In the introduction to her new book, “Homemakers,” Brit Morin says she never expected to be undertaking such a big writing project.
“After all, I come from the digital generation. You know, the generation that prefers Instagram to Kodak cameras and can’t focus on anything for longer than two minutes. The generation of which 72% downloaded at least one app in the past week,” she writes.
“Yes, that generation.”
As a former employee of both Apple and Google, Morin is thoroughly entrenched in the tech world of Silicon Valley. Her husband, Dave Morin, is a former Facebook employee and the founder of social networking app Path.
Brit’s personal brand, however, is best defined as a blend between the digital and analogue worlds.
She’s the founder and CEO of Brit + Co., a DIY content and ecommerce site that’s scored $US7.6 million in funding from Index Ventures, Cowboy Ventures, Lerer Ventures, Marissa Meyer, and Oak Investment Partners.
Brit + Co. features fun articles, recipes, tutorials and even online classes that teach skills like knitting, hand-lettering, and 3D printing.
Her book, which was published by HarperCollins’ William Morrow Paperbacks imprint and officially hits shelves Tuesday, has more of the same content, with each chapter addressing a different room in the home.
“So for example, you take the kitchen. I look at what has happened over the past decade — the way we cook, the way we entertain, and how that has evolved with technology,” Morin told Business Insider.
She added that home automation and the Internet of Things will have an enormous effect on people’s definition of home.
“I’m not sure people fully realise how advanced our homes are becoming,” she said. “This is the new reality as of today, and it’s only going to advance more.”
After Morin left her product marketing job at Google in 2011, she joined TechShop, a studio in San Francisco where you can pay a monthly fee for access to 3D printers, woodworking equipment, silk screening machines, and laser cutters.
“I started taking classes and got obsessed. I loved that all you needed to know was how to design it online, then send it to print,” she said. “It’s exciting to see the intersection of creativity and technology play out in real life.”
Morin had officially joined the Maker movement, a name given to the use of new technology to create and build things.
“The Maker movement is really just a new definition for a cultural shift that has been happening for decades,” Morin said. “I like to use this example. At first people thought it was cheating to use cake mix instead of baking from scratch, but sales were soaring, so there was obviously demand for it. It was the same with the microwave, icebox, and the iPhone.”
Most projects in her book — tassel garlands, patterned tea towels, swirled cakes — aren’t too time-intensive.
But with others, like a gadget-charging nightstand that requires using a charging mat and router, Morin shows off some of her Maker skills.
That combination of craftiness and tech has led some people dub her the “Martha Stewart of Silicon Valley.”
She says she’s flattered by the comparison.
“It’s definitely a huge compliment,” Morin said. “She’s really nice.”
While brainstorming a title for her book, Morin found that some considered the word “homemaker” a derogatory term. She says that’s because the term has carried a different meaning for previous generations of women, some more positive than others.
“Our grandmothers’ generation was kind of forced to stay home and be a homemaker. For our mothers’ generation, women were leaving the home and working,” Morin said. “Now women have the choice, and it’s OK to do both, and they want to do both.”
Morin knows firsthand just how difficult that can be. She had her first child, a boy named Ansel, in October.
“I do prescribe to outsourcing certain services. I don’t go grocery shopping — I use Blue Apron and Foraged for ingredients,” she said. “I love having free afternoons to paint or 3D print. It’s OK to make time to create and build with my hands.”
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