Design for a Difference relies on many volunteers to help design, create, and execute a variety of projects for well-deserving members of the community. One thing that a lot people don’t know about our volunteers, is that many of them are working moms! In honor of Mother’s Day, which was on May 9th, we’d love to say thank you to all the mothers out there who have worked on a DFAD project in the past or are currently working to help DFAD and its projects become a success. We couldn’t be more thankful to have these mothers as part of our talented team of volunteers.
To highlight these working moms and show our appreciation, we’re getting a glimpse into how being a mother has influenced their time at DFAD. The first mom we’re featuring is Nicole Zeigler, an interior designer based out of the Salt Lake Valley in Utah.
Nicole is a DFAD working mom who is a phenomenal addition to the DFAD team. When it comes to balancing being a mom and doing all of the other tasks she has in a day, she said, “It’s a challenge, and I’m still working on it! I’ve had to work on prioritizing what’s most important and forgiving myself for not being able to do everything I feel like I should be doing. I’m learning to let go, and to rely on my great support system, and I’ve invested in convenience services like house-cleaning, grocery delivery, and pre-made meal services, knowing that eliminating these burdens from my to-do list will help me focus my time on my design work and clients.”
She also believes that being a mom has changed the way she approaches design as a whole. She said, “Being a mom and a designer has given me much more empathy for other moms! It’s a hard job, and often a thankless job. Moms often give up their own sense of self while giving all of themselves to their families. I want my mom clients to love their home, and to know that they deserve a space they love, a space that is uniquely theirs.
I just finished up a Design for a Difference project at Family Support Center’s LifeStart Village. These community living units house single-parent families who have fought hard to give their kids the best they can. Most of these single parents are mothers, and we were inspired to give them a community living room space that would feel like a relaxing, safe home. Because they deserve it.”
Angela Skalitzky, Interior Designer and Vice President of Design at Floor 360 in Madison, Wisconsin, is another mom who fearlessly takes on a number of impressive projects. Her and her team of hardworking moms, including Autumn Stankovsky, pictured below, and Courtney Wollersheim, work together to make dreams come true, and we are thrilled to have them.
Autumn Stankovsky with her two sons, Henrik (left) and Oliver (right)
When it comes to being a mom and a designer, Angela said that creating spaces that are beautiful and unique is just one element. She said, “Specifying the proper finishes can allow families more time to relax and enjoy time together at home with less worry about scratching or spilling, less time spent cleaning and scrubbing; more time spent making memories!”
Angela Skalitzky with her son Wyatt (left) and Westin (right)
Her designer, Courtney Wollersheim also agreed that picking finishes and selections that are more durable for kids and pets is important as a mom, and that parents don’t want to live to keep a clean house or have rooms that kids can’t go in. And, as far as designing kids rooms, she said, “Have fun with design and don’t be too serious! Let your kids have fun with some colors in their room. Paint is the easiest, least expensive thing to change! Kids like to feel involved somehow in the process. Even if it is giving them the choice between two colors that you love, they like to feel included.”
Courtney with her two sons, Parker (left) and Hudson (right)
Hollie Gyarmati is designer, author, and working mom who is a great addition to the DFAD team. She said that motherhood changed everything about how she runs her day. She has five kids, including two sets of twins! When it comes to how being a mom has helped her become more successful in her work life, she said that she learned to prioritize based on what was most meaningful for her to be happy in her daily routine. That translated to time blocking and running her business more efficiently, which quickly translated to higher purpose and profit, so it was a win-win.
Here’s what Hollie had to say was her favorite thing about being a mom. “I love having an excuse to eat ice cream for dinner on any given day of the week. And the love. The love is kinda hard to beat.”
On behalf of the DFAD team, we want to say Happy Mother’s Day to all the working moms out there and a big thank you to those DFAD working moms who are crucial to our success!