Announcing Sarah Jutras, Make&Model’s new partner and Co-CEO

by Sarah Jutras

As inspirational designer and thought leader Tina Roth Eisenberg says, “You have to notice when the universe is cheering you on” and listen to yourself when you feel a full-body YES. So, it is with that resounding enthusiasm that I share with you that I have recently joined Make&Model as partner and Co-CEO.

For those who don’t know me, I began my career in Boston, following a design education at Northeastern University’s College of Arts, Media, and Design with time spent at SACI College of Art & Design (Italy) and Burren College of Art (Ireland). Boston is where I first met Make&Model’s founder, Steven Trevathan, back in 2012 when we connected over our shared passion for contributing to and building up the design community. Steven was actively organizing speaker events in the Boston area, and I was hosting “Happier Hour” meetups (through my startup Happier) to connect with local creatives. In 2013, I relocated to San Francisco, but Steven and I continued to stay in touch, supporting each other by referring work and sharing resources and advice — I even helped Steven find a great apartment in one of my previous residences!

  Happier Hour Neon Sign

In 2015, Steven planted seeds for what would become our first collaboration: UX Camp - California. He had successfully organized and hosted UX Camp retreats on the east coast, and we were looking to put together a west coast event. By the time we were ready to launch in 2018, Steven had since relocated to the Bay Area and we were able to host UX Camp together at a ranch in Sonoma County.

  Steven And Sarah At UXCamp CA
  UXCAMPers Spelledonthe Lawn

It was also during this time that Steven ventured out on his own to found a new studio, Make&Model.

Over the years, we discussed the possibility of me joining, but the timing was never quite right. I was happily working as an independent creative, freelancing with companies like Instacart, IDEO, Deloitte, and small startups in health & wellness, education, and fintech. I had originally sought out entrepreneurship due to both a push and a pull. My career history included experiences with many different companies, but they always left me feeling unfulfilled. I came to understand the values that were core to me were often not reflected in the workplaces I was experiencing. I craved empathic leadership and collaboration over competition; I wished that there was a bigger focus on people and purpose vs. merely producing for profits. And I also struggled to find good leaders and mentors to help fuel my desire for continuous learning and growth (which is why later in my career I was emboldened to offer mentorship to others in need).

Becoming a freelancer gave me the freedom to create my own model for what I wanted to experience. I found so much fulfillment being my own leader in this capacity: from building and supporting my client base, to teaching and mentoring, to having full autonomy over my well-being, energy, and time. I’ve spent the last four years building my business and living my values. I’ve proven to myself that not only can I run a business, but I love running a business. That said, as someone who’s always seeking to grow and evolve, I am continuously reflecting on the kind of business I want to cultivate now and into the future. And this has led me back to Steven and Make&Model.

With Make&Model, I have the opportunity to help build something bigger than myself, and I now have the community with which to do so. We (Steven, the stellar studio team, and I) share a vision for Make&Model that is thoughtful and filled with hope: to make and model the change we wish to see within design, within business, and within the world. And we will deliver on that vision by continuing to align our business strategy to our core values: Take Care, Consider Purpose, and Leave it Better.

I believe all of my past experiences — the observations and the experiments, the learnings and the unlearnings — have inspired me to take this opportunity at this moment in time. Because community and collaboration have never been more important. Yoko Ono said it best, “A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality.”

With this new role, I’m inspired to think of business as art and leadership as a creative practice. While I look forward to continuing to co-create with clients, now with the support of a creative team, I am also energized to apply design to team building, work processes, education and community initiatives.

May we model new ways of learning, making, and growing — together.


Sarah Jutras
Co-CEO, Make&Model

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