Nayomi Mitchell designs her wardrobe and your documents

20 Oct 2019

Nayomi Mitchell designs her wardrobe and your documents

I’m excited to welcome Nayomi back to the blog, as the latest person in our *Where are they now?* series. When we featured Nayomi back in 2016 she was just starting her career, and she’s now been at Microsoft for over 3 years, carving out a role that allows her to blend her mix of interests and talents.

Tell us a little about you?

My name is Nayomi. I’m from Atlanta, GA, but currently live in the great PNW! I’m very passionate about technology and design, engaging in both for my job and my hobbies! I’m currently a software engineer at Microsoft, helping users create beautiful Word documents.

When I’m not writing code, I spend my time wandering around museums, teaching computer science, practicing the ukulele, and playing video games. Lately, I’ve been getting into aerial acrobatics, so I’ve taken up aerial silks.

I spend an embarrassing amount of time on fashion-related forums and blogs.

Tell us a little about what you’re wearing?

  • Leather Jacket - French Connection
  • Dress - Gap (Cut to be asymmetric!)
  • Boots - Steve Madden
  • Denim Jacket - Old Navy
  • T-shirt - Everlane
  • Skirt - Abercrombie & Fitch
  • Boots - Steve Madden

What are you working on at the moment, and what do you love about it?

I’m currently working on intelligent features in Word - tools that help your writing and document design stand out effortlessly. I mostly work on making it easier to make your documents look good by providing style. It’s been fun working on this as it aligns with both of my passions of tech and design - I spend a lot of time hashing out things with my design team. Being around creatives is really energizing for me.

How do you decide what to wear each day?

Nayomi's outfit collection

Such a great question! A year or so ago, I decided to take a digital approach to choosing what to wear, so I took photos of everything I own (minus pajamas and the like!) and began creating outfits using an app on my phone.

This evolved from a spreadsheet where I kept tabs on how much I owned - I had the original goal of reducing the amount of clothes in my closet, but I began seeing people take photos of their clothes to create visual wardrobes. I really liked the idea of being able to see your entire closet laid out like that, so I took out my camera and started taking photos.

I use an app called Smart Closet and drag and drop pieces into cohesive outfits in my spare time. I always have access to my closet and I really enjoy that!

How did you land where you are now? Did you have a plan?

Not really. Growing up, I spent a good amount of time messing with computers! I designed and created layouts for my MySpace profile and did a lot of graphic art for guilds on Neopets. It wasn’t until I got to my senior year in high school that I realized that software engineering was even a field. I was just engaging in some of my hobbies, not trying to carve out a career. But all of that led me to realize that I wanted to keep doing what I enjoyed.

In college, I remember wondering if I should pursue being a developer, a PM, or a designer. I really enjoyed aspects of all three jobs, but I knew that I would really miss building the actual feature! Today, I’m an engineer who spends time programming but also spends time doing user research and joining design discussions. I learned early on that my job didn’t have to be one-sided and that I could do more than what my job description entails.

Did I plan to end up here? Nah, but I stuck with what I enjoyed

Has your style evolved to what it is now?

Oh boy. It really has. Looking back, I’ve always been into personal style in some way. I think college me (and my mom) would think that I wear too much black today. When I moved to Seattle, I really wanted to pare down my wardrobe (which is where the spreadsheet came in). I thought about how I could still have a wide amount of options with fewer clothes, and decided to focus on having a set color scheme, which ended up being mostly dark colors for some reason. Sometimes I miss the pinks, yellows, and reds, but I feel more comfortable in darker clothes these days.

I think what I used to wear and what I’m wearing now are two sides of the same coin. It’s a unique style but expressed in different ways. I would say my personal style moved away quirky patterns and colors to using accessories and structure to add flair.

Is your professional style different from your personal style?

Not at all! Thankfully, I work in a very casual field so I can basically wear what I want (within reason). I think I lean more on the dressier side than just jeans and a t-shirt, so I feel more overdressed at work than anything.

However, if we’re talking business casual and formal, I’m at a loss! “Professional” clothes are my fashion weakness. I have a hard time trying to find clothes that satisfy my taste and the guidelines for what looks professional. It’s one of the reasons that I’m happy that I work in tech!

What is the best way for people to connect with you?

IG Nayomitchell

I caught up with Nayomi when I was in Seattle for my birthday, and she suggested Volunteer Park for the shoot! It was a perfect location, and I hope you love the photos. As always, feel free to reach out if you or someone you know would be a good fit for the blog!

xx Beth ✨

P.S. Dial back time and take a peek at Nayomi’s first appearance on the blog.