecture firms or editorial work, she focuses her time on her personal art projects, exploring themes of loss, hope, and magic in the mundane. Driven by her love of art and design she is always seeking inspiration and is excited about building a creative community in Seattle. Her work has been published in the NYT T Magazine, The New Yorker, Lonny, DesignSponge, SFGirlbyBay, Monocle, Sunset, Tiny Atlas Quarterly, and numerous other publications. When she isn’t shooting commissioned work, you can find her chasing after her two little boys.
Emily was born and raised in Seattle. After years working on policy at Seattle City Council, she is currently the Marketing and Community Relations Director at Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream. With a background in law and policy, as well as journalism, she’s excited to have landed at Molly Moon’s, a company where she can use that background along with her creative spirit to innovate and community build. Emily loves to connect and find new ways to build partnerships between people and businesses. She believes it’s important for businesses small and large to focus on social impact programs. Emily is also a freelance writer and always on the lookout for delicious new brunch spots and sweets places to try, suggestions welcome!
Dragana Lassiter is a cultural anthropologist and a family photographer who recently relocated to Seattle from North Carolina. As a doctorate student, she has written publications on the feminist notions of care and relationality in medicine, and she similarly tries to capture people as evolving relational beings. She creates honest images that capture movement and process in people’s daily lives and familial co-becomings.
Kimber Leblicq has over fifteen years of experience in the Pacific Northwest nonprofit community. She has focused her career on fundraising, membership, and marketing and communications for performing arts and environmental organizations. She is currently the Managing Director at AIA Seattle. Kimber is a compassionate advocate for animal welfare and has served on the Board of Directors for Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest for eleven years. She is also a jewelry designer and metalsmith for her unique line of wearable sculpture, kimber elements. She enjoys traveling around the world, restoring and riding motorcycles, and hopes to someday be a plant based pastry chef.
Judy is a Transformative Portrait photographer who shows women their true selves so they can live with more authenticity, intention and purpose. She's spent most of her life struggling with self-worth and the feeling of "not enough." She always held on to the stories and beliefs she told herself about being shy, not smart enough and having no voice. While her career trajectory started in research and program evaluation at the university level, motherhood led her to discover she had an eye for photography which evolved into a family photography business. While she enjoyed it, she struggled with imposter syndrome and never took her business seriously. Then she adopted her second son as a toddler and he cried with grief for over two years, which left her feeling completely lost and broken, feeling numb to herself and the world. This all changed when she discovered women's portraiture, realized it was her calling, and it stirred something in her. Her calling became stronger than her fear and it sent her on a journey to reconnect with herself where she took off all her emotional armor, shed her old beliefs and found her voice. She was finally able to see herself for the woman she truly is and her personal journey helped her realize her purpose was to empower other women to do the same. She wants women to see themselves, their true selves and realize the woman they aspire to be is already in them. Just as she did for herself. She had to first learn to value herself, know her inherent self-worth and that had to come from within. Judy recently opened her portrait studio in Ballard in late March of this year.
Katie has enjoyed working in the design industry for over 15 years, starting her career with commercial architecture firms after graduating with a BFA in Interior Design from the University of Memphis. She eventually branched out on her own, focusing on smaller, residential projects as the owner of Katie Lesh Design. Whether it’s a kitchen renovation or decorating for a dinner party, Katie uses every opportunity to help create a beautiful, meaningful environment for her clients and friends. Relocating to Seattle has influenced her design style greatly, having a new appreciation for the beautiful exterior elements within and around the city. Katie’s concern about the environment and interest in blurring the boundaries between interior and exterior living are her focus for future design projects.
Website: www.atelierdrome.com / Instagram: @atelierdrom
Michelle is an architect and interior designer based in Seattle where she leads a studio of nearly 20 with her partner Henry Walters. With women leading the team by two-thirds, Michelle is proud to act as a role model and mentor in the design industry through promoting independence and design leadership throughout the studio.
Originally from Gloucester, Massachusetts, Michelle’s appreciation for large cities eventually led her to the Illinois Institute of Technology, located in Chicago. During her time in the Windy City, Michelle worked for a variety of firms with established roots in sustainable design in addition to a term studying abroad at the Technical University of Delft, in the Netherlands. Following her graduation, Michelle went on to work for firms in Honolulu and then Seattle, before deciding to start her own business and later merge with Henry in 2012.
Having seen the impact of housing on families first hand with parents in social work and her mother working for a housing authority, Michelle continues her passion for community-centric design with the goal of creating a positive impact on families, businesses and neighborhoods as a whole.
Lynda Lopez is a business strategist and coach for creative and purpose-driven small businesses. She teaches what she learned in over three years of running her own interior design and home staging business serving clients in the Pacific Northwest and the East Coast. Prior to entrepreneurship, Lynda spent eight years in public policy strategy and leadership development working with racial justice advocates across the country, particularly in the Deep South. She earned her Masters Degree in Human Geography at the University of Washington and a Bachelors in American Studies from Tufts University. She currently serves as a board of trustee for The Northwest School, an independent middle and upper school in Seattle, WA.
Instagram: @herbakinglab / @hernameisqueenie
Queenie is the baker, food photographer and web designer behind herbakinglab.com. Born and raised in Shanghai, China, Queenie came to study in the U.S when she was 17. She moved from Washington, DC to Seattle not long ago. She also recently creates HerBakingLab, a blog where she writes about her love for cookbooks, experiments with recipes and documents her food creations. She soon will attend Seattle Central Creative Academy to further develop her Graphic Design skill. Queenie has a wild list of interests. She bakes, she hikes, she pours espresso shots, she takes photos, she designs websites, she rock climbs, she plays music, she reads, she kayaks, she writes, she cooks… She thinks she might just be a multipotentialite.
Instagram: @stephanieeedraws / @bathingbeauteas
Stephanie is a Seattle-based creative entrepreneur, designer, and artist known for her lettering and designs inspired by her PNW roots. After graduating the University of Washington, she co-founded Bathing Beauteas, a startup that combines historical bathing traditions with natural ingredients to empower the modern woman.
Having lived in cities around the world including Copenhagen, Paris, and Saigon, she developed a love of combining different design and lifestyles with culture in all her creative work. Stephanie simultaneously launched Bathing Beauteas and her design + branding career in 2015 to focus on creating a lifestyle brand that encourages restfulness as well as meaningful and impactful designs that invite conversation across all platforms.
Stephanie is a part time designer, full time plant enthusiast, and lover of all things outdoors. As a creative with a marketing background, Stephanie loves to connect with her audience through meaningful ways via authentic conversations and hosting meetups in Seattle.
Cat is a designer and entrepreneur who for the last ten years has led GRACE GOW. GRACE GOW is a design firm that's created custom sculptural works, functional + beautiful house ware products and the Colony Collection, textural fine jewelry that's inspired by the freedom and strength of the sea. Cat finds inspiration from the ocean, transforming eroded and broken forms into an extension of her modern and sophisticated style. The line, handcrafted on Vashon Island, embodies an independent bohemian attitude through inventive combinations of aesthetic forms, fabrication techniques, and gemstone selections. Cat maintains sustainable studio practices and sources fair-mined diamonds; she is currently working on a limited edition collection of engagement and bridal bands. She also teaches pop-up ring carving workshops in Seattle and at private parties anywhere people want to carve!
Aileen is a Chicago-born, Seattle-based writer who lives by the words, “There’s no such thing as too spicy.” She’s on a mission to humanize tech: Most recently she led grassroots storytelling on the Mixed Reality Marketing team at Microsoft, celebrating a growing community of designers and developers creating holograms. You can find her writing on veganism, socioeconomic identity, and womanhood around the web, and her heart at Capitol Hill's Joe Bar Café (Those green walls! Those caffeinated brainstorms!). These days, she works in communications and culture at Microsoft and cohosts an ongoing Immersive Storytelling Salon for creators in VR/AR.
@ptxstudio / Ptxstudio.wordpress.com
@rayaexchange / RayaExchange.com
Amanda McLaurin is a fiber artist, freelance event producer and art educator teaching embroidery, sewing and fiber arts to students in Seattle and Skagit County. Drawing offer her past career as a event planner, she takes on freelance event coordinator gigs producing textile workshops and art related community events. She recently returned to the Washington area after a two year living in Semarang, Indonesia. During this time her love of textiles and her husband’s background in import/export inspired them to establish Raya Exchange, a company whose mission is to support traditional artisans in Indonesia. Their curated collection of Indonesian home goods is available on their website RayaExchange.com.
Chi is an Istanbul-born, Seattle-based artist, illustrator and art director. For over a decade, she has been working in the field of art and design. During this time, she took part in, and often creatively led projects ranging from illustration, motion, interactive, to character design, editorial, apparel and more. These days, under the pseudonym of ChiChiLand, she creates art, illustration and design works as well as small editions of art products. ChiChiLand has a naïve, humorous illustration style with whimsical creatures, surprising visual narratives, colorful lands and patterns. When Chi is not working, she's probably either outside - eating something delicious, or in the kitchen - cooking something tasty. She loves freshly made natural meals, long happy dinner tables filled with small sharing plates.
Kate Murphy is a Seattle-based designer and marketing consultant with a passion for architecture, social media and event planning within the local arts and design community. Having initially studied art history and fine arts at the University of Pennsylvania, she later received her M.Arch from the University of Washington. Currently a board member for local nonprofits On the Boards and the Seattle Design Foundation, Murphy also serves as a committee member with the Henry Art Gallery Contemporaries and Space.City. Changing every four to six weeks, she is the curator of The Vatican (mini-gallery) at Georgetown's studio e.
Twitter: @colleenobrien / LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/colleenobrienmba/
Colleen is a communications professional with over seven years of experience in the Seattle tech scene. She originally hails from Boston, where she earned a degree in film production and studies of women, gender, and sexuality. Colleen has an MBA from the University of Washington's Foster School of Business and a 200-hour yoga teacher training certification from Seattle's The Grinning Yogi. She currently produces and co-hosts a podcast about gender equity in the workplace called Women in Business & Technology. Colleen is a Community Member at The Riveter, and is pursuing her executive coaching certification with iPEC. After managing Microsoft's Employee Giving Campaign in the company's philanthropy organization, she became a proponent of skills-based volunteering, and currently sits on the board of Reel Grrls.
Websites: www.partywithak.com /
Karen is a social entrepreneur with an interest in impacting lives through big business entrepreneurship. She owns three businesses called Party With a K, Her Big Day and most recently, TONL. Karen is also passionate about philanthropy and empowering women and she lives that out through her impactful brunch called Building Bridges Brunch that she hosts in different cities annually.
Keri Petersen is the owner and principal designer at KP Spaces. For over 10 years Keri has dedicated herself to creating elegant and sophisticated custom home interiors that reflect her client’s unique personalities and lifestyles. Keri is a firm believer in the trans formative power of interior design and is passionate about helping her clients love and thrive in the spaces they inhabit. Keri lives in Ballard with her husband Justin, two children Maggie and Jude, and dog Biscuit.
Instagram: salon @lancerandlacesalon / personal @katie.rainwater
Katie is the Creative Director/Co-Founder of Lancer and Lace, Seattle's premier boutique salon. From humble beginnings, Katie was born and raised on a 260 acre ranch outside of Bend, Oregon. With creativity, skill and eye for art, she moved to Seattle in 2008 to pursue a career in gallery curating and art restoration, but in 2011 decided to explore a career in the beauty industry after a local business woman inspired her to follow her passion of helping others feel comfortable and confident with their own natural beauty.
Soon after graduating from Gary Manuel Aveda Institute as an Esthetician she began her first solo business venture specializing in natural, customized eyelash extensions. It wasn't long before Katie had built a healthy following and a reputation for providing high quality, natural looking eyelash extensions and the best lash care education. She even developed a unique "wrap technique" that allowed the extensions to last longer, up to 4-5 weeks, providing greater value to her clients.
In 2015, Katie teamed up with friend and hair stylist, Julia Anderson (Managing Director/Co-Founder of Lancer and Lace) to begin planning their very own high-end boutique salon. In December 2016, after securing a prime 2,200 square foot space in the heart of Seattle's Belltown Neighborhood beneath the Insignia Towers, and enduring a lengthy build process, Katie and Julia were delighted to open the doors of Lancer and Lace with a team of artists who are gifted specialists in their particular crafts.
Close to two years later and Lancer and Lace is going strong with 10 unique artists, including two talented lash specialists who were trained by Katie, maintaining a high standard and great reputation for healthy vegan lashes that are long lasting. Supporting Katie's reputation for the best lash care education, Lancer and Lace encourage their lash clients to use the locally inspired, Lash Garde (coming to Nordstrom in Fall 2018), which is uniquely oil free and safe to use on eyelash extensions.
Instagram: @ashrod / @notwithoutsaltshop
Ashley is a Seattle-based food consultant, cooking instructor, food photographer, author of Date Night In, wife, and mother of three young children. As the creator of notwithoutsalt.comAshley blogs about life as told through food. Her blog has earned accolades from Saveur.com (Best Food Blog 2013), the Times Online, Babble.com, RealSimple.com, Brides.com, BonAppetit.com, Glamour.com, GourmetLive.com, Food52.com, MarthaStewart.com, and TheKitchn.com for her writing and original photography. Ashley's work has also been featured in several publications such asMartha Stewart Living, Glamour, Sunset, and Edible Seattle. Before she began writing, Ashley worked in several professional kitchens including Wolfgang Puck's Spago in Beverly Hills. Now, Ashley teaches in and around Seattle at various locations including The Pantry and The Book Larder.
Website: Airbnb Bungalow Seattle
Christine is the owner/operator of The Bungalow Seattle, a creative venue in historic Wallingford. The Bungalow hosts short and long term stays, film and photo shoots, dinners and special events. Find us on IG @thebungalow.seattle. DM with inquiries or follow Airbnb link in bio.
Coley is a Seattle U Alumni and native Seattleite. She is currently a Marketing Strategy Consultant at Lenati where she helps clients obtain measurable improvements in ROI from Marketing and Sales efforts. She began her career at The Seattle Times where coordinated Seattle Restaurant Week and the Livewire Event Series. While there she developed a passion for politics and social justice as well as her insatiable need to consume all types of podcasts. Coley is also the Channel Strategist for SEA the City, a hyper-local blog showcasing the people, places and things that make Seattle unique. She loves to deep dive into the cross-section between pop culture and politics. She can often be found dancing at the concert of the week or running around with her friends experiencing the latest happy hour spot.
Kandra is an abstract expressionist oil painter. Her paintings emphasize the depth and complexity of stroke and form, reflecting human nature by combining strength and softness. Through the precise application of color and paint, I strive to infuse control with an emotional velocity that moves the dynamic beyond the canvas. Backed with self-built frames and hand-stretched canvas, her hope is that the physicality within her compositions reminds the viewer of the process and transcends mere visuality.
Shannon Sigler is the founder and curator of The Story Shop Studio, an online retail collection of small-batch fashion supporting creative coaching for female artists and entrepreneurs. She also runs The Cascadia Residency, a faith-based artist residency in the Pacific Northwest. Shannon's passion is mentoring fellow creatives in both the spirituality and practicalities of their arts careers. Shannon lives in Seattle with her husband, Matt, and son, Elijah, and divides her time unequally between the office, the playground, and the art studio.
Catherine is the Director of Communications at Pivotal Ventures, the Executive Office of Melinda Gates based in Seattle, Washington.
Until the end of 2014, she was a Senior Communications Officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where she acted as Strategy Lead for Melinda Gates’ profile and communications.
Prior to joining the foundation in August 2011, Catherine was based in London and worked as a Senior Manager, Global Projects at HSBC Holdings where she was responsible for developing and managing international communications efforts.
Prior to this, Catherine was a Director at Vero Communications, a strategic communications consultancy specialized in the business of sport. In this capacity, she worked on successful international campaigns including Rio de Janeiro’s bid to host the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games as well as the International Rugby Union’s bid for re-inclusion in the Olympics. She also managed the profile and communications of 400m Olympic Gold medalist Christine Ohuruogu.
Before joining Vero in 2008, Catherine was based in Brussels where she was a Manager at Burson-Marsteller and managed pan-European public affairs and communications campaigns for clients in the healthcare sector. A native of Montreal, she is fluent in English and French.
Sarah was born in Southern California and relocated to the Pacific Northwest in 2012 to complete her Bachelor’s Degree in Communication and Media studies at Seattle University. After interning for The Seattle Art Museum in the Communication Department and working with local wine aficionado Jon Rimmerman of Garagiste, she forged a career in technology.
She has produced and co-led an Executive Thought Leadership Dinner Series while working at Substantial, a product development studio in Capitol Hill, in various cities across the country and deeply believes in the power of conversation, community and authentic connection to drive modern businesses forward.
Sarah’s love of design and community led her to a volunteer role with Creative Morning’s Seattle chapter. We believe in the power of community. We believe in giving a damn. We believe in face-to-face connections, in learning from others, in hugs and high-fives.
A confidant, an authentic human, a lover of living.
My inspiration is found in creating memories using all the components of a good time: atmosphere, people, food, and well planned logistics. I have owned my business, Anticipate Wedding & Events for over 10 years, and have been privileged to participate in the planning and execution of many life milestones. The summer of 2016 I felt an undeniable nudge to go back to the well and identify the top things I was passionate about. Over my career, the one thing that stands out as the best part for me is the relationships cultivated from it. I wanted to provide a space for women to come together for face to face connection, to laugh hard, to savor good food and drink as the creativity from their hands distracted them to get lost in conversation. This is time set apart, an investment in an experience, a way to challenge yourself in a comfortable, warm place, time to learn, teach, and grow no matter the skill level. It is as much a needed night out with girlfriends, as it is a way to practice creativity. I could go on forever because my heart is so deeply invested. I named it Social Creative.
Things that make me really happy: my husband and 3 extraordinary boys, my village of friends and family, lingering with friends at a table full of food & drink, and being able to put my passions into practice anywhere I can.
Instagram: @visualcaffeine / website: visualcaffeine.com
Cheale Villa the founder, CEO and Visionary Rabbit, of Visual Caffeine, a branding and design company. Hitting 20 years this year owning her little empire that spans a national client base, but bi-coastally based in Seattle and Charlotte. Her passion is finding the authenticity of companies to better humanize them to the world and create the ultimate brand experience with those slices of knowledge. She is also a joyful workaholic, an advocate of all living things, a night owl (needing less sleep than the average vampire) and a passionate player in the literal, and figurative, creative communities she lucky enough to come across. Her idea of living well is being home with her husband, teenage daughter and 5 fur babies!