Maximum Impact Design was founded in 1987 straight out of graduating from school by the encouragement of instructor/mentor Russell Leong of Russell Leong Design. I had been managing the Santa Cruz Surf Shop as a buyer for clothing and skate hard goods, designing t-shirts, logos, ads, window displays and airbrushing surfboards at night while attending San Jose State University. Thinking I should get a job at a corporate design firm Russell said why you are already working and doing what you want to do. He told me if I had any questions he would be there for me. The surf shop is where I met Rich Novak (mentor), Jay Shuirman, Doug Haut, Jim Phillips, Bob Hurley (Billabong/Hurley), Mark Miller (Instinct, Look Snowboards, DC), Cindy Ferrari (Sessions), Joel Gomez (Sessions), and several other key figures in my life that would keep me moving in the action sports direction. I had an office at the Sash Mill for 8 years next to Annie Glass and when I learned she was interviewing some top notched design companies, I told her about Russell and he ended up getting the job and designing her logo. I worked 10 years - as a in-house art director for Rockshox and Giro Sport Design. I kept my business rolling all this time but gave lots of work to other design connections. Started working my business full time in 2008 and have been doing what I love 100%. I am a one woman design company who collaborates with many people to expand and shrink per project. I am nibble and fast on my feet as they say.
I have always believed in connecting people and networking. I never thought how many times the connections would keep going around. And decades later I am able to contact people in the industry design collaborations, getting product for styling photo shoot needs from most of the top action sports and outdoor lifestyle brands. I follow many friends as they move from one shoe brand to another and watch them rise from repping brands to owning brands to selling brands. I am tighter using my Linkedin then my Facebook but still let pretty much every girl skater in instantly and people I have skated with. If I appear flaky at times it is only because I am trying to do way too much and am a bit of a workaholic. Yes it is 5:30 am on Sunday when I’m writing this just because inspiration comes usually in the early am for me. There are over 260 people that have asked to Linkedin and 780 or so via Facebook that I have not had time to add or find out if I know them. Though I am kind of public since I do so much social media I am sort of private on my FB because of my kids and picky on Linkedin because it is people I truly work with and many are longtime friends.
The only other women in the skate industry that have been around as long are my friends Cindy Whitehead and Cindi Ferreira Busenhart (Sessions). Cindy Whitehead has the coolest job as a Sportsytlist® she coined it and registered it. In our spare time we have a skate project we are simmering and one day we will get it done. If you want to do what we do you have to work your ass off. No if's ands or buts. It is no cake walk and it takes WORK. But we both love what we do and though it was a path that never was. Take it from us it is the right path. You will get a lot of NO's and have to break through the boy wall but it can be done!
And yes for some folks if I don't get back it's because I am not interested.