Michelle Der - CEO
She has a talent for making fun and adventure out of the ordinary. I have such terrific memories with my 3 sisters dancing in our pj’s when she'd let us stay up late; of jumping in puddles with wild abandon; letting us empty the cabinets to play Supermarket and the shelves to play Library, and simply being silly. We absolutely made lots of memories.
Gavin Teichert - Operations Manager
My mom's one of the funniest people I've ever known and she's always had such a good sense of humor. My mom also used to love to clean the house. Very convenient for me in retrospect. So anyway, I remember one Saturday morning when I was a teenager she was in the kitchen mopping the floor like she did every Saturday morning. She'd been mopping for a few minutes when I heard a loud crash from the kitchen so I ran out of my bedroom to see what happened. I found my mom soaking wet flat on her back on the wet kitchen floor with a dazed look on her face. There was a pregnant pause for a few moments as I stood there looking at her and she laid there looking up at the ceiling. We both burst out laughing hysterically at the ridiculousness of it. I'm laughing right now just thinking about it! It was especially funny because my mom has a very infectious laugh when she gets going and she was laughing her ass off that morning. She was fine thankfully and we continued to laugh as I helped her up from the floor. It's one of my favorite memories of my mom and it's something she and I still laugh about together from time to time to this day.
Veronica Pennix - Graphic Design
When I was younger, my family and I lived in Guam. My mom had severe headaches that seemed to have gotten worse so she went to the doctor to diagnose. The doctor ended up finding a large brain tumor and said they would need to fly her out to Hawaii as soon as possible for a craniotomy. My mother and father left me to stay with my neighbors for 28 days which felt like an eternity. I never knew if my mother would return home after the procedure due to complications. The surgery ended up being successful after a series of follow-ups and since then we have cherished every single moment of time spent with each other.
To this day she says, "Veronica, you are my one and only child and I live this life for you. I fought hard with the strength of God to be here on this earth with you and raise you to be the beautiful woman you are today. I am thankful and blessed."
My mother is the most selfless person I have ever met and I guess you could say I have always been overprotective of her my entire life. Having a close call to losing her really made me truly appreciate every ounce of her being and I live my life to make her proud.
Katherine - Social Manager
There are so many things I could say about my mom! She taught me how to jump my car in the rain and how to curl my hair. How to laugh at myself and put family first. My memories of growing up are filled with laughter, cooking together, creating projects, and not worrying about making a mess. That’s how you know life is happening! She taught me that I can do anything and everything that I want in life. While my mother and I could not possibly be more different I know that in her I will always have a cheerleader, protector, and safe space.
'My Momma, the Animal Warrior'
Madeline Komic - Creative Director
I have learned almost everything I know from my mother. She is feisty, kind and smart. Our favorite thing to do together is drink wine on the porch and talk about our babies (our animals) while also complaining about random things that don’t really matter. We also do a yearly trip just my mom and I, where we go antiquing. We call it our Antique Roadshow. One of my favorite/stressful memories from one of these trips ties back into our absurd and dangerous love of animals. We were driving down some random road in South Georgia (with little habitation in sight) when we came across two little lab puppies running around the road. The road was desolate, but there were a bunch of huge trucks zooming down it and the puppies were heading for a grim end. We didn’t even consider not stopping, we immediately both just knew we had to help them somehow. There was no other option! We pulled over and were able to coax them out of the dangerous road. They were sweet but stinky, exhausted and desperate for help. We found a phone book at a nearby gas station (this was pre-internet on our cell phones) and were able to contact a rural shelter nearby that could take them in. I’m not sure what ended up happening to them, but at least they had a safe, warm place to sleep, food, water and people who cared for them. Now we like to joke that we are not allowed to be alone together on trips because this situation has happened in some manner almost every time since! She has trained me to be an animal warrior like her and I am so thankful!