Designing Moms

Photography: Lot 116

by Cat on September 24, 2012

Are you looking for a feel good family for your Monday? I have one via Designing Mom Julie of Lot 116 and they are going to innervate you. Innervate you as in yes, they are gorgeous…every single member of the family down to their son who just shot a Converse ad. But their story is the real gem… Take a firefighter dad and stay at home mom who yearned for a family. They opened their arms to becoming foster parents and in came two amazing boys they would come to call their own. To read more click here. Thank you for sharing your amazing photographs Julie!


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Biz How-to: The Birth of an Idea

by Cat on September 10, 2012

Michelle Harris is a lawyer and designer of Pillito, a fashionable pill bottle with a built-in timer so you never forget when you last took your pills. Not only does Michelle have a busy work schedule, but she is also in the process of adopting. It has been a grueling process fraught with months of endless waiting. How does she manage all aspects of her life? We asked her a few questions to find out.
Where did the idea for Pillito come from? How did you start developing the idea into a product?
Actually, I came up with the idea for Pillito when I started thinking about adoption.  I’m a twin to a male and my entire life I’ve been fascinated by whether we’re governed by DNA, nurturing, or something in between, something entirely our own.
To avoid the emptiness of the wait which inevitably comes with adoption, I decided to see if I was related by DNA or otherwise to my two inventor grandfathers.  My background is in writing and law. I’m not the engineer type, but I soon realized invention is like writing: it’s problem solving.   I traveled to Peru to learn Spanish and work in an orphanage. I love traveling without a watch or phone but I couldn’t remember if I took my vitamins in the morning. I wanted a fashionable, discreet, pill bottle and none was on the market.  Pillito was born.

What were some of the challenges you faced in developing Pillito as a product and company? What advice do you have for entrepreneurs?
I’ve worked full-time while doing Pillito mornings, nights, and weekends.  The only challenge for me has been finding the right people with whom to work.  The funding is more of a waiting game than a challenge but one should start looking for capital and knowing costs as early as possible. That’s where people become involved. Check references, not friends, and only work with people are are instantly dependable.

How do you manage your personal life while developing Pillito?
Dependable co-workers are required when you have so  much else on your plate, like adoption, which is unpredictable.   I’ve managed a full plate by keeping incredibly systematic about non-negotiable but boring matters, like paying bills, laundry, and exercise.  While I love catching up with friends, I schedule in advanced and set phone dates. I miss impromptu socializing but that will return, I hope, with some a lessened work load. But if a lessened work load doesn’t happen, then that’s okay too.

What advice do you have for women looking to adopt?
Just like adoption, Pillito has been a celebration of time and the unknown.  Many people’s sadness stems from unrealized expectations.  People expect their children, partners, life, or themselves to be a certain way and when reality doesn’t meet expectations, the gap saddens.   So let go of the expectations.  I have no clue what my baby will look or act like.  In truth, neither do mothers who have their children with husbands.   Thus, I’m trying to use this waiting, this Pillito invention, as preparation to see the positive, live in gratitude, and harmonize with the unknown.


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Designing Moms Post Halloween

by Cat on November 1, 2011

Hope everyone had a great Halloween! Zilla had so much fun celebrating over the weekend with his little friends. Here are some post-Halloween photos to share with ya’ll. Clockwise: 1.Designing Mom Guisell’s valiant Superhero. 2. Zilla’s sharecare cutie luvbug Amelia. We had a blast at the West Portal block party. 3. Designing Mom Shinmin’s Mila as an exquisite Anatole the Mouse. 4. Mila and Zilla partying and comparing candy at the Telegraph Hill Neighborhood Center.


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Blog Roundup: Lot 116 and Alice in Wonderland

by Cat on September 8, 2011

I don’t think an Alice in Wonderland themed tea party could get any more cuter than this.. This week’s blog pick comes from Designing Mom Julie of Lot 116.  Her photography is always a chic, whimsical feast for the eyes and this tea party does not disappoint. To see the full shoot, click here!


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Living in San Francisco with its blustery summers lends itself to a lot of fantasizing for summer houses on my part. Kanako at the studio was lucky enough to speak to talented designer-photographer-artist, Elisabeth Dunker of Fine Little Day, about her absolutely beautiful summer home in Sweden. Have a glimpse below at their conversation and visit Fine Little Day here

What made you decide on a  summer house?

I’ve dreamt of a summer house since I was a teenager. Last year we I decided it was time. I just couldn’t wait anymore. Let’s try it, I said, and if we don’t make it, we’ll sell it. It’s a plain house, located in the middle of Sweden where the prices still are pretty low. I knew when I first walked in there, that this was the one. The biggest point is that I realized that life is short. Why wait, let’s try.

Tell me about your daily routine while spending the time in the summer house.

This is the first summer for us in the house so we really don’t have any daily routines yet. We eat breakfast together in the mornings and then we all do what we feel like. I clear our little garden from weeds maybe, play a racket game with the kids or work in my studio. If we have sun, we’ll go swimming.

Do you think your summerhouse will affect or inspire your artwork?

I think it will. I’m working with a new project here in the summer house studio, it’s an exhibition that will take place in Gothenburg this autumn. And even if I’ve just started I believe this place is leading me to new roads.

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