Architecture has, and still is, a predominantly male-centric field. Mary Louisa Page became the first woman in North America to graduate with a degree in architecture in 1879. Even up until 1972 many schools did not admit women pursuing degrees in architecture until the passage of Title IX.

This March—and always—we honor the courageous women who’ve challenged norms, opened doors, and continue to blaze new trails. At HMH we take pride in having a firm that is managed and operated by a 70/30 female majority. To celebrate Women’s History Month, we are taking the time to highlight the inspiring women on our team who are designing a better, more beautiful world.

Leah Civiok, Director of Interior Design

Who or what inspired you to become an interior designer?
I’ve always been very creative and attracted to designing environments. As a child I was designing Barbie’s house with found objects from around my house. Growing up my father was in real estate. I would tag along with him and envision how I would live in these spaces, which were favorites, and how I would change them. I found my way to architecture and interiors in high school through a program at NC State, and then rising star at Savannah College of Art and Design and the rest is history.

What is your favorite thing about design – and why?
I love that every project is different. Each site, each client’s lifestyle. Doing custom design, each project is so unique and fresh.

Describe a design project you’re working on right now (professional or personal) that you’re especially proud of.
I am excited to be working with one of downtown Boulder’s oldest businesses, Hurdles Jewelry. We are working together to bring a fresh look to their space as is it transitions to its 4th generation!

What advice would you give women who are just entering or considering a career in interior design?
Be curious. Interior design is so multifaceted. Don’t stop your curiosity at the surface; learn how items are made, how things fit together, how things will age. There is a lot to be learned in the details.

Lindsay Beukhof, Senior Project Manager

Who or what inspired you to become an architect?
When I was young, my parents remodeled our home. The process was so fun and engaging for me. I knew very early that I wanted to be an architect and I would draw large floor plans in chalk for my friends to ‘play house’. When I got older I realized that architecture perfectly combined my love of art and mathematics and solidified that it was a great fit.

What is your favorite thing about design – and why?
I love getting to be creative and finding solutions to problems. I love the evolutionary nature of design. It’s fun to see how your design can evolve from beginning to end. It’s so rewarding to see your work in the real world and see the joy you can bring to your clients.

Describe a design project you’re working on right now (professional or personal) that you’re especially proud of.
Right now I’m working on two fire rebuild projects in our area. I’m really proud of the work HMH is doing to help people get back into their homes after going through a very traumatic time. I’m excited that we’re giving them the chance to elevate the design of their home and implement improvements to help protect them from future fire damage.

What advice would you give women who are just entering or considering a career in architecture?
I would say to go for it! Architecture is such a fun and rewarding career. Keep in mind that there are a wide variety of project types and firms. I think it’s important to try a variety of firms when you are young.- from small to large and from commercial to residential. Find the firm that is the right fit for you and you will thrive!

Lauren Folkerts, Senior Project Manager

Who or what inspired you to become an architect?
I grew up outside of Seattle, a place with a strong history of regional modernism, terrible weather, and beautiful landscapes. This led to an early appreciation of well-designed buildings that work with the landscape and are made from simple forms that elevate the beauty and poetry of the everyday.

What is your favorite thing about design – and why?
My favorite thing about architecture is the way well crafted environments can enrich lives. In a world of growing isolation and struggle, the transformative power of architecture gives me hope. I believe that human centered design can encourage dialogue, foster a sense of belonging, and play an important role in helping us address climate change

Describe a design project you’re working on right now (professional or personal) that you’re especially proud of.
My favorite thing about the work I do both at HMH and as a city council member is the enthusiasm and creativity of the people I work with. Clients, coworkers, and constituents are all constant sources of inspiration. Their diverse perspectives challenge me to think outside the box. At HMH I enjoy that our projects not only involve creating visually appealing spaces but also integrate elements that reflect the unique personalities and needs of our clients.

What advice would you give women who are just entering or considering a career in architecture?
To women entering or considering a career in architecture: Embrace your unique perspective and creativity. Don’t shy away from challenging the status quo. Seek mentors, build a supportive network, and cultivate your skills. Your voice and vision are crucial to creating a more inclusive and diverse architectural landscape.

Kristin Nothwehr, Project Manager

Who or what inspired you to become an architect?
I grew up in a rural community and I was so inspired by the landscape – the vast open spaces felt like a blank canvas and I loved to dream about what they could become.

What is your favorite thing about design – and why?
I love the process – beginning with the purity of a design concept, crafting it to work within real-world constraints, and seeing it come to life.

Describe a design project you’re working on right now (professional or personal) that you’re especially proud of.
I just had a baby, so I’d have to say my daughter’s nursery! I had so much fun designing a playful space that can grow with her, although if she’s anything like me we’ll be redesigning it constantly.

What advice would you give women who are just entering or considering a career in architecture?
Take ownership over your projects no matter how small your role, and get out on job sites as much as you can! Understanding how things are built makes you a better designer and builds confidence and credibility.

Jen Miller, FF&E Specialist

Who or what inspired you to become an interior designer?
My Detroit roots exposed me at an early age to the thriving art and creative scene. Galleries, fashion, Pewabic Pottery, DIA, Cranbrook and diverse range of architectural styles fueled my own artistic inclinations. At the root is my affection for beauty, storytelling, art, craftsmanship and materials.

What is your favorite thing about design – and why?
I appreciate that design brings into consideration different ways of thinking that impact the whole. Contemplations on longevity, how it can serve the individual, how it can serve the community, what role does the natural world play? It can engage whimsy, functionality. Ultimately, it serves creativity through a layered and collaborative process.

Describe a design project you’re working on right now (professional or personal) that you’re especially proud of.
Working in my own home is giving me a lot of pleasure right now. I take a considered amount of time with my decisions, and the further along I get, I can appreciate that it was worth the wait.

What advice would you give women who are just entering or considering a career in interior design?
Do an internship. Ask questions, clarify, be curious and look for a team with good rapport and mutual respect.

Stephanie Bingham, Marketing/Operations

What was your first passion for architecture and interior design?
I’m riding a creative wave influenced by my dad, an engineer, and my sister, an architect. Seeing structures designed through their eyes is so cool – every collaboration spins a unique tale in design.

What drives you every day?
I’m all about that impact vibe – finding motivation in the thrill of making a difference. Marketing is my playground, where variety and creativity collide..and seeing projects come to life is amazing!

What is one thing you’ve learned about women in the workplace that you would love to inspire other women with?
Be yourself. From a young age, we’re taught to follow “what is trending” as women. As I grow older, I’ve come to realize the true power lies in being authentically yourself. The real you is a force, and people appreciate that authenticity.

What accomplishment are you most proud of in your career?
I’m in the business of orchestrating events that spark joy. Whether it’s crafting a killer HMH team-building bash or curating an affair for Month of Modern, I thrive on creating spaces where people can connect, grow, and just have fun!