About Studio HMH
STUDIO HMH = HILLARY MARIE HELLESTO
Nice to meet you
How it all started
Hi! I’m Hillary – the nerdy design brain behind these operations.
Growing up in the 90’s was a wild time for learning technology – it feels as if it grew up with me. I vividly remember the first computer that my parents brought home and the first Barbie Dreamhouse game I was allowed to play for a few hours per week. In school I shamelessly hung out in the technology classroom and would geek out over Type to Learn and Kid Pix.
The other classroom I spent the most time in was art! I would spend hours on recreations of Christian Riese Lassen paintings, won a school-wide art contest in 4th grade and the teacher even laminated and put my dolphins on the art cabinet doors. I told EVERYONE I wanted to be a marine biologist who painted on the side well into my teen years. My mom was also an artist, and we would spend free time browsing the aisles at Michaels & Joanns – mastering every craft under the sun.
When Myspace took over the internet, I was in middle school and I became slightly obsessed with HTML and would research how to do exactly what I wanted. I read an unhealthy amount of design and coding blogs and crossed paths with some designers who are still leaders in the industry today.
Fast forward to my formal start in design, I attended Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado (originally for Chemistry?!) beginning in 2010. My roommate was an amazing artist and I started sitting in on her art history classes for fun and realized I belonged there as well. I became a preschool teacher full-time while I attended college, something I fell into because I was a lifeguard during high school summers and they needed assistance with a summer camp that went to the pool every week.
Being a preschool teacher kept my creativity flowing in and out of art school! I learned so much about myself and design while working with children and seeing how they interacted with toys, books, and their decorated environments.
While still in school, I started thinking about web design again and found an internship under a marketing umbrella that handed me a messy wordpress site and a million change requests. I had to figure it out, fast! I really enjoyed the puzzle solving aspect of it and I would say it really helped me land my first full-time graphic design job in a fast-paced print shop. I loved the variety of work that challenged me daily and learning the laser, router and giant vinyl plotter. I worked in 2 cities in a similar position for close to 10 years. My intention was always to break free and start my own design business when I felt comfortable doing so, and 2020 pushed me to go that path earlier than I anticipated!
Today, when I’m not at my oversized command center of a desk, you can find me exploring new cities with my husband, crocheting in front of a Harry Potter Marathon or trying out a new recipe. If you read this far, thank you! Send me a little, “hey hello,” here!
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