From Bedazzler Guns to Design Company, Meet The Hood Sisters

Seven years ago if you didn’t have a degree no one would hire you, so we decided to hire ourselves because we knew we had the talent but no one would give us the opportunity.
— Amy Hood
CD2069AF-5C03-4917-9346-278E06433576.JPG

The Hood Sisters

What started as a love for fine art, quickly turned into a way of life for Orange County locals, Jen and Amy Hood. With experience as graphic designers, business owners, and co-founders of the popular, Connecting Things gathering, it wouldn’t be far out to label these ladies as true “girl bosses.”

Just last month, May Martin, Inc. at The LAB hosted Jen and Amy as they spoke on the topic of "Women in Business." With the experience to back it up, the Hood sisters definitely know something about how to do business well.

Hoodzpah Design Company

After too many “comfortable” years in their first job, Jen and Amy were laid off when the magazine where they worked unexpectedly dissolved. With no job and no degree, Jen and Amy were left searching for jobs in a world that glorified a college education. As they looked unemployment straight into the eyes with no opportunities on the horizon, the Hoods decided to “hire” themselves. Thus, the idea for Hoodzpah Design Company was born.

From a young age, the Hood sisters were entrepreneurs at heart. As teens, they sold their bedazzled shirts and homemade greeting cards at street fairs or to friends. When asked what the inspiration behind starting Hoodzpah Design, Amy responded saying, “Sometimes you have to make your own opportunities!” In just one week, Hoodzpah was launched, website and all.

Anyone that has seen the work that Hoodzpah - adapted spelling of Yiddish word meaning "nonconformist gutsy audacity" - has produced would agree that it’s far from ordinary. “We knew we didn’t want to do the basic, non-offensive, catch-all, bland corporate branding and design we had been doing previously,” said Amy. Working with brands that embrace a bolder, brazen aesthetic, the Hood sisters are always looking to have some “irreverent fun.” 

Connecting Things

Hoodzpah wasn't the only thing that the Hoods have created. Those who are familiar with the Orange County creative scene will most definitely recognize the name, "Connecting Things." Jen and Amy, along with seven other friends would meet together on a weekly basis to talk creative and draw inspiration from each other. Realizing there was some “kick a**” talent and an opportunity for connection, they soon realized they “needed to make this a legit thing that could grow and include more and more people.”

The intimate hangout quickly evolved from nine people, to 20, then 60, to eventually a 300 plus gathering held once a month to hear from local creative celebrities in four different chapters and states. In the early stages of Connecting Things, The LAB hosted their Wednesday morning gatherings, but it eventually outgrew the space. With Connecting Things continuing to grow, The LAB remains inspired by their vision.

Jen and Amy are paving the way for self-employed creatives seeking to go against the grain of design. While they have most certainly already delivered, The LAB fully expects big things to come from this power duo.

For more information about the Hood sisters and their many projects, visit hoodzpahdesign.com or follow them on Instagram at @hoodzpahdesign.

Julie Shumaker