I’ve had a keen sense of justice and fairness since I was a child, and have always had the urge to make things better. My family fled a dictatorship in Romania Opens in new window and we came to Canada as refugees when I was four. I learned English in kindergarten and grew up in Hamilton Ontario, moving around every few years and changing schools often. Because of this, I never really felt like I belonged, and I would often look around the room and check for others who were also left out.
My parents joined a church when I was a teenager and it gave me my first taste of really belonging to a community. And while organized religion wasn’t for me, I flourished in a structure that was devoted to “trying to be good” and my natural leadership tendencies started to take root.
I left my working-class background to study English and Women’s Studies at the University of Victoria. There, I took that “do good” attitude and joined many activist and student groups. It was the time of the anti-globalization movement and protests like the WTO in Seattle. I explored and grew into my values including intersectional feminism, Indigenous and global solidarity, environmental justice and labour rights. I also had the space and freedom to discover my queerness.
I’ve always felt comfortable with technology and communication so I gravitated towards it with every issue I worked on. I started learning how to make websites in the late 90s in order to help create Indymedia in Victoria. I got involved with campus and community radio and had both music and political shows throughout the years in Hamilton, Victoria and Vancouver.
After I graduated, I moved to Vancouver and promptly got involved with organizing a political music festival for many years (Under the Volcano, RIP) and started working at a Public Interest Research Group where I taught university students how to be activists. I started gravitating towards communication and design and after taking some classes and working part-time as a library assistant, I got a job as a graphic designer for the Vancouver Public Library. I was juggling both jobs and multiple volunteer obligations when I suffered a head injury that made me recalibrate my vision of meaningful work.
I could no longer work, sitting at a desk, 9-5, under fluorescent lights. I had been starting to help friends and community groups make websites in my spare time and after taking a year off to rest and recover, I decided to learn coding for real. I flew to Toronto to take a front-end web development bootcamp from the people behind Ladies Learning Code.
When I came back, I was determined to start my own business but was offered a job as a web developer for Vancity Credit Union. I took that contract and quickly realized again that sitting at a desk, 9-5, under fluorescent lights just wasn’t for me.
Since 2015, I’ve been running KunStudios full-time. I’ve taken my background in organizing, my tech skills and my leadership abilities and combined them to problem-solve, strategize and create meaningful websites for organizations working in the public good.
My sweet spot is mid-sized organizations who have undergone some kind of strategic planning and know what they want to achieve. I use my insider/outsider perspective to advocate for the inclusion of all users, push for accessibility, and create simple and effective solutions.
I now live in a housing co-op in East Vancouver with my partner and cat. I love riding my bike and reading books in coffee shops, hiking in the local mountains, camping (especially on Vancouver Island) and travelling when I can.
I use technology to advance causes for the public good. I think the process is just as important as the final product and I approach all my work with these values:
I work with progressive clients to build a more just, sustainable and meaningful world.
I collaborate in a spirit of mutual respect, with clear communication and good intentions.
I’m genuinely interested in you and your work. I ask questions. I try to find the root of any problem, even if it’s not a quick or easy solution.
Accessibility & inclusion
I prioritize accessible and inclusive design, content and development in all the websites I build.
I will never push a shiny new app on you, or talk you into technology that’s not necessary for your organization or website.
Building websites may not be as resource-heavy as other sectors, but they still require infrastructure to operate. I recommend companies that use green energy and try to build light sites that load fast and use less resources.