#GirlCode | Meeting the Designers: Tatiana

 Tatiana, tech student.

Tatiana, tech student.

Name

Tatiana Mangram Rock

College/field of study

City University of New York, B.S. in Computer Science

 Career aspirations

I would like to pursue a creative technical career. I see myself starting off in user experience, enhancing the way people interact with their products, and then follow my entrepreneurial interest and eventually help my Mom build and run a school for girls.

 Why did you get involved with MSC?

The mission behind MSC and Lisa’s dedication to the brand and being an active participant in supporting young women.

Favorite Part of Design Hackathon event

I appreciated the concept of bringing girls from different backgrounds, collaborating, and tying the project to each girl’s personal strengths or interests. In this case, it was a mix of technical, design and business savviness.

How and why you think MSC can and will change the lives of girls everywhere?

MSC provides opportunities for marginalized communities and gives young women a platform to have a voice, value and purpose.

Where do you see MSC in 5 years?

In communities locally and abroad – still living out the mission as they are today, but impacting thousands more (possibly even organizing their own global conferences). So much can change in six months, I’m sure that big things are coming in five years!

How does it make you feel to see the design you’ve created launch nationwide in a major retailer – a place where people you’ve never met will be able to buy your product and be inspired!

It makes me feel great! I hope it inspires women to feel fly and empowered.

What would you like to say to the Executive team at Verizon for selecting your design and selling it in their stores/online?

Thank you! I’m very thankful! They made the right decision. I think it’s amazing that Verizon chose such a unique project to partner with MSC. Their involvement shows so many young women that their ideas and talents are valued by large brands.

What would you like to say to the judge (Zac Posen) who selected your design? How would you like to see him support the phone case? (i.e. photo on Instagram, etc)

I know he obviously has an eye for fashion and I appreciate that he considered our design.

I would like to see the phone cases displayed in stores, online stores, magazines, product placement ads and across social media. Young women are always watching. Also, the design is diverse and so is his target audience, so its visibility wouldn’t be limited to just young women.

 Who would you LOVE to see carry/promote your phone case? (ex. Oprah, Rebecca Minkoff, or other celebrities/influencer, etc.)

I would love to see Yara Shahidi (& cast of Grownish) tote it. As well as Janel Monae, Marley Diaz, Cardi B, and Beverly Bond!

#GirlCode | Meeting the Designers: Nadia

 Nadia, fashion design student.

Nadia, fashion design student.

Name

Nadia Marjanovich

College/field of study

Parsons School of Design, BFA in Fashion Design

Career aspirations

I hope to have a career that leads me down many different roads! I am passionate about art, all types of design, and I have a heart for helping people – especially young girls! It would be a dream of mine to travel the world as an art consultant for buyers and sellers, and to one day own my own gallery. I also hope to have a career in Jewelry Design and Fashion Design; linking design with outreach for community.

Why did you get involved with/love MSC?

I got involved with MSC because it was a great opportunity to connect with a community of young, smart, creative girls in NYC!

I love MSC for all of the positive energy it brings to the world through creative projects, community, and inclusivity! Lisa has developed such a wholesome platform for young girls and I am so lucky to be a part of it.   

What did you love about the Design Hackathon event?

I loved that the Design Hackathon was collaborative and that we didn’t know our team members prior to the event. It was great to dive into the project and make new connections and friends at the same time. It was also a great chance to work creatively on a large project – I am so pleased and excited with what we have developed!!

How and why you think MSC can and will change the lives of girls everywhere?

By setting positive examples, MSC has the power to change the lives of girls everywhere. The scope of our project is so inspiring, and I know that with continued persistence, MSC will continue to make a huge impact in girls’ lives all over the world.

Where do you see MSC in 5 years?

In the next five years, I see MSC trippeld in outcome! I see us taking on huge projects together and really making an impact on the world.

How does it make you feel to see the design you’ve created launch nationwide in a major retailer – a place where people you’ve never met will be able to buy your product and be inspired!

It is such a fulfilling feeling to know that what we created is playing a role in changing lives and inspiring other girls! This phone case is designed to be a positive reminder to girls, a source of encouragement, and it’s super cute!!  I never had imagined myself being involved in something like this, let alone having a design launched nationwide!! This whole process is inspiring to me, because it has allowed me to do something that I never thought I was capable of doing, or designing, or creating with such a positive outcome.

What would you like to say to the Executive team at Verizon for selecting your design and selling it in their stores/online?

Thank you so much to the Executive Team at Verizon for selecting our design! It means so much to me that you believe in what we have created! I hope that this project meets great success and brings more opportunities in the future!

What would you like to say to the judge (Zac Posen) who selected your design? How would you like to see him support the phone case? (i.e. photo on Instagram, etc)

Thank you so much, Mr. Posen, for believing in our design! I truly feel honored to have received your vote in selecting our case! This project has such a valuable message, and we are trying to spread this message on Instagram and other internet/social sites! It would mean so much to me and our team to have your support on Instagram to further this campaign! This phone case might be the perfect accessory to finish off one of your outstanding looks!

Who would you LOVE to see carry/promote your phone case? (ex. Oprah, Rebecca Minkoff, or other celebrities/influencer, etc.)

I would love to see Rosie Huntington-Whiteley supporting our case. As well as Karlie Kloss, who has amazing reach and such a big heart for young girls. Karlie Kloss would be the perfect candidate to promote because she runs a business called Kode With Klossy. She is passionate about young girls leading in the tech industry. I’ve looked up to her for awhile now, and she is truly a positive leader to our generation.







#GirlCode | Meeting the Designers: Melanie

 Melanie, business student.

Melanie, business student.

Name

Melanie Greene

College/field of study

I have a B.S. in Information Technology with a focus in Web Design and Digital Media; Minor in marketing from Pace University.

Career aspirations

I am a proud first generation college student and I hope that with my current position as a User Experience Designer in Silicon Valley, along with my future education, I will be able to give back to my community and help create a better future for its children.
My family and professors encouraged and inspired me to be the woman that I am becoming, and so I hope to be able to share their love and courage with those I meet. I am passionate about mentoring others and I hope my future is bright with more opportunities so that I can share my experiences.

Why did you get involved with MSC?

MSC empowers women to embrace who they are, to challenge themselves, and to reach their fullest potential.

MSC sets the tone for future generations of women to come – they are paving the way for the future. MSC is changing the perception and face of the STEM field. Together, we are making a difference so that the young women of tomorrow can see the women before them successfully pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. We are designing the lives we love for ourselves and for other women.

What did you love about the Design Hackathon event?

I loved the concept of the design hackathon – to encourage more female participation in the STEM field by designing a phone case. The Dean of the Seidenberg School at Pace University made me aware of the competition and encouraged me to be a part of it – I am so thankful he did!

How and why you think MSC can and will change the lives of girls everywhere?

MSC provides mentorship, job shadow opportunities amongst different industries, and encouragement for women everywhere. With this support and drive, MSC helps shape the future for young women despite their career goals. It is imperative that career opportunities are shared with girls in school so that they can understand what kinds of careers are out there. This is the time where we should be exposed to the endless possibilities that exist.

Where do you see MSC in 5 years?

Touching every corner of the globe! I would also love to see MSC’s presence at the Grace Hopper Conference. It is a perfect event to share their purpose and passion.

How does it make you feel to see the design you’ve created launch nationwide in a major retailer – a place where people you’ve never met will be able to buy your product and be inspired!

It is absolutely unreal! When I was younger, I was interested in becoming a fashion designer. I was a big video game geek (I still am) and I am a tech nerd. As unlikely as it may have seemed, it’s happening, and this is a dream come true. I know that I will shed tears of joy opening up my first phone case and when I see them in Verizon stores nationwide. I will definitely tell my children and my grandchildren about this. I am very honored and I am grateful that I got to work with incredible women in the field of design and technology on this project.

What would you like to say to the Executive team at Verizon for selecting your design and selling it in their stores/online?

I don’t think I can say thank you enough times to let them know how much this means to my team and to myself. Not only are you impacting our lives, but the lives of young women everywhere. You are helping us inspire young women to be bold and confident in pursuing careers in STEM. You are helping us change the perception and face of STEM. Everything indicates that this will be a successful product for Verizon. We applaud Verizon for taking this product to market.

What would you like to say to the judge (Zac Posen) who selected your design? How would you like to see him support the phone case? (i.e. photo on Instagram, etc)

It is an absolute honor for me because fashion and culture help me identify who I am. This phone case will help others identify career paths and skills that they can use so to create a life that they love. It is gratifying to have Zac’s support and encouragement. It would be great to see Zac Posen create a signature product with our case.

Who would you LOVE to see carry/promote your phone case? (ex. Oprah, Rebecca Minkoff, or other celebrities/influencer, etc.)

It would be a dream to have Oprah, Ellen, and Michelle Obama promote our phone case. They are women of strength that I, and millions of other girls, look up to.


Iridescent Podcast Feature ⚡️

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We are so excited to announce that our founder and CEO, Lisa Mayer, has been featured on the Iridescent Podcast! Our friends Nicole Smithee, Founder and CEO of Iridescent, and Alex Brown, Chief Director of Strategy & Operations, took the time to sit down and ask Lisa what it truly means to design the life and career she loves. 

Lisa covers what it’s like to build a business from scratch and what it’s like to never give up on your dream, even when it feels like everything is going against you. #7DollarDreams

You may be thinking - That’s great! Yay, Lisa! But, what is Iridescent?

We’ll tell you.

First and foremost, we’ll start with the definition –

IRIDESCENT
irəˈdes(ə)nt/
adjective
Showing luminous colors that seem to change when seen from different angles.

Our friends at Iridescent believe that YOU are brilliant- uniquely formed and divinely woven together, with the ability to light up this world through goodness and kindness, bravery and resilience. Your shimmer is multi-faceted and potential uncontainable. Created with purpose, you were destined to shine. Nichole has launched a platform where young women can engage with one another in real conversations – conversations about health, culture, beauty, relationships, spirituality and more! At Iridescent you will find real women sharing their insight and experiences around their careers, relationships, culture, fitness, beauty, and spirituality. 

Make sure to take a listen to Lisa’s interview here, and to follow @IridescentWomen, and subscribe at iridescentwomen.com 

A Yemeni Girl's Dream: An Interview with Yasmeen Munasser

 Yasmeen Munasser, Tech Student at CUNY

Yasmeen Munasser, Tech Student at CUNY

If you ever wanted to meet an inspiring woman, here's your chance. We are so thrilled to introduce you to Yasmeen. Without giving too much away, she's an absolute rockstar who is going to change the world through technology and is already paving the way for more women to enter the STEM field! So, with no futher adue, here's our interview with this lovely lady.

MSC: How did you first hear about My Social Canvas? Why did you want to get involved?

Yasmeen: I first heard about My Social Canvas when I first met Lisa Mayer. I met her from an event hosted by HerHuddle, a movement of women, from executives to young women in college, designed to ignite possibilities and inspire action for a rising circle of women. I wanted to get involved in My Social Canvas because I am all about being a part of a program/organization that inspires young women to be the best that they can be by designing the life they love.

MSC: What does My Social Canvas mean to you? What do you love about MSC’s mission of equipping and empowering the next generation of women and girls to design the life and career they love?

Yasmeen: My Social Canvas means to dream big. What I love about MSC’s mission is that the brand as a whole share a positive message for young women to believe in themselves and they can absolutely achieve the life they love and want to live. The brand is also like a sisterhood and a bond for the next generation of women and girls to just be there for one another as we all flourish in our careers.

MSC: What events have you attended through My Social Canvas? What did you learn?

Yasmeen: I have attended a couple of events. The most recent event I attended was the Apple Event where I learned about how to become a more skilled coder and was introduced to the Procreate app where I can gain design and sketching skills with the Apple Pencil. It was so much fun and very inspiring.

MSC: What is your dream job?

Yasmeen: As a computer science major, my dream job is to be a software engineer. I want to be a representation, and a leader, for women in tech. I also am minoring in business because I want to gain a set of skills that will allow me to explore the business and finance industries.

MSC: Our Founder/CEO Lisa is inspired by your story and the journey you took to pursue your education! Could you share some of your personal story so we can help inspire other women like you to always dream big and never give up? 

Yasmeen: As a Yemeni girl, it was a challenge for me to pursue higher education. In Yemen, most girls end their education at high school. I graduated from high school in 2012 and I did not go to college or work once I finished high school. This remained for three years. For those three years, I didn’t feel like myself. I knew that high school was not the end of my educational career; I always loved school and I was an ambitious girl... I wanted more for myself and my future.

In 2015, I had the realization that I need to do what is best for me. I needed to break the cycle of Yemeni girls’ highest level of education being high school. This lifestyle stems from the culture and not the religion of Islam. I also wanted to be an example for my little sister and to make things easier for her to pursue higher education. In summer of 2015, I had debates with my father about enrolling in college. After three months, he agreed. Now, in August of 2018, having completed three years of college and completed two summer internships, one winter internship, and working a couple jobs while taking multiple classes per semester, my parents could not be prouder. I am also proud of myself. I broke the cycle. I am the first in my family to pursue higher education and to have an Associate’s degree while I am currently pursuing my Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science/ minoring in Business. I am living my truth. I am doing what I love every single day which is being a working young woman pursuing her education.

MSC: What advice would you give to other girls and women in your area of study? 

Yasmeen: One piece of advice I would give to other girls and women in my area of study (STEM) is to “invest in yourself” - it is the best investment you can ever make. This short three-word statement is what I have chosen to live by for three years now. There will be many days where you will feel discouraged or that you do not belong. However, you have to push through those days and never give up. You will only come out the other side stronger. Form study groups, use resources online to study any material you may have trouble with or you feel you may never quite understand. The world is in need of more women in computer science and the tech industry. There isn’t anything women cannot do! I also attest that you will be at a point in your life where you look back at some of your toughest moments and you will smile at the fact that you have pushed through. You will then realize that there is nothing you cannot handle and that you are meant to do what you love. 

MSC: Who are some of your “Design the Life You Love” mentors or role models? (women you look up to)

 Yasmeen: For me, one of my “Design the Life You Love” role models would have to be Lisa Mayer. She is an example of what I hope to achieve in the future as far as creating an organization or a brand that will only inspire young girls and women to be creative and open about what they would love to achieve in their lives. Like Lisa, I hope to someday create a space for young women to be able to be involved in a space where they feel there are other young women like themselves that they can relate to. She is focused and driven to giving back to young women by always inspiring them. She reassures us all that we can achieve anything we want and make our dreams come true. I only hope to do the same.

Another role model for me is Judy Spitz who is the Director and Founder of Women in Technology in New York. I first met her when I applied through the WiTNY Summer Guild Program in 2017 which was a two-week intense program for young women pursuing computer science or related majors and who want to flourish in the tech field. I had an incredible experience. Once I completed the program, I realized I wanted to pursue Computer Science as a major and become a leading woman in technology. My relationship with Judy is not only professional but it has become a personal relationship as well. We stay in contact through email and she is someone I go to ask for advice whether it is about a next job opportunity or school related. She is an amazing, accomplished woman and I hope to one day be at her level and inspire as many young women as she has. I do not think she realizes how her support and guidance has impacted me in an abundant way. I am very appreciative of her. I like to think of her as the Beyoncé of Technology.  

Lastly, a third role model for me is US Olympian and 1st Muslim female medalist Ibtihaj Muhammad. It is refreshing and inspiring to see a Muslim woman pursuing her dreams and designing the life she loves. It can be very challenging for Hijabi women to live in their truths and at the same time balance our religion, Islam, while being a Muslim American pursuing her passion. She is a force to be reckoned with who deserves all the success.

Latte's with Laura (Chief Operating Officer)

 Laura Parker, Chief Operating Officer

Laura Parker, Chief Operating Officer

My journey to becoming a part of the My Social Canvas team is one of absolute awe, wonder, struggles, victories, and unrealized potential that turned into realized dreams. As a little girl, fashion had always intrigued and overwhelmed me in the best way, but my dreams and aspirations seemed to always be floating mid air, still unspun into the tapestry that would one day become my reality.

During my undergraduate years, I started a job at a socially-conscious clothing boutique that lit a fire within me for social justice through the fashion industry. It was then that I realized I could work for the greater good of humanity while also beautifying it materialistically in the process. Following my college graduation, I quickly continued on to complete my Master of Professional Studies in Fashion Marketing at LIM College in New York City. During this time, I was fortunate enough to land a internship at a socially-conscious fashion company, which then transitioned into full-time role where I eventually became the Director of Sales & Marketing.

Over the past 6+ years, I realized much more than just the industry I wanted to work in. I realized that my success wasn’t solely an act of my will or perceptions, but was heavily influenced by my environment. I was fortunate enough to be invested into by brilliant professors and some of the top men and women in corporate America, as well as friends and family who were the rock solid ground under my feet when things were uncertain. Wherever and whenever I chose to walk forward, I was lucky enough to have the support and guidance of those around me who were wiser and more experienced than I was. It was then that I realized the power of mentorship and genuine investment in the lives of those around me…

I came to grasp, on a deeply personal level, that if given equal opportunity in education and mentorship, womankind would thrive and could actually be recognized as some of the most powerful changemakers the world has ever seen.

In our nature, we as women are built to lead, nurture, and influence the fate of humanity in the best way (if only humanity pioneers and gives us the chance to do so). Although society is now being made aware of women’s contributions to some of the greatest feats in history (NASA, entrepreneurship, etc.), there is still much work to be done. Woman is unique in her influence, and so is man… They are both each other’s most powerful ally, and therefore humankind is its most powerful when it works entirely together. But, in order to get there, women across the world must be freed from multiple types of oppression.

This brings to me where I am now. Through a series of various events, Lisa and I connected and began discussing My Social Canvas + Design the Life You Love and our vision for women on a local and global level. It was a series of conversations and passion for empowering women that led us to believe that we were meant to be business partners. And, I can easily say, being a part of My Social Canvas isn’t a job, but a piece of my purpose on this earth and a fulfillment of my dreams. I am truly living out our tagline (design the life you love), and it is my greatest wish for women everywhere to find a career that fuels their purpose... Because life is too precious and too short to not #DTLYL.

Xx,

Laura Parker

Chief Operating Officer

All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.
— Walt Disney

Hey, it's Lauren! Event and PR Intern 💕

My name is Lauren Small and I am a senior at Lehigh University majoring in Marketing in the College of Business and Economics. I love music, painting, listening to podcasts, and cooking. My current fashion inspirations are Selena Gomez and the Youtuber Tess Christine, and my number one guilty pleasure is buying and trying out new makeup!

I am a Marketing and Events intern at My Social Canvas, and this summer I have been working on various marketing and event planning tasks! So far, I have already gotten involved in several major events. One of these events was MSC's Design the Life You Love Day hosted in partnership with Apple. I first heard about MSC through one of my mentors Diana Zaccardi (Vice President, Integrated Marketing, Verizon). When Diana shared the story of My Social Canvas with me, I just knew I had to get involved! My position on the MSC team includes promoting brand awareness, creating deliverables for partnerships with other brands and corporations, assisting with writing and designing email marketing campaigns, assisting in the execution of events, and many other things. I am so excited to be a part of My Social Canvas’ team this summer and to learn and develop my skills!

My main areas of interest in the business world are marketing, and product development. I also love getting involved in graphic design and social media! In terms of fashion, I am interested in social media, event planning, marketing, and advertising. My two main passions in life are fashion and cosmetics. I’ve been interested in these outlets since I was very young, and wanted whatever job I would acquire after college to involve one or both of them! In terms of aspirations in life, I would love to eventually obtain a job and move to New York City. My dream job would be either creating and designing new products for a cosmetics company or owning my own cosmetics line!

I wanted to get involved in My Social Canvas because of the work that they do to inspire and promote women in the business industry. Knowing that the work that I’m going to be doing will help young girls feel important is very rewarding, and I feel like I am leaving more of an impact in the world/society.  I think it’s hard to find a company that is not just centered on selling merchandise and making a profit, so working with My Social Canvas is the perfect fit! 

From Campus Rep, to MSC Intern 💕 Introducing Elle

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Hello lovely!! My name is Elle Coffman and I’m the PR and marketing intern at My Social Canvas. I was a campus rep for three years prior to this position. Currently, I work closely with the campus reps, attend events within the company and the companies we partner with, work behind the scenes on future projects, and am always brainstorming new ways to reach out to others and grow My Social Canvas!

In junior high, I was a Fashion Ambassador for Nordstrom. Lisa (CEO) visited various Nordstroms to promote My Social Canvas and also reached out to other Nordstrom Ambassadors on social media, one of them being me!! I posted a picture for a style campaign Nordstrom was promoting and I received an encouraging comment from MSC and wanted to get more involved, so I emailed the company, set up a call with Lisa, and the rest is history!

Growing up I knew I wanted a career in fashion, and always desired to work for a company that had a greater purpose in the industry than just designing and selling clothing. I was always passionate about helping others and inspiring them to follow their dreams, so when I heard about My Social Canvas, I wanted to get involved in any way I could! I always had an inner excitement that I had never felt before when I worked on a project, or dreamed of future projects, with this company. I knew I was doing what I loved and wanted to spread that spark to everyone around me. The fact that this company gives the opportunity for girls to design the products we sell, receive scholarships, mentorship, and a positive community of ambitious woman, is such a beautiful thing.

I recently graduated high school and moved to NYC a week after my graduation to intern with My Social Canvas. I feel like I’m already working my dream job, in my dream city, and I’m only 18 years old! I’m not saying this to credit myself, but to inspire and motivate you. Getting here wasn’t an overnight success, it took about six years to fully develop my dream into a reality. My interests in a fashion career began in 7th grade, and then started to really develop when MSC reached out to me. I continued to follow my passion and worked diligently for the rest of my high school career, which developed into this internship. In between those years, I stayed active with MSC, built a relationship with Lisa, continued to learn about the fashion industry as a Nordstrom Ambassador, was very involved with fashion experiences in NYC, started a fashion club at my school, and created my own clothing line. These experiences took a lot of time, hard work, and dedication, but I did it because it’s what I loved and it led me to where I am today. My advice to you would be to find out what you love to do, work hard while doing it, and the opportunities for college and your future career will fall into place!

It is so important to discover what motivates you everyday. Music has always been something that gets me focused and in that “girl boss” mood. I love listening to “Unbreakable Smile” Tori Kelly, “Brave” Sara Bareilles, “Lovely” Sara Haze, “Scars To Your Beautiful” Alessia Cara, and “All He Says I Am” Kari Jobe. These songs remind me that I am a strong woman and am capable to design the life I love. I believe God has an amazing plan in store for our lives, and places unique passions in our heart. I challenge you to find what sparks your passion and incorporate it into your everyday life!

I am not only inspired by music, but woman who are living out what MSC stands for! I’d love to see Michelle Obama (former first lady), Oprah (entrepreneur and philanthropist), Tori Kelly (singer/ songwriter), Jessica Alba (actress and founder of Honest Co), Sadie Robertson (Christian influencer and reality TV star), Bobbie Houston (co-founder of Hillsong church), Sophia Amoruso (author of Girl Boss and entrepreneur), and Cassey Ho (creator of Pop Pilates) be a part of our mission to help girls design a life and career they love! These women are my role models and I aspire to be like them! It would be a dream to work on a project together to provide education and mentorship for girls across the nation! I can’t wait to see what the future holds for My Social Canvas!

If you want to join our community email me, elle@mysocialcanvas.com, and I’d love to share more about how you can be involved!