Women in Design Launch

Though women outnumber men in both design school and design disciplines, there are far more men occupying leadership roles in the creative industry. This is a problem, and not just for the ladies. Men and women alike should be asking why. Why aren’t more women leading, and what can we do about it?

AIGA, the professional association for design, established the Women’s Leadership Initiative to answer those very questions. Our mission is to empower women in design by addressing issues of inequity and bias in an inclusive, constructive way. Here in Portland, we’re bringing that mission to our own design community through a new event series called Women in Design. Our objective is to come together with both men and women to work towards these three goals:


  • Celebrate the achievements of women in design.
  • Cultivate awareness of gender-related issues, while building knowledge and leadership skills.
  • Connect by facilitating relationships within and beyond the design industry.


To kick off the series, we’re hosting a launch party and pop-up shop at Enso Winery on September 16. Come out to hang with fellow designers, sip on amazing wine, and meet our featured female entrepreneurs as they talk about their work, experiencesand sell their wares. The brilliant women you’ll meet include:


Lisa Holmes



Lisa is a graphic/web designer, author, outdoor enthusiast, and previous AIGA Portland board member. For over 20 years she has been co-owner of Yulan Studio, providing graphic design for environmental and outdoor recreation organizations. After moving from Kansas City to Oregon in 2007, Lisa became obsessed with the beauty of the Pacific Northwest landscape and began designing a series of self-published hiking books. “I Heart Oregon (& Washington)” is the first in the series, with more on the way. “As a graphic designer, I’ve focused on making the book’s design easy to use and providing a much more visual approach to the subject than currently exists,” she says.


Michelle Erickson



Michelle Erickson is the illustrator and writer behind Mishka Marie, a line of cards, prints, and other illustrated items. Using watercolors to first create the shapes of her subject matter, Michelle then completes her drawings with ink, letting the initial (and often accidental) contours and color variations guide the outcome.


Jackie Thomson


Jackie Thomson is the brains and hands behind the bold, striking textiles of Loom Room. Her past design and illustration clients have included Oregon Humanities Magazine, TOMS Shoes, YOXI, MySpace, and HGTV.com. She started weaving in 2003 while in college studying for a BFA in Graphic Design, and got her start in the creative industry working as an illustrator. These days, she uses her illustration background to develop her weaving designs. All rug designs are original to Loom Room Textiles, and Jackie hand weaves every piece personally at the Loom Room studio. The vibrant community in the Pacific Northwest continues to inspire and encourage her work.


Rachel Warkentin + Lindsey Kretchun 


After a decade of friendship and two MFAs in Painting, Rachel Warkentin and Lindsay Jordan Kretchun decided to embark on a new adventure together, founding Barrow in 2013. Barrow is a collection of handmade porcelain jewelry and homeware that avoids methods of mass production to ensure subtle changes from piece to piece.


Join us to connect with these incredibly talented ladies, as well as the AIGA Portland board and other designers in the community. We’ll discuss future Women in Designevents and what it means to support female designers and makers. See you there!

Women in Design branding by, Maria Janosko

By Emily Jensen
Published February 23, 2016
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