[ renegade designer | artist | school teacher | homegrown in sonoma county | mother | alchemist of home spaces ]
Creatively exploring spatial geometry was - literally - child’s play for Ginny. Her lifelong impulse and desire to create led her to study fine art and art education, resulting in a painting degree. She was working her way through college when, one summer, a simple paste-up production job turned into much more and Ginny found herself in the graphic design profession. After several years at a boutique San Francisco design studio she returned to school where plans for a graduate degree in Art morphed into an elementary teaching credential and, before she knew it, Ginny was a second grade teacher. It was in the classroom, that she found the most creative job she had ever had, and she took intense pride in being the steward of a child’s learning. She loved nothing more than creating an environment for and about her students. Ginny’s classroom was always a beautiful and safe place that showcased and fostered the spirit of a seven year-old. With the honest perspective of an artist-turned-teacher, Ginny continued to follow the path that was unfolding in front of her.
When she and her husband, Matt, started their family it became abundantly clear that being present for their infant son was her first priority. She took an extended leave from teaching, periodically leaning on her previous work in graphic design to stay connected and contribute to her family’s bottom line. Their happy threesome lived in a cozy two-bedroom bungalow that sat on half an acre in Marin County. When they were ready to grow their family, twins were spontaneously bestowed upon them and their comfortable life quite suddenly needed a major renovation. When the popular choice would have been to live bigger, they chose to live more efficiently, buying a smaller, century-old craftsman with a tiny yard, on a busy street, in the middle of downtown Petaluma. It was in this house that Ginny had the epiphany that she was her children’s first teacher and this home was to be their most important classroom. So walls became canvases, rooms evolved into unique and beautiful spaces and this Little House That Could came to life and remains today the nucleus of their growing, changing and flowering family.
Her own home was the first of many where Ginny has unveiled the soul of the people who live in them in the most tangible, inspiring and unexpected way. Urban Cowgirl Design is the creative expression of Ginny’s astute observation skills, thoughtful nature and studied knowledge of environments that best suit healthy child development.
Ginny and her husband, Matt, share their wee urban abode with their three beautiful children, two cats, a very hairy dog and five backyard chickens.
[ advertising + marketing refugee | brand strategist | articulator | world-traveler | mother | home obsessed ]
Passionate about ideas, insights and inspiration, Mimi carved out a tidy career in advertising and marketing in San Francisco. This suited her well and was a natural path to choose post completion of an M.B.A. with emphasis in Marketing. As the years went on, she began yearning for more than the spoils of corporate life and decided to see the world. Although raised overseas, she hadn’t crossed either ocean since high school in Chicago. So, in spite of a budget quite smaller than her dreams, she struck out on her own, and discovered that, alas, indeed, there is no place like home. Only problem was that she didn’t have one – at least not yet. This left her open to creating the home she really wanted. A sucker for nostalgia, Mimi sought more of a lifestyle than a house per se and was sure of one thing: her home included her then-boyfriend and co-conspirator, Brad. As it often happens in love stories he also had a hankering for a life lived closer to the land. And so her dream and his dream became THEIR dream and together and they created a Camelot in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains… and a son. Her business brain ever looking to expand and grow led her to create The Radiant Group, a marketing consulting firm that helped local business turn dreams into dollars. Our story could end here, with our little family of three happily living in the foothills outside of Nevada City, except for that one fateful day when they found a house that needed them…
A Victorian farmhouse with good bones and a long history, set just outside the edge of Petaluma was in need of a family with heart, vision and a backbone to restore it to its former magnificence. When they found the house, it was a decrepit neighborhood eyesore. But trusting their vision, combined skills, dedication and love; they bought the house and began to dream again, unaware that a second son was on the way. Tenacity, humor and an ability to visualize their dream kept them on course, somewhat on schedule and married. After five years, their restoration complete, their home was awarded the Prize of Grand Merit by Heritage Homes of Petaluma in 2011.
A creator at heart, Mimi recently joined forces with Ginny Hautau to help build Urban Cowgirl Design from a successful design studio to a creative force in the interior design field. Do stay tuned...
In her off hours, she cooks up a storm, practices karate with her sons, does yoga and dreams about her next venture.