Celebrating Women’s History Month
At Rejuvenation, we’re in the business of making modern heirlooms. From beautiful lighting and hardware to well-crafted furniture, our designs are made to be enjoyed for many years to come—and all made possible by our dedicated employees. In celebration of Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day, we’re excited to honor the women who make our company special by learning more about their roles. From our leadership to engineering, we asked six women across Rejuvenation what inspires their career, and how they’ve overcome gender inequity to get where they are now.
Aujsha Taylor, Senior Vice President of Rejuvenation
Originally from Portland, Oregon, Aujsha Taylor has been with Williams-Sonoma, Inc. for 18 years, beginning her career at Pottery Barn prior to joining Rejuvenation. She’s held various roles, gaining a more global perspective of the brand—and appreciation for all the teams that make our company so successful. We sat down with Aujsha to learn about what she loves most about Rejuvenation and her advice for the next generation of female leaders.
As the Senior Vice President, what’s the most rewarding part of your job?
There are two things that I find rewarding: First, we get to help our customers create their homes. Whether it is a kitchen remodel or designing a cozy living room—it’s amazing to see them love their spaces—the places where they will gather with friends and family, enjoy meals, and build memories. Secondly, our ability to give back to our community through our CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) initiatives. We partner with organizations like Habitat for Humanity and Tent.org that are making a difference in the world.
What makes you proudest of being a part of the Rejuvenation team?
The way the entire team contributes to the amazing growth of the brand. It really is a team effort, and their vision, collaboration, and innovation makes it all possible.
Rejuvenation is a part of the Williams-Sonoma, Inc. family of brands, led by Laura Alber. What have you learned from working for a Fortune 500 female CEO?
What a privilege—it is not lost on me that I have an amazing role model. She taught me that you don’t ever have to limit your potential: If you want it, go get it!
What advice would you give to the next generation of female leaders?
Surround yourself with talented people, never stop learning, and always have a clear vision.
How should women support other women in their organizations?
Our role is to lift each other up, be supportive, and to mentor.
Asami Morita, Lead Set Builder, Photo Studio
Asami Morita is the Lead Set Builder for our Photo Studio. Born in Tokyo, Japan and raised in Victoria, British Columbia, she brings her fabrication skills to Rejuvenation, designing and project managing the set builds that help set the stage for our beautiful photography seen across our website and catalogs.
What inspired you to pursue a career in set design?
I’ve always been inspired by unique homes and making things by hand. When I was little, I was obsessed with doll houses—I’d spend entire weekends creating buildings and furniture for imaginary people to live and work. After college, I worked as a woodworker and sculpture fabricator. Later, I started working as an architectural model maker, which empowered me with the skills to design functional spaces.
Do you have a mentor or influential women who has inspired you? What have you learned from them?
During my 16 years living in Los Angeles, I worked among some incredible artists. I’ve learned a lot of practical skills from hardworking designers and craftspeople. I keep their generosity in mind when I have an opportunity to teach others.
Have you been confronted with gender-related roadblocks in your career? If so, how did you overcome them?
In the fabrication industry, I’ve faced my share of harassment and discrimination. It’s difficult when you’re the only woman in the room and there’s no one standing up for you. I’ve made tough decisions to leave behind toxic work environments for healthier ones. I also learned to be steadfast in my convictions and not allow someone else’s biases affect my confidence.
Courtney Crews, Product Design, Textiles & Color
How did you end up becoming a product designer?
I’ve always loved making things and learning about how things are made. I studied textile design in school because I was interested in a wide variety of art mediums and didn’t want to be confined to one creative study. Fabrics can be extremely technical when looking at how they are constructed, or they can be loosely expressive when we look at how they can be adorned and altered. Textiles are everywhere and there are so many ways to make them unique. Pairing that with my interest in interiors, I think that is how I’ve fallen into product design.
When you’re designing something new, where do you look for inspiration?
I am constantly gathering images from Instagram, Pinterest, or movies and TV. I look at what people are wearing and choosing for their homes or what colors are starting to pop up everywhere. The research is all around us, so I usually take what new trends I see emerging and try to blend them with references from the past. I love art history and try to bring elements from certain art movements into my designs.
What are some of your creative outlets outside of Rejuvenation?
It’s funny because any time someone asks me what my hobbies are outside of my career in textiles, my answer is: textiles! In my free time I like to create my own clothes through sewing and knitting. I really like expressing myself through clothing, but I can get fixated on specific kinds of pieces I want for my wardrobe and sometimes they can be hard to find. My solution has been to sew or knit the pieces that I can’t find. A few years ago, I purchased and taught myself how to use a vintage knitting machine from the 1980s. The machine is entirely mechanical and is much faster than hand knitting, but still very hands-on which means lots of creative opportunities and endless possibilities.
Who inspires you the most and what have you learned from them?
There are many inspiring women in my life, but I owe my pursuit of a creative career to my mother and grandmother. My grandmother was raised in a very rural, poor part of Arkansas. She grew up on a farm, quite literally in the middle of nowhere. Without many resources for cultivating or fostering any interest in the arts, she still became a gifted painter and writer. She was eccentric and passionate about the importance of art, culture, and design. She passed that down to my mother and both were incredibly supportive of my creative interests when I was young. My mother never wanted to see me in a job that I didn’t love and never once pressured me to think about other careers.
Amy Crosby, Manufacturing Engineer, Lighting
Many of our lighting collections are assembled to order at our Portland, Oregon factory. This is where Manufacturing Engineer, Amy Crosby, assists with general factory and production support, with a focus on transitioning our new products into production.
Women make up only about 28% of the workforce in STEM—science, technology, engineering, and math. Do you have a mentor who helped influence your path?
I had the honor to start my career here under a female manager—which is rare in Manufacturing and Engineering. It was a main draw for me to join Rejuvenation. She took no slack from anyone, taught me to stand up for myself, and embody the pillars of the company.
What’s your advice for women interested in engineering? And what do you find most rewarding about your job?
My advice is to just go for it. Every day I have the opportunity to learn and problem solve.
Seena Rabbitt, Associate Buyer, Lighting
Behind every product category, there’s a dedicated team. Born and raised in Guam, Associate Lighting Buyer, Seena Rabbitt helps with the logistics of making our lighting available to customers.
What made you decide to get into merchandising?
In college, I had no idea what I wanted to do as a career. I loved math but was also a creative person, so postgraduate I stumbled upon Corporate Retail in my job hunt it felt like the right industry for me. I initially started in Planning, but quickly realized Merchandising was the better match; 10 years later and I’m so happy I’ve found a career I truly enjoy.
What do you love most about your work?
The product! Seeing and being a part of the whole development process from concept to launch is by far the best part. Spotting product in my daily life—in a restaurant or even in a movie—always makes me smile and feel so proud.
What’s your best advice for women interested in joining the field?
Have an opinion and don’t be afraid to voice it. Also, research and immerse yourself in the market, whatever that may be, and constantly ask questions to soak up everything there is to know about your product—never stop learning.
What do you find are the challenges and rewards of being a working mother?
I had my daughter a few months before the start of the pandemic, so that had its own complexities. The biggest challenge and reward are that I have two jobs and when I leave the office, I go home to my other job (where the boss isn’t always in a good mood!).
Tell us about one influential woman in your life. What have you learned from them?
My mom is such an inspiration for me. She is the hardest working person I know. She moved to Guam, from India, and started working in the hospitality industry while barely knowing English. Fast forward to today, she owns and operates two restaurants, and is finishing a hotel!