The Ladies of CMND SHFT 2016

By Chantel Elder

Chantel Elder, Editor
Chantel Elder

CMND SHFT (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) is a Sacramento exposition for creatives to connect and inspire with the professional community. The goal is to be a resource for the creative community and bridge the communication gap between artists and professionals that need their services – creating a win-win atmosphere. Connecting the two communities offers both sides the chance to network, understand what is involved in commissioned projects from various perspectives and ultimately produce amazing collaborations.

Event Details:

  • Saturday August, 13th
  • 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. + an after-party for the wild ones!
  • The Guild Theatre
  • Purchase tickets

CMND SHFT launched its first expo in 2015 and was founded by Ryan Donnuhue (owner and operator of Mother and Empress Tavern) and the gents behind Interval Press – Ben Della Rose, Hans Bennewitz, Kyle Marks, John Forrest. 

It takes a village to make anything awesome happen, and we want to give a special shout out to the ladies involved – both behind-the-scenes and on-stage speaking. We recommend you grab your tickets HERE to meet these lovelies in person and experience their brilliance live on August 13th.  A closer look at the ladies behind CMND SHFT…

Meghan Phillips

Photo Credit: Ashley Rodseth
  • Role at CMND SHFT? I am honored to be one of the six local speakers at the 2016 event.
  • Three things people might not know about you: In 2006, my husband and I won Silver at the State Fair for our homemade wine. Then we had kids and haven’t done it again. I say treadmill like treadmeal. I just can’t reteach myself.  I love to travel and experience new cultures, BUT hate to fly (props to Xanax).
  • Tips for juggling life? Get sleep. You’re better rested.
  • App(s) you can’t live without? Wunderlist, Instagram, Spotify
  • Another Sacramento woman that blows your skirt up and why? Erica Rau  – successful juggler of life, modest, kind and provides advice/guidance. We need more of that collaboration.
  • Nights or Mornings – when are you most creative or produce your best work? MORNINGS, up daily at 5am!
  • Best piece of advice you have ever received? In business: Write it down. Take notes! And pick up the phone. So much can be accomplished on a call, remove the idol bullshit and save the inboxes! #savetheinbox In life: What’s the worst that can happen?
  • What is your favorite creation? No question, my kids. I created those things – not alone. But they still keep me grounded, curious, and motivated to be a better person.
  • Sacramento Guilty pleasure: It’s a tie! Crunchy Beef Tacos at Tres Hermanas & Shoki Tan Tan Men Ramen with Tamago!
  • How do you describe your own design/style? 30% sentimental (make it mean something), 20% utilitarian, 20% ath-leisure, 30% modern-hippy (aka put a kaftan on it)

Melissa Uroff Millner

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photo credit: John Klaiber
  • Role at CMND SHFT? I am one of the speakers. I’ll be talking TUBE., about my career as an artist and about the Sacramento creative community.
  • Three things people might not know about you: I am the oldest of five siblings, I drink tea like a mad woman, I have owned a drum set for fifteen years and I am still as good as I was in year two.
  • Tips for juggling life? Don’t sleep, there is no time.  Keep a calendar or schedule, I’m old school and write everything down in a planner, something about the actual act of writing things down helps me remember.  If you are overwhelmed make a list, once you start crossing things off it feels good, seeing the progress and knowing you are heading toward whatever goal you are aiming for really helps.
  • App(s) you can’t live without? I love Instagram. I follow so many artists, photographers, and creative people every time I open my Instagram I go “like” crazy. It’s nice to have a social media app that is full of things you want to see.
  • Another Sacramento woman that blows your skirt up and why? It is funny you asked this one, our upcoming TUBE. issue, which will be released at CMND SHIFT, has a focus on women that we think are rad. It is nearly impossible to pick just one woman because I am surrounded by creative talented ladies all of the time that are constantly amazing me, however here is one that helped put TUBE. on the map. Gabriella Garcia (owner of the Blue Lamp) was one of the first people to give my crazy show ideas a home. I came to her with my idea for The Circus (which is a local variety show that includes stage performances, visual art, bands, costumes, and carnival games) and without any question, she gave me a chance. This woman supports the music and art community like crazy. Plus she’s a blast to hang out with.
  • Nights or Mornings – when are you most creative or produce your best work? Nights are best, but it is not uncommon to work on something until the sun comes up so I suppose early mornings too.
  • Best piece of advice you have ever received? A good artist knows when to edit.
  • What is your favorite creation?Not sure I have just one. I kinda stink at answering these questions because I love all the things.
  • Sacramento Guilty pleasure? I am a sucker for Gunther’s, but really who isn’t?
  • How do you describe your own design/style? A little whacky, imperfect, surreal and honest.

Andrea Lepore

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  • Role at CMND SHFT?  Speaker. I’ve been fortunate enough to work with so many of the founders, I’m excited to be a part of something they’ve created in a new capacity.
  • Three things people might not know about you: I don’t eat beef or pork, I relate to dogs better than people, and I almost had my driver’s license revoked for too many speeding tickets. 
  • Tips for juggling life? Work relentlessly when following a dream or passion project but take time for yourself, travel and eat well to be inspired and re-energize. 
  • App(s) you can’t live without?  Waze, Wells Fargo, and Wunderlist ( wait, what? Three w’s?)
  • Another Sacramento woman that blows your skirt up and why? I don’t wear skirts. I admire Meera Kang for her perseverance and tenacity working in the difficult industry of real estate development and specifically affordable housing.
  • Nights or Mornings – when are you most creative or produce your best work? Both- Mornings before 10 am and evenings after 8 pm.
  • Best piece of advice you have ever received? Do what you love.
  • What is your favorite creation? My pasta dinner last night
  • Sacramento Guilty pleasure? Hot Italian’s Affogati… Gelato with Italian liqueur, whipped cream and crushed hazelnuts.
  • How do you describe your own design/style? Less is more.

Rose Della Rosa


  • Role at CMND SHFT? My name is Rose and I am in charge of organizing local programming for CMND SHFT.
  • Three things people might not know about you: I am currently obsessed with glitter, I look through the library of congress’s online database frequently just for shits and giggles, and I am typically not a big fan of sweets.
  • Tips for juggling life? I feel like I am still trying to figure that out myself these days. Eh…somethings matter and some things don’t. Prioritize accordingly and if all else fails, write it down.
  • App(s) you can’t live without? I don’t use a cell phone so I am kinda outta the loop when it comes to apps. I really like a good artichoke dip tho. *joke drum roll.
  • Another Sacramento woman that blows your skirt up and why? The women involved in CMND SHFT are currently blowing me away with their talent, collaborative spirit, and just all around bossness. You’re probably going to find out enough about them through this post so I’ll take the opportunity to shout out the lead singer for the band the Drug Apartments: Whitney. I am mesmerized by her performances and I feel liberated by watching someone (her) be so good at something. She’s also a really talented ceramicist . I enjoy her use of color and the subtle shapes she creates. Her work balances this quirky playfulness with an air of calm elegance that I really enjoy.
  • Nights or Mornings – when are you most creative or produce your best work? 10 am is my best time to work. I’ve had my coffee and am feeling ready to tackle the day at that point.
  • Best piece of advice you have ever received? ‘Be kind to yourself, be good to yourself’. My mother used to say that to me and my siblings (before treat ya self) all the time. Even when we were shitty kids she would say that to us and it’s a good feeling to know that even if you’re at your worst someone believes that you are still worthy of love. It is also a piece of advice that helps alleviate the guilt I have with spending too much money on nice pens. …I spend a lot of money on pens. 
  • What is your favorite creation?Hands down: Alexander Girard‘s restaurant La Fonda Del Sol. I go back to it every time I am stuck or feeling uninspired. I love how explorative the space is, how thorough the design is in totality and how subtle Girard is with his wit in the space. I hope to one day be able to create work that elicits those kinds of feelings from a viewer.
  • Sacramento Guilty pleasure? Hi-Fashion Fabrics. I could spend hours here. I love searching through all the fabrics, looking for patterns, color interactions, and just finding little treats. I always go there with the intention of buying one thing…but end up adding to my cart something I think I will need later. Hi-Fashion Fabrics is a place I can go to feel inspired because I am surrounded by so much stuff to explore. It’s my guilty pleasure because I spend too much time there and more money than I intend.
  • How do you describe your own design/style? I would say my sense of style is motivated by being extremely sentimental. It’s something I’ve tried to shy away from in the past and I’ve had to learn to accept that I am a big puddle of nostalgic goo. Overall my style encompasses my curiosity for the world and what makes it tick. I like finding things that reveal the varying perspectives of time and space and I find a lot of joy in sharing these discoveries with other people.

Heather Orr-Martinez


  • Role at CMND SHFT? I write bios for and maintain the Facebook page.
  • Three things people might not know about you: I played the guitar, keyboard and drums in a band when I was in my late teens, My first car was a 1965 Mustang, I tried (and failed) to learn how to ride a unicycle. It’s harder than it looks…
  • Tips for juggling life? Get the things you’re dreading done first thing in your day – then the rest of the day is cake.
  • App(s) you can’t live without? Uber, Netflix, Google Maps
  • Another Sacramento woman that blows your skirt up and why? Lisa Culp, Executive Director of Women’s Empowerment. The respect, empathy and encouragement that Lisa gives to each and every woman that enters Women’s Empowerment is an amazing thing to witness. She inspires everyone around her, including volunteers like myself, to be the best version of themselves they can be.
  • Nights or Mornings – when are you most creative or produce your best work? I’m definitely more productive in the mornings. But creativity comes at any time of the day!
  • Best piece of advice you have ever received? Don’t try to change people, accept them for who they are.
  • What is your favorite creation? I really enjoyed doing package design for Prima Noce and Primavera in Linden, CA.
  • Sacramento Guilty pleasure? Ginger Elizabeth’s caramels!
  • How do you describe your own design/style? Eclectic. I’ve always had a hard time finding one style I resonate with, I like variety.

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