Mariana Keymolen, a First Gen Latina Woman in STEM is building solutions for women experiencing menopausal symptoms.
Mariana Keymolen is a proud Latina Industrial Designer, born and raised in Houston, TX. Her goal is to inspire young Latina girls to dream big and go for STEM careers. In her free time she likes to travel the world and go on wild mini-adventures. Whether it’s cross-stitching or baking a cake, you can usually find her creating something!
What inspired you to pursue an Industrial design program?
Ever since I was a little girl I loved to draw. As I got older, my two favorite subjects were art and math. So naturally, I thought I wanted to be an architect. I participated in an “Intro into Architecture” summer program at the University of Houston before entering college and it was super great and all but something didn’t quite click. During my time there, I found my passion for Industrial Design, which is the design of product, devices, and services.
Your passion for FemTech led you to build Nisa effect. What is Nisa Effect and why are you building nisa Effect?
nisa EFFECT is a menopause consumer product company based in Houston, Texas that is entering the menopause market with a hot flash relief device called Coolet. Cooler is a bra-attachment device that will alleviate dreadful the hot flashes by spreading a cooling relief on their back, beginning with their core and moving up the body. Coolet will allow women to take control of their menopause journey by letting them get back to their daily lives. Both founders Karina Rodriguez (and myself) are first generation Latina professionals. We are building it because we want to empower women who are at the peak of their life. These women are at the age where they are CEO’s, making big moves, reaching amazing goals, and their body changes shouldn’t get in the way of that.
What’s your vision and mission for nisa EFFECT?
The mission of nisa EFFECT is to bring awareness and empower women with effective products as they go through the menopause stage of their life. Our vision is that we believe women’s health should serve all women including those past 40.
What are some challenges that you’ve experienced in FemTech?
A challenge we have experienced in FemTech is having to explain just how big the issue of hot flashes are to some of the male investors out there. Some of them really just don’t know. We as members of the FemTech community do not hate and are not anti-men but rather focus on educating those who don’t realize the severity of women’s health issues so that we can work together to get funded!
You are also working as the Social Media Manager at FemTech Focus. How did you land this opportunity and how has it impacted your personal and professional development?
I participated in a startup hackathon called FemTech Innovation Challenge which was run by the University of Houston. I met Dr. Brittany Barreto there and fast-forward a year later, she was looking for interns and the staff that ran the challenge let me know of the openings.
Where do you see yourself in the near and long term?
In 5 years I see myself running my first project as a Design Lead. In 10 years I see myself being proud of how far nisa EFFECT has come and the impact it has done to spread awareness about hot flashes.
Any beginner tips and resources for individuals interested in learning more about Industrial and Product Design?
Yes! Definitely check out the IDSA website, read about the ID program at the University of Houston (a well rounded program for Industrial Design) and feel free to reach out to me (keymolen_design) and any designers that I follow on instagram. That will give you an idea of what Industrial Design and Product Design is. Remember to follow a lot of designers on social media and don’t be afraid to ask how someone achieved a certain look or style.
Your goal is to inspire young Latina girls to dream big. Why is this important to you and how are you planning to achieve it?
This is important to me because I didn’t have someone to look up to. I didn’t have an older sibling or college graduate to get advice from, but thankfully my mother pushed me with love and encouragement. I want to be able to mentor and help students so that they have a better understanding of what they are doing. Most importantly, I want every girl to know that she is amazing and capable of anything that she sets her mind to.
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