Mary Ellen is a designer and ideologist. Curious by nature, she has a thirst for knowledge, a wide-range of interests and a passion for observing the world around her. She has a desire to contribute to make everyday life fun, engaging and filled with beauty. A prolific designer, she has worked within a broad range of disciplines across multiple industries.
As a graphic designer, she has created everything from brand identities, advertising and promotional collateral to catalogues, packaging, and environmental designs. She started designing product in the 80’s for modern home retailer, Conrans. As a product designer, she has designed and developed textiles, housewares, fashion, paper goods and youth toys.
As an entrepreneur and brand visionary, she has conceived and designed innovative, multi-channeled brand concepts from overall strategic brand positioning and business plan creation to the design, development and marketing of product. She is the founder of wellness lifestyle brand, Affina. Affina eco-friendly products are inspired by patterns, colors, textures and forms Mary Ellen both observes and finds in nature and promotes her philosophy for living in closer affinity with nature.
Prior to founding Surface, she was a design leader at Crate and Barrel for 13 years working within the graphic and product development departments. As the first design hire, she established the design department with V.P. Creative Director, Alessandro Franchini, and was instrumental in helping build this highly successful home brand and sister brand, CB2.