The rest of this book won’t dive into the autobiographical, but for readers who don’t work in the tech industry, I want to share the meandering story about how I personally got here.
I started out my career as a fashion designer. I didn’t immediately have the intention that I would work in tech, but it didn’t just happen either. Working in fashion, I was interested in how and where things were made. I cared less about what or who was “cool” that season unless it helped me to solve a problem. I was frustrated with the way the fashion industry worked. It was probably not surprising to those around me when I made the decision that the industry fashion design track was simply not for me.
Early on, I started seeking opportunities to work on innovative technologies where my skills could be valuable. I found a team at the Wyss Institute at Harvard that was building wearable soft robotic exoskeletons, a project they called the Exosuit. The project proposed a number of applications from military to stroke rehabilitation. My involvement did not start out in a glamorous way. I started sewing prototypes and worked my way into other parts of the development process: observing user-testing, suggesting improvements. While I wasn’t necessarily excited about sewing at the time, I was refreshed by the sense of meaning I got from building wearable devices that could change people’s lives by helping them move.