The Moms

Akiko Kanna

NutritionistTOKYO, JAPANPhotography Lauri LevenfeldStory by Lauri Levenfeld

Traveling to Japan was one of my biggest dreams realized- the food, the fashion, the culture, and the people. All were everything I imagined and more. My husband and I felt extremely lucky to spend the day with Akiko Kanna, a celebrated nutritionist and chef. Not only did we get to walk the infamous Tsukiji Market in Tokyo with a pro, learn about all the fascinating ingredients and vegetables Japan has to offer (now I may actually be able to shop properly for groceries in Japantown), but we also got to travel to Akiko’s home to cook side-by-side with her father. Akiko will have two new babies to celebrate this year- one from the belly in October and a new cafe with her father as chef in May. Akiko shares her wonderful stories and recipes below.

 

After I graduated from school, I got a job at The Discovery Channel Japan as a production assistant, and then went on to a PR agency. In both jobs, I worked tremendously hard and had the wonderful opportunity to travel the world. It was a great adventure and I loved every moment, but the hours and work were exhausting. The stress was all taking a toll on my body and health.

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Janette Crawford

Founder & Stylist for Sun+Dotter & Lovemade CoSan Francisco, CAPhotography by Lauri LevenfeldStory by Lauri Levenfeld

It is easy to see why Janette Crawford has gained such popularity and notoriety for her taste and style. Upon entering her home, you are quickly devoured by all the beauty, intelligence, and fun in her aesthetics and design. Everything is the perfect pairing of kid friendly and mommy cool. And this is the exact concept and philosophy that Janette has lived by since having her sweet daughter and starting her companies Sun+Dotter and Lovemade. And the best part, the girl has a light-up this room smile & a killer voice, both will melt your heart and welcome you into all her beauty within & around her.

 

I am Janette, a writer & stylist. I grew up on a wheat farm in Kansas, moved to San Francisco, and worked for years in copywriting & online marketing before making a move last year to home and fashion styling. For six years, I wrote a blog about ethical fashion, encouraging people to vote with their dollar & not think of the things they buy as disposable. I started playing guitar when I was 14, and this year I just picked it up again after not playing for most of my adult years.

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Anngi Sieger Strick

Founder & Designer for ANNGI ALYNSAN MATEO, CAPhotography by Lauri LevenfeldStory by Lauri Levenfeld

Last year I featured the amazing survival story of Anngi Sieger Strick on TMP. A dear friend and creative, Anngi has always been one of the most inspiring woman in my life. When Anngi was diagnosed with Stage 3 colon cancer 3 1/2 years ago and started her journey towards survival,  my respect and love for Anngi skyrocketed. Her battle to health was/is courageous, positive, and honest. And her ability to be open and connected to not only her dearest, but to the world around her is meaningful and extraordinary. In my eyes, she’s a hero.  In part two, Anngi’s story continues to unfold and inspire as she becomes the mother to a new baby boy via another amazing woman, her gestational surrogate.

 

Three and a half years ago I was diagnosed with Stage 3 colon cancer.  I have been in remission since my surgery and chemotherapy. We discovered the cancer while I was trying to get pregnant with a second child and every day I think about how fortunate I am that we found it.  

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Rachael Mann & Mackenzie Burdick

Co-Founders & Jewelry Designers of LITTERPETALUMA, CAPhotography by Lauri LevenfeldStory by Lauri Levenfeld

This week TMP amped things up a bit. Not only do we have the creative, entrepreneurial mom story, but a story of two dynamic and fashion-savvy sisters who created an innovative, sexy jewelry line which became an overnight success when one beautiful headpiece was made from a broken necklace. The LITTER girls are fun, sexy, and experimental, while being present and meaningful moms. After selecting the backdrop of an old Petaluma farm for our shoot, I found out Rachael was a rodeo rider all her life. It was too perfect and the images showcasing their latest creations are full of glamour and edge, just like the girls are. As they say at LITTER, “It may not be for everyone, and that’s just the way we want to keep it”.

 

I’m Rachael…I am a jewelry designer, and partner in a company called LITTER.  When I am not working at LITTER, I am a full-time  manager of a home filled with animals and kids. I actually only have one son, but somehow I always have a few extras from the neighborhood at my house.

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Jess Brown

Founder & Designer of Jess Brown DesignsPETALUMA,CAPhotography by Lauri LevenfeldStory by Lauri Levenfeld

When Bottega Venetta calls, you answer. This is exactly what Jess Brown did when her dream designer called and asked her to create life-size rag dolls for his window during NYFW. Jess, a designer from the small town of Petaluma hit it big when she started creating handmade toys for her children and out of her desire and hope to create meaningful keepsakes for her little ones spun an international business and success story. We have been in love with her dolls since we first laid eyes on them at The Podolls store and now we have our own original TMP Gypsy Doll Giveaway and DIY tips to be shared on making your own doll on Style Me Pretty Living.

 

I am a mom. I love to create useful objects out of fabric. I was a teacher for eleven years.

My company is jess brown design, llc. I design and create products to live with. Rag dolls, women’s clothes and pieces for home. I love creating products that will be loved, used and worn in everyday life.

Inspiration for me comes from different places. Flea marketing is a big one for me…

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Melissa Davis

Founder of Ruby Press & Creator of This is OaklandOAKLAND, CAPhotography by Lauri LevenfeldStory by Lauri Levenfeld

Melissa has always been everywhere and dialed into everyone. It’s a bit of the Kevin Bacon effect where everyone you mention her name to- knows her, knows of her, or will know her sometime in the near future. Her connections to the people in her community are strong and deep and she has tremendous passion, pride and respect for the businesses they have created in the city her family currently resides. These are the reasons Melissa was propelled to curate and write This is Oakland – a book of all things fabulous in her hometown. TMP visits a few of Melissa’s favorite spots.

 

I’m Melissa, a PR agency owner, wife and mother to my 3.5 year old son, Sammy.

Running Ruby Press, a boutique PR firm, was already a job that overflowed into my free time, so needless to say, my life has been hectic since my son was born. And yet, I wouldn’t change a thing!! I created a book with friend and photographer Kristen Loken this past year in my free time, so this 2013-2014 has been a true juggling act.

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Lindsie Jones

Founder & Designer for Haute Bride DesignsLOS GATOS, CAPhotography by Lauri LevenfeldStory by Lauri Levenfeld

I have known Lindsie for years. We worked together when she first started Haute Bride and we became fast friends. Lindsie is like her jewelry- fun, festive, smart, edgy, and beautiful. Today not only do you get an amazing success story, but a fun DIY jewelry project featured on Style Me Pretty Living, a must-have summer list by Los Gatos’ hottest boutique Bella Rosa, and a chance to win an incredible accessory giveaway. To enter, follow the contest guidelines at the bottom of this post. And best of luck from TMP, xo!

 

I have been designing jewelry since my wedding in 2001. To spread my creative wings, I decided to start my own accessories line after an unsuccessful search for the perfect hair accessory for my own wedding day. I became determined to make this dream accessory on my own. I started selling my custom hairpins on EBay and was quickly overwhelmed by the response and sales! I was working as an HR manager in the tech industry (during the crazy dot-com period) and 75% of my company’s workforce was reduced. I took a few months off and began to create more and more accessories for EBay, local boutiques and friends.

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Allison Harding

CuratorPhotography & Story by Lauri Levenfeld

I have been totally mesmerized by the images for the upcoming Asian Art Museum and SFMOMA collaborative show Gorgeous, co-curated by our next tmp mom, Allison Harding. The soiled foot bejeweled in a crystal heel by photographer Marilyn Minter challenges visitors to confront the extremes and ambiguities of beauty. This imagery provoked me to look more closely at the meshing worlds of fashion and art and how they collide and co-exist together. When fashion and art come alive together, the results are captivating, charming, unconventional and alive. We served up some of San Francisco’s beloved street and gallery art as the perfect backdrop to Allison’s closet desirables and TMP gave its own whirl of interpretation of gorgeous.

I’m Allison…I bought my first painting in middle school—a pop-inspired beach scene. Very 80’s. Today it hangs in my parents’ garage.  A visit to the Centre Pompidou in Paris when I was thirteen sparked my interest in contemporary art. In highschool I realized that art history was about interpretation—constructing an argument and defending it—not about memorizing titles and dates.  Which led me to college where I took an art theory seminar with MFA students and realized how much more I had to learn.  My art world education really began when I moved to New York after graduation.

I grew up in New Jersey and San Francisco, but Vermont feels the most like home.  As a kid, Vermont summers meant lake swims, ice cream cones, bike rides, books, and lightning bugs.

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Kate Cutler

Co-Founder & Head of Strategy of Bkr

You gotta love the gal who channels her inner fashionista and goes out on a entrepreneur limb after a 12-year career in law. Kate Cutler is just that. Always one inspired by the glitz and glam, she jumped on the chance to help lead a new company to success premised around fashion, luxe, sustainability and health. And Kate is a doll to boot, a true San Franciscan. Here is her story.

 

Kate… I grew up in San Francisco in Noe Valley. Until the age of ten, I refused to wear pants and insisted on wearing a dress and tights everyday. Because of my love for all things girly, it was a little shocking to have two boys; but I am in love with them and I now know a lot about trucks and dinosaurs.

I love French fries, brown sugar, good bread, dry cheese, tea with milk, and red wine. I like the color beige, probably too much. I prefer cashmere to fleece and do not wear sensible shoes. I was a lawyer for 12 years before bkr and I do not miss it.

I am the co-founder and head of strategy for bkr. We created the concept and bottle because we were intelligent, fashionable, cultured women who were drinking out of cheap, disposable plastic water bottles. We searched all over and couldn’t find a reusable water bottle that we loved.

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Dana & Jeanne Dowell

Yoga Instructors, Co-Owners Green Buddha

When I met Dana and she told me about the incredible bond and business she shared with her 84 year-old mom Jeanne, I was instantly in love. With their company Green Buddha and a motto of “AOG-Attitude of Gratitude”, these two women have dedicated themselves to loving one another and sharing that premise of love, community, and graciousness with everyone around them. Their inspiration couldn’t be a better story on this Mother’s Day and I am excited to open up The Moms Project to multiple generations of women sharing visions, philosophies, and resources for every age of woman.

 

I’m Dana…I am 48 years old and a mother of three boys. I am an actress, yoga instructor, and co-owner of Green Buddha with my mother. I used to ride motorcycles with Mickey Rourke, I completed Outward Bounds, and I grew up fishing on The Little Red River in Arkansas every summer.

I am an artist and I am passionate about working on my Dollhouse I bought from an M&M commercial when I was 12. I studied yoga in Greece for a summer with my mother when I was 20. I love anything that has to do with self-discovery, therapy, group therapy, meditation, and books. I especially love learning about other people. I have been studying yoga for 28 years and I learn something new daily.

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