Category Archives: blog

HackerMoms elects new Steering Committee

There’s a new crew running HackerMoms these days. We just counted ballots and a new Steering Committee has been voted in by the  wide majority of HackerMoms. Our new leadership team is:

  • Velma Gentsch, Executive Director
  • Vonnie Chan, Director of Finance
  • Mahri Holt, Director of Childcare
  • Madison Young, Director of Programming
  • Heather Reilly, Director of Membership

We’ll be adding their photos and bios to the website. Congratulations to the team – and to HackerMoms for completing our first elections.

Here’s what we look like when we’re doing business.

Who are these badasses?

Most of the directors have many years of nonprofit administration in their bios, (and interestingly, experience in filmmaking), all amplified by motherhood. They are loyal, honest, decisive, direct and maintain deep self-integrity. They don’t take commitment lightly. We know because we’ve worked with these women on projects and  seen their dedication to the HackerMoms mission of balancing creative and family lives. They are quintessential role models for us all.

A note from Sho-Sho Smith, Founder  

The HackerMoms made these elections happen so that I could focus on my family and my husband’s cancer that has returned. It is a hard place to be, and I’m so grateful to this village for taking care of me by taking over the hardworking role of running HackerMoms. I’m thrilled to see our HackerMoms change and new energy circulate through us. We’ve done the hard work to become financially and organizationally sustainable these last months. It’s a huge accomplishment in any organization and we did it in true HackerMoms style – not perfectly, but very well thank you very much. Thank you all for being part of our evolving HackerMoms story – which is really the story of how women play the modern motherhood game, and win. Not boring, right? Bravo HackerMoms!

2013 Year in Review

It’s been a helluva 2013 at Mothership HackerMoms. In this first year of our life, we got tons of press, grew to almost 35 members, held over 30 workshops, started a business incubator, a street art crew and Hacker Sprouts Kids. Your donations spurred our growth. We’d like to thank you for believing in us with a photo album of our year in review.

HackerMoms turns 2 years old in 2014! We plan to expand our business incubator for moms and our childcare. That’s where we see the greatest struggle for meaningful work, family and identity. We’ll change consciousness through Charm School by redesigning the world around us. We’ll disrupt the auto industry with a HeartCar design revolution lead by moms and kids. We’ll develop our volunteer and internship program to include you, our community, in our growth.

If you’d like to continue to support Mothership HackerMoms, please check out membership,  donate here or Paypal a donation to “” We’d love to hear from you, too. Don’t hesitate to send words of encouragement to our all-volunteer organization. We love you, Moms! Stay strong and stick together! See you in 2014 at our January open houses!



The Tinkering Studio 

2013 Year in Review


2013 Year in Review


2013 Year in Review


HackerMoms Business Incubator 


Our business incubator offers workshops and programs to support moms in career transition. Sessions like Hacking Self-publishing, Social Media Hand-holding, Moms in Transition: Career & Money, Designing Your Writing Life as a Mom are among our most well-attended by the local community.


2013 Year in Review


2013 Year in Review
Our business projects include HeartCar, a HackerMoms collaboration to redesigning the car for moms and kids, and HackerMoms 2.0, an entrepreneurial taskforce.


Hacker Sprouts Kids Program


We added to our mission statement “Our Hacker Sprouts program teaches children the creative process through educational childcare and STEAM-based workshops. HackerMoms creates families that build together.”


2013 Year in Review



2013 Year in Review
Your donations helped update our tiny 200 sq foot childcare space from a play room to a Montessori-inspired educational space. Toys were replaced with manipulables, puzzles and tools that challenged their minds and motor skills.

2013 Year in Review
Happy Holidays from the HackerMoms family!

hackerspace: 3288 Adeline Street, Berkeley, CA 94703


“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something. So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life. Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it. Make your mistakes, next year and forever.” ~Neil Gaiman

510 Families interviews HackerMom Hayden Davis

From the beginning, Hayden Davis has been the go-to HackerMom for finding wonder and fun in everyday life with kids.  She’s a fearless explorer of strange, quirky and fascinating family-friendly events and places throughout the bay area. And, she always finds the best deal (lucky for us, she’s our Director of Finance too.) Here’s her latest interview in 510Families

Beer, Baby Daddies & Blue Grass

Dear Dads and Partners,

Sure we picked beer as the main beverage to entice you to hang with a pack of HackerMoms and kids.  And, we brought out the vintage guitar collection so you could jam out with new Dads while your kids went bananas.  We get to hang out all the time, but we sure thought it was rad to hang out with you all last Sunday night.  Let’s do it again, real soon.

Magical, musical fun! Kids’ Cacophony Choir for ages 3-6 starts Sunday 7/21.

2 Sundays: 7/21 & 7/28. 10-10:45am.

Singer and edu-tainer Toni Tone introduces kids to their own voices as imaginative instruments. This fun, early vocal class teaches them to explore the enormous range of creative sounds they can make with their mouths and how to turn it into song. It’s perfect kids ages 3-6 who’s always vocalizing and singing. Kids will work with microphones and amplifiers, and experience group performance. (And yes, parents can join in the fun!) $10 for HackerMoms, $12 for Non-Members

Sign up here on

ARTchitecture and pre-engineering fun with LEGOS starts this Sunday, 7/7

4 Sundays, July 7 through July 28, 11-11:45 am

Hacker Sprouts welcomes back ZettaTech Science with a class that uses LEGOS to teach basic principles of engineering. Kids will re-create some of the world’s greatest feats of construction – a weight-bearing bridge, skyscraper, rocket-proof superwall – to test structural principles through project-based learning and collaboration.

Designed for girls and boys ages 3-6, where older kids can help teach younger kids. We recommend the series for maximum learning, but drop-ins are also welcome.

$60 series for non-members ($45 series for HackerMoms). $15 drop-in for non-members ($12 for HackerMoms). Space is limited, so sign up early here: EVENTBRITE LEGO SERIES AT HACKERMOMS

Stunned Mom Gets Paid for Writing Thanks to HackerMoms

So I deposited the two checks for my first two paid blogging gigs! I would never have gotten them if not for HackerMoms. It’s not that the $40 will, in and of itself, change my life. It’s just such a thrill to be back in the game after such a long hiatus. As I mentioned in a previous entry, I never would have gotten my social media/blogging life up and running without HackerMoms’ social media lab. As I begin to engage in the blogosphere and social media, I can also see possibilities for promotion and community building of my novel, once it’s published. Now, the biggest challenge is not to fall prey to the instant gratification of writing for blogs. This novel is already nearly five years in the making, not to mention the many novel manuscripts I had developed previously—since back in the early 90s. The challenge is to enjoy the short creative bursts of blogging and return to the marathon of the novel. Thanks again, HackerMoms! xo, Aya de Leon.

Maker Faire, the mother of all inventions.

Maker Faire is a ridiculously inspiring celebration of art, craft, science, technology and the maker movement. Alongside 120,000 visitors,1000 makers and 120 kid-run booths, HackerMoms took on the mother of all maker festivals — Bay Area Maker Faire. Read more about our virgin voyage and our Family Secret Project in Oakland Local In case you missed Saturday’s panel on women makers/hackers, here’s Sho Sho Smith’s (applause provoking) response to the question why everyone should make instead of buy: “We need to take back the means of production. I come from southern California mall culture where people are scared to even cut their own bangs because they’re not “a real hairdresser.” It’s a powerless position we’re in and we can empower ourselves when we have an original idea and can make it tangible.”

Thanks SF Bay Guardian. We love you too.

Thanks SF Bay Guardian for honoring us with their ‘Women in Business’ Small Business Award. What a total shock in all the best ways. Thanks for including our HackerDads on the cover too! We had a blast at your award ceremony at Yoshi’s. Thanks for letting us share the night with our proud partners and kids. Sorry about our rowdy bunch of little people. Guess you could say they’re as fearless and restless as we are. Go figure! Take a peak inside our cover story here:SF Bay Guardain Small Business Award
Thanks SF Bay Guardian. We love you too.