Katie Gong

  • San Francisco, California
  • Mom to Finn, 2 & stepmom to Elanor, 10
  • @katie.gong

She’s bending wood and gender stereotypes to match her vision

Katie is a talented woodworker who learned the craft from her father and is now bending stereotypes in a male-dominated industry.

As both a mom and stepmom, Katie says motherhood has inspired her art, and she hopes her work empowers her children to not be afraid of failure.

“If you’re trying something that you’re passionate about, a mistake is going to lead you to the answer … I’m taking something that is normally hard and rigid and firm and pushing it farther than its limits. I want people to believe that the impossible is actually possible.”

Balancing her business with motherhood is always a work in progress, but Katie says she’s learned to slow down, zoom out and celebrate the small wins.

“I’m trying to go easy on myself and lean into the fact that this is a hard thing — running my business, having a family, a husband, a stepdaughter, a new baby … It’s about giving yourself props for the small things, not just the big stuff. It was pretty cool that I cleaned out the Diaper Genie today — and I got to work on my sculpture for four hours.”

Katie’s been pumping on-the-go since her youngest was four months old and she says in one word, Willow gave her freedom.

“The Willow is a dream. It has helped me to pump hands-free and move around while still [breastfeeding]. Being a mom and nursing is already so hard — so to have something that makes it easier is brilliant.”

*Results may vary from woman to woman. The mom featured above received compensation.