The muscle behind Miss MorningWood


Sarah Cobillas tells us why she does what she does, proving that she is more than just a pretty face and a strong arm:


I believe that women are mentally and physically stronger than the limitations that society has put on us. I believe that women are strong enough to make lives that challenge the status quo. I believe that as a woman, the art that I create can inspire other women to have the confidence to also create. I want to learn about sustainable design and master my craft so that I can teach women how to make things for themselves. I know first hand what a transformative experience it can be to create something from nothing.


As a girl who was interested in things that are traditionally dominated by men, I was always told I would never be good enough to compete. Looking back at my career in the military, in a position where women were rarely represented, I proved to myself that not only could I compete with men, I could also surpass them. My life in the military was incredibly challenging, but I am grateful for the wisdom I gained after my experience. It opened my eyes to the limitless possibilities that myself and other women can achieve. At the end of my enlistment I was given a chance to move up the ranks and become an officer. I turned down the offer because I believed that outside of the military I would have a greater chance to impact my community.


I am creating my own ideal of what success can mean for me.  I know that creating things and helping people is what fulfills me. My goal is to make sustainable design accessible.  I want to open the doors for the women who never imagined they were strong enough to handle machinery and create quality pieces for themselves.  I want to create beautiful and affordable furniture for people who never thought that they could afford to own a piece of art. I want to be a part of the movement of sustainable design, not only to preserve our environment, but also to sustain our most under-priviledged communities.


My art is a process of renewal and transformation. I try to infuse new life into discarded objects whose fates are otherwise limited to decay. In this same way, I want to inspire people to unearth the blessings in their alleged deficits. My dream is that people like me realize that our perspective is necessary in the art world and our lives are worthy of beauty.  I believe that creativity has no limit and by supporting one another, instead of fighting each other, we all have the ability to unlock our full potential.


Miss MorningWood says…


To fur or not to fur?  For me, the question has the same answer as many other conscious consumer quandaries.  Here is my checklist for feel good shopping:

1. Buy old: A great thrift find, a vintage steal or a refurbished master piece- it’s already made, it’s already taking up space in this ever shrinking world.  The best shopping you can do is the kind that doesn’t create more excess in this consumer culture.  Turning trash into treasure is an essential for our own art and what we look for in other art.    When it comes to fur- yes, I actually think it is more ethical to buy an old fur (like this $40 mink steal from the Alameda Antique Fair) than to purchase a new vegan leather jacket.  Other bonuses: it is often cheaper, nobody else has the same one and we all know rescuing a dog is better than breeding a dog

2. Buy human: There is just something undeniably beautiful about things made by hand.  Maybe it is the minor flaws or the unique nature of each piece.  The quality just doesn’t compare- things made by hand are durable enough to sustain wear and tear.  (Hence, why buying old is another good guideline.) I love the actual connection in small shops and etsy stores that Target doesn’t offer.  There is nothing better than meeting the person who made what you are buying- it also ensures you aren’t wearing something made by little hands or underpaid workers.   Other bonuses: You can often make  a connection to the artist that can lead to promotion of your own work, possible bartering and collaboration on future projects.

3. Buy Woman Made: First of all, we are lesbians- so we kind of have a crush on any woman who makes anything… But more importantly, there is a long and vibrant tradition of women making things (food, clothing, house goods, etc.) and having their art discarded as mere “craft.”  These functional arts have made our daily lives more beautiful and have the ability to empower women to live life on their own terms.  We have all heard that investing in a woman is often more beneficial to a community than investing in a man.  They are more likely to reinvest in the community and more likely to teach someone else their craft.  Other bonuses: We also know first hand how hard it is to break into a male dominated industry,  like upcycled furniture.  We are out there, fund us, support us, buy us (er, our goods.)

4. Buy Local: So much could be said about buying local.  We live in a peak oil world, anything to cut back on the toll shipping takes on the environment is a worthy venture to us. In addition to the eco benefits, you get the same benefits of human made and women made.  You are investing in your community and getting to make actual human connections.  Other bonuses: buying local tends to come in the form of fun events  like art walks, craft fairs, farmers markets and neighborhood exploration.

5. Love above all else:  You can’t always help what (or who!) you love.  I’m not going to lie, sometimes Target is the most practical, affordable place to find a good interview outfit or some cheap heart shaped shades that you know you will lose in a week.  I believe if you practice the prior rules, they will begin to be organic choices that you make more often.  And in the meantime, if you find a dope t-shirt made by a guy in Mexico- GET IT!  We live in troubled times and sometimes piece of mind requires a little less self judgement.  If you are being a conscious consumer most of the time, you are already making a big difference.


Why Blog?


Honestly? It gives meaning to my insatiable social media desires. As hard as I try, I just can’t stay away from the voyeuristic temptations of Instagram.  I can’t help it, I really want to know who your woman crush wednesday is.  And who likes your woman crush wednesday. But like any good drug, I end up feeling pretty strung out and empty at the end of my creeper binge.  This blog gives (some) purpose to my desires and I now know what it is I am searching for.


Finding Sarah was like finding a best friend when I was 8 and awkward and alone.  From the first week we met we started to create together.  Nothing intentional or noteworthy, but meaningful nonetheless.  Sure, our paintings were of Daria, narwhals and splatter paint jiz. And yea, maybe we built forts and made costumes instead of going out like grown ups.  But I think what we were really doing was finding something we lost in childhood.  That something that let our imaginations run wild.  We forgot about being cool and created a magic interior world where anything was possible.  But just like middle school, I woke up one day and realized all of the other girls my age had moved on to other things and other friends.  I am so grateful to have found my bff and boo boo in one quirky and beautiful girl crush, but I still wonder where all the other weirdos are.  And by weirdos I mean, where are all of the other girls who would rather dress up like mermaids and drive up the coast to collect drift wood for reclaimed furniture?  Not in a hippy way, not in a tripper way and not in a crafty mom way… in a really fashionable, absurd, intelligent, irreverent and possibly even gay kind of way.  Image

I don’t know where exactly these other trouble starter, noise makers are, but I know they are out there.  Making a living making things (especially things made with hammers and nails) has not been so friendly to females.  It can be lonely trying make your way in a world that wasn’t made for you.  So we are trying to forge our own path and find success in our own way.  To us that means collaborating instead of competing with each other.  Women have always been makers, infusing design and beauty into functional items and everyday events.  I see it in the stories we tell, the clothes we wear, the meals we make AND in the art we create, the blogs we write, and the future we design.  Women dominate Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.   We need to use these paths to find our way back to best friends who inspire dreams and fairy godmother who make anything possible.  I am so excited to find, follow, like and share other women makers, movers and shakers.  Who run the world?