Our Happy Hour with Monmade!
Women+ in Design PGH re-invigorated our virtual Happy Hour events on March 2nd 2021 in a dynamic and creativity-fueled evening!
For those unable to attend, Monmade, a non-profit organization, gave an inspiring presentation about how they are accelerating a network of local and regional artisans and minority owned businesses. Katie Schaible, Director of Monmade, explained the collaborative work within their women-led entrepreneurial and impact driven organization, and the challenges Monmade faces related to finding and supporting female and minority artisans.
This sparked an interesting conversation within the group about experiences taking home economics classes as extra curriculars, rather than being encouraged or even offered shop classes or construction trade training. As an Industrial Designer herself, Katie mentioned local maker studios such as Protohaven and Prototype that might be interested in creating classes for Women+ in Design to learn proper use of heavy equipment and/or power tools. Something to look forward to for future events!
Another thought-provoking topic that emerged (which I have been pondering myself) is ‘How could we (as design and development professionals) support more local, regional, and minority owned businesses in our workplace projects and in professional development or education?’ As a collective group, I am sure we could combine our talents as Women+ in Design and share our expertise in a more meaningful way to support our local communities.
Could we develop education programs to inspire more women to learn valuable trades? Could we make an extra effort to include and specify more products made by minority businesses and/or regional producers in our projects? Could we find more ways to support local and regional businesses and be the catalysts for change in a sustainable way (not just going back to business as usual)?
One way you can get involved right now is to enter Monmade's One Green Product Design Competition! Or pass this info along to a local artisan working on creating an innovative new product. Competition closes April 12, 2021, so get your entries in now!
Thank you all for joining our FIRST of many inspirational Happy Hour sessions. The planning team will always welcome your thoughts, feedback, ideas for future sessions, and continued participation.
Images courtesy of Katie Schiable, Director of Monmade