So, in case you have missed the many press releases I have posted on various social media sites, there has been some buzz about a cradle Sean Coyne and I designed. It has been really well received by the local media and even Interior Design Magazine’s green blog picked up the story.
At first, I was surprised at the media attention. After all, this project was something I completed two years ago, and all of the press was about our patent. So I was a little far removed from the design – but further removed from the people who inspired it.
I went to the Hope Community Shelter yesterday for another press event where they wanted to film the cradle in action and interview me in the shelter. Every time I am there, I am so inspired by the families willingness to share their stories, lives and babies with me. It reminded me of why I wanted to design the cradle in the first place; so the families know that they are cared about by their community.
I can only imagine what these families are going through. Being homeless while pregnant or with an infant is nothing shy of heartbreaking. But the families are so lovely, warm, kind and giving, even during one of the scariest times of their life. With small communal rooms where you can’t lock your door, not many parents would keep their babies across the room. I remember asking Sean, “If you were here, would you have your baby any place other than right next to you,” and he said no. And I did too.
The mother who let us model her beautiful baby boy in the cradle also allowed the camera crew to interview her and I got to hear her reaction. It was exactly what I hoped — what my intentions for the design were. To borrow my colleagues favorite quote by Joe Sparano, “Good design is obvious, great design is transparent.” And to see that our design was truly transparent was absolutely amazing and fulfilling.
Both Sean and I researched the space, interviewed the families and imagined ourselves in the same situation. By allowing ourselves to listen and understand — we allowed the families of the shelter to lead us.
It is hard to remember that, 10. Everyone is a leader. Growth happens. Whenever it does, allow it to emerge. Learn to follow when it makes sense. Let anyone lead. But good, impactful change allows many leaders. And the best leaders can be those who need us the most.