The Moms

Maia McDonald Smith

Art Director of Rue MagazineSan Francisco, CAPhotography by Lauri LevenfeldStory by Lauri Levenfeld

In my line of work I am constantly using Pinterest to create mood boards for shoot ideas and styling inspiration. So when we locked in the creator of the art and design blog Design Conundrum and Art Director of Rue Magazine, Maia MacDonald Smith, I knew I wanted to bring a Fall inspiration story from pins to life. You can see all the magic we created via my post on Style Me Pretty today. And here is the inspirational story of a new mom and one true creative extraordinaire.


I’m a new mom, the Art Director at Rue Magazine and freelance designer who occasionally finds the time to blog at Design Conundrum.

I worked for years as a graphic designer for and Williams Sonoma. I got tired of the corporate environment, and so, two years ago I took the leap and started my own freelance design business. Now I get to work with great clients like Rue Magazine and I love it! Working for myself from home also allows me more time to spend with my daughter, which is exactly what I wanted.


I find a lot of my inspiration online– from Pinterest, Instagram and blogs. Some of my favorite go to blogs are Sf Girl by Bay, Wit & Delight, Sprouted Kitchen, Emmadime, and Honestly Yum.  I also tend to get a lot of my aha! moments while cooking or out hiking in nature. Both activities are like meditation for me and my best ideas always come after making a big meal or spending the day outdoors.



Ingrid Madeline Smith, age-5 1/2months


The moment Ingrid was born was equally exciting and humbling. Having a new little person that I was in charge of and is bonded to me for life was such an intense and wonderful feeling.

Unfortunately, by far one of the most difficult times of my life was being pregnant. I was extremely sick and ended up in the ER from dehydration my first trimester because I couldn’t keep anything down. It was definitely the longest 9 months of my life but the outcome was so worth it. I have chronicled my birth story on my Blog.

Ingrid is still so young she doesn’t have a lot of preference in things yet-other than nursing, which is her all time favorite thing! A few items she’s starting to get more excited about lately though is a colorful wooden rattle, laying on her lambskin, checking out her surroundings and she’s really into being read to right now.


 As for my style…


It is currently evolving a bit- partly because my body has changed and a lot of items that I used to wear are harder now and I always have to consider whether I can breastfeed in a certain item or not. I’m trying to find my new uniform, one I can just throw on and know it looks good. My favorite brands are Cuyana, Gap, Tieks.

Most of my style icons are my friends who are moms, like Katie Hintz Zambrano of Mother Mag or Jeanne Chan of Shop Sweet Things. They always make things look so effortless, hopefully one day I can pull that off.


We think you do Maia. In everything you do!

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