I was born and raised in Northern New Jersey not too far from NYC and just a few miles from Newark Airport. After graduating from Rutgers University in New Brunswick NJ, I decided to head south to Atlanta, GA.
Fun Fact: Even though my father spoke Spanish before he spoke English, my sister and I never became fluent. I had a foreign language requirement to graduate college, so I waited until summer to take Spanish. At the end of the class, I combined bribery with extra credit and brought the whole class Paella and ended up with a solid C+.
When I moved to Atlanta, I spent a few years working in the home furnishings industry, first in a wholesale showroom and then managing and merchandising a retail store. That experience prepared me for fine art. I became the Director for Ford Smith Fine Art I and oversaw the galleries in Roswell, GA and Santa Fe, NM.
Fun Fact: Santa Fe at the time was the fifth most popular art destination in the world, but under my management, the gallery in Roswell, GA, consistently outperformed our Santa Fe gallery for more than two years.
I realized that the visual design and problem solving aspects of the job were really what interested me most. So I took a leap and left the gallery and joined the circus. My year and a half at The Creative Circus provided invaluable foundational design skills that I utilize everyday.
Fun Fact: I was lucky to be among the last classes educated and mentored by Sylvia Gaffney. Sylvia was the most feared and beloved Design teacher at the circus. Everyone who took Sylvia’s classes laughed, cried, and if you survived, you made it out with a solid visual design foundation.
After I left the circus I began working as a freelance interactive designer specializing in branding and websites for small business clients. Some of my clients included a private fundraising coordinator, restaurant consultant, and professional stylist/inventor. While I was freelancing, I began transitioning into UX Design.
Fun Fact: The most important lesson I learned as a freelancer was when to say no. I am naturally a people pleaser, so respectfully asserting myself was an important lesson. It has served me well ever since.
I have learned so much over the last three years at Cognia. I feel fortunate to be trusted to create solutions for complicated problems with the support of a small team of talented, diverse women.
I still consider the work and experiences I had before becoming a designer as my most significant advantage. Spending those years in sales, marketing, and talking to customers about various goods at a wide range of price points provided me invaluable insights into people and their wants, needs, and biases.
Get in touch for opportunities or just to say hi! 👋