HackerMoms ask, not “what do you do?,” but “what do you make?” Our members range from writers, builders and entrepreneurs to visual artists, photographers and designers. With 30+ members and 50+ infants, toddlers and kids, our list always growing. So if you don’t see your friend here, s/he’ll be added soon! (Note: the first five on this list are the Mothership HackerMoms Board of Directors.)
Sho Sho Smith – Founder and President
Sho Sho Smith worked professionally for 15 years as a business writer for Fortune 500 companies in finance, technology and retail industries before she went rogue. She is a corporate dropout turned social entrepreneur, MFA turned freelance writer, design lover turned hacker/maker and former militant anti-breeder. Her motto for HackerMoms, for herself, and her two young daughters is, “Be a Pattern for the world.” She founded Mothership HackerMoms in the midst of her husband’s battle with cancer, when she needed a positive project that reinforced her values of creativity, community and motherhood. HackerMoms saved her life, and by extension, her family’s life.
Karen Agresti – Director of Marketing and Social Media
Karen Agresti has been a Set Decorator and buyer for film and TV projects including “The Big Lebowski,” “Easy A” and HBO’s “Hung.” A die-hard Craig’s List groupie and mom of two toddler boys, Karen has an endless source of ideas and projects on design, business and the art/pratfalls of parenting. She’s also a writer who’s current subject is the underbelly of the fertility business. Karen spearheaded the Kickstarter video, space planning and found our beloved hackerspace rental on (you guessed it) Craig’s List. http://karenagresti.tumblr.com
Samantha Matalone Cook – Community Outreach and Education Director
Samantha Matalone Cook is an educator, writer and artist. She launched Hacker Scouts, a mentoring and making program for kids in engineering, electronics and robotics. In addition to writing and blogging about feminism, parenting and homeschooling for major publications, she educates her three children at home. Samantha has started many grassroots groups and is an active member of the hacker/maker and homeschooling communities. Samantha has been a speaker and advocate for HackerMoms at the Maker Faire and Mini Maker Faire 2012 events.
Hayden Davis – Director of Finance
Hayden Davis has worked as an accountant for non-profits and private businesses. But she’s really a passionate maker, shameless art hack, mother of two and community activist with a keen business sense. Hayden embodies the spirit of social entrepreneurship with her star-tup non-profit, Booby Love, that matches mothers who donate breastmilk to those needing it.
Shannon Nicholls – Director of Funding and Non-profit
Shannon Nicholls is a photographer and children’s clothing designer for her label, Fig & Peach. An avid maker and mother of two, she believes that a good day must include running a few miles, creating something new and doing no errands. She is currently writing essays and a memoir. Supporting HackerMoms from behind the scenes (and the lens), Shannon is the resident photographer, events chronicler, blogger and visual designer.
Holly Wach – Artist, Painter, Bartender and Educator
Holly hails from Florida and Rhode Island, and went to art school in New York City. She moved to Oakland (the Brooklyn of California!) in 2008 to make art in sun with lots of space. To support her art career, Holly bartends and teaches art to high schoolers. Holly lives with her partner Mark and their daughter Morena. See her work at hollywach.com.
Erin Althea – Illustrator
Erin is a gallery artist and freelance illustrator for clients like McSweeney’s, Levi’s and Pepsi Co. She was also a fashion photo stylist for many years before getting her MFA at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. She has twin daughters. See her work at www.erinalthea.com.
Wendy Renz – Upcycled Furniture Builder
A former scientist and biologist, Wendy has started a second career in furniture making. She comes from a family of builders and makers and found her specialty in upcycling and furniture rescue. Wendy is currently creating a Palette Gate Kit, an original design. Her company is Claremont Finders Keepers. She’s a mom of two.
Julie Tinker – Graphic Designer
Julie is a freelance graphic designer, animator and founder of TinkerCo Design and Production studio. Prior to becoming a designer, Julie was a top collegiate heptathlete, and later became a professional long jumper and Olympic hopeful for the US Track and Field team. She has a daughter, Jojo. See her work at tinkerco.com.
Suzanne Forrester – Artist
Suzanne is in the process of reclaiming her artistic life after many years of neglect. She belongs to the artist collective at the Compound Gallery in Oakland. Suzanne is currently exploring the human behavioral instinct for pattern-making in her work. To support her life as an artist, Suzanne also works as a massage therapist and autism caregiver. She looks forward to one day having children.
Cale Davis – Dad, Therapist and Teacher
Cale is a teacher for the Oakland Unified School District who works with special needs kids. His background as a therapist makes him a compassionate teacher for both students and parents. He also builds toys and play structures for his son, and is a father of a newborn daughter.
Lacey Bastian – Hooper
Lacey Bastian’s day job is copy editing, and her passion is hula hooping and a hardcore lifetime burner. She loves going to fire dancing festivals to learn more about fire-hooping and fire-staff. She also makes resin art, costumes and a baby named Julia. Lacey lives in Pacifica with her husband, Scott the Scottish bastard.
Artlyn Johnson – Interior Design Instructor, FIDM
After grinding away nearly ten years at architecture firms this hackermom’s life started to feel dirge-like. In the midst of thinking she might return grad school to pursue a degree in textile and surface design at Rhode Island School of Design ( a dream since graduating from architecture school ), she got a job as Instructor of Interior Design at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, San Francisco. Recognizing the slippage of time after the birth of her son, a new design life was on the horizon. In addition to teaching at FIDM, Artlyn runs a series of workshops for women called Creating Soul Sanctuaries, which covers the basics of how you to create a sacred space (i.e boudoir) in an environment that is most likely over-run with children’s toys, pet stuff and the like. Alkhemy Print & Pattern, her design studio, was started January 2012 with the hopes of launching a collection of wallpaper, fabric and paper murals for Spring 2013.
Aya de Leon - Writer and Performer
Aya works in poetry, fiction, spoken word, and hip hop theater. Her work has received acclaim in the Village Voice, Washington Post, American Theatre Magazine, and has been featured on Def Poetry, in Essence Magazine, and various anthologies and journals. She was named best discovery in theater for 2004 by the SF Chronicle for “Thieves in the Temple : The Reclaiming of Hip Hop,” a solo show about fighting sexism and commercialism in hip hop. Also in 2004, she received a Goldie award from the SF Bay Guardian in spoken word for “Thieves…” and her subsequent show “Aya de Leon is Running for President.” In 2005 she was voted “Slamminest Poet” in the East Bay Express. Aya has been an artist in residence at Stanford University, a Cave Canem poetry fellow, and a slam poetry champion. She publicly married herself in the 90s and since 1995 has been hosting an annual Valentine’s Day show that focuses on self-love. Aya has released three spoken word CDs, several chapbooks, and a video of “Thieves…” Since becoming a mom, she has been working to transition from being a touring performer into writing novels, including a sexy feminist heist caper. She is the Director of June Jordan’s Poetry for the People program, teaching poetry, spoken word, and hip hop at UC Berkeley. Feel free to visit her website that has barely been updated since her daughter was born in 2009: ayadeleon.com
Rafael Vega – Dad, Trainer and Writer
Rafael is a dad by day, CrossFit trainer by early morning and a video game startup copywriter by night. His projects: dreaming up ideas for future mobile games and writing content for current games/blog promoting games; writing picture books (he recently finished one, “When the Darkness Comes,” and is starting another, “Monkey, Monkey, Not Everything’s a Tree.”); writing a Norse myth novel. What he needs most is sleep. He lives in Berkeley with his wife and daughter.
Vonnie Chan – Designer of children’s clothing
Vonnie’s children’s clothing label is Chicks and Frogs. She is a passionate maker and sewer who dabbles in handmade paper and wood working. She recently and courageously quit her full time job in non-profit work to dedicate herself to rediscovering a languishing creative life. It’s going very well. She lives in Berkeley with her husband and two kids.
Alison Sanders – Animator
Alison worked the grueling production schedules in film animation until she had her son. She’s now a freelance animation instructor and is writing and illustrating a children’s book. She also practices knitting, crocheting, felting and tatting (lacemaking). Allison lives in El Cerrito with her husband and son.
Sean Smith – Software Engineer and Homebrewer
Sean is an engineering manager by trade, but his passion is making delicious artisanal beers in his basement. His current project brings both worlds together in his self-created kegbot, an Arduino-based sensor that measures the weight of his kegs, letting him know when he’s low for his brewing schedule. He is a self-described beer nerd. He lives in Oakland with his wife and two daughters.
Jane Tunks Demel – Editor and Cook
Jane is a writer and editor who specializes in food, wine, and
spirits. Most of the time she edits cookbooks, and she is also the
Food section editor for BlogHer.com, the largest online community of
women bloggers. Her main clients include America’s Test Kitchen,
Chronicle Books, and Tablehopper.com. Jane is a graduate of the
Institute of Culinary Education. She is a trained professional. (Sort
of.) Jane lives in Berkeley, California, with her husband and son.
More and more HackerMoms to come…